CLOSED: Lead Technical Writer

Updating the National Pesticide Applicator Certification
Core Manual and Exam Bank

The Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) invites applications for a Lead Technical Writer to serve on a two-year project team charged with creating the 3rd edition of the National Pesticide Applicator Core Manual and accompanying exam item bank for release in 2024-2025.

The Project: The primary goal of this project is to create a manual and exam item bank of questions/answers for the certification of commercial and private pesticide applicators in the core competencies related to laws and safety. The revision will include the newly required competencies under the 2017 revised Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule (40 CFR Part 171). The process will include collaborative development of learning objectives, manual-development, making recommendations for needed visuals, exam-development, and evaluation/testing. The Team will foster stakeholder engagement and seek consensus. The manual and exam item bank will be developed only in English at this time.

In keeping with PERC’s policy about the sharing of manuals associated with exams, no copies of the manual’s 3rd edition will be made available digitally by PERC or adopters.

Concurrently with this project, PERC will develop a new version of the National Soil Fumigation Manual and Exam. The solicitation for that team is expected in July-August 2022. This information is shared in case potential applicants would prefer one project over the other.

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The Team:

  • One Lead Technical Writer will serve as the primary writer and editor for the contents of the manual sections and exams. Under the direction of the National Project Lead, the Lead Technical Writer shall review and adopt contributions from drafting teams and create cohesive manual sections and exams. The number of teams and individuals shall be determined by the National Project Lead.
  • One National Project Lead will assist PERC Administrators to recruit a team of Subject Matter Expert (SME) volunteers, identify learning objectives, develop/adapt training content, and develop/evaluate exam items (questions/answers). The National Project Lead (paid) will supervise the Lead Technical Writer (paid). No travel is anticipated, and teams will convene via phone or other forms of remote meeting technology.
  • Volunteer experts from industry, government, and academia. Compensation for some team members may be available.

PERC will prioritize applicants for the above two paid roles who can demonstrate a strong working relationship and collegiality.

The level of effort for the Lead Technical Writer and National Project Lead will depend on the number of SMEs recruited, the learning objectives, and the team’s availability (hours/week) and skill level. PERC predicts the peak effort for the scoping phase to occur September 2022 – December 2022 and could include up to about 5-20 hours per week. The development phase is expected to occur throughout 2023-2024 with outputs completed in 2024-2025. PERC will ask the Lead Technical Writer and National Project Lead to be available a bit longer post-release to respond to user feedback.

Lead Technical Writer Job Description

Job responsibilities may include some or all of the following:

  • Under the direction of the National Project Lead, participate in the identification of learning objectives, and recommendations for needed visuals
  • Assist with collection of national best practices and resources relevant to the scope of this project
  • Participate in all content-generating, image creation/selection/tracking, and sub-groups
  • Lead content-development in a way that is culturally-sensitive, technically accurate, and optimized for learner-success, with a cohesive voice/tone throughout
  • Draft all questions/answers for the exam item bank
  • When appropriate, incorporate feedback from the PERC Advisory Board
  • In consultation with the National Project Lead, incorporate feedback from the drafting teams
  • Maintain ongoing consultation with National Project Lead and PERC Administrators and EPA to ensure regulatory accuracy
  • Adhere to manual layout/format prescribed by the PERC style guide
  • Coordinate with PERC team members on web delivery, marketing, and other publishing needs

Lead Technical Writer Qualifications

  • Required Experience:
    • Experience working on a writing project team with others that achieved desired results (on time, quality standards, etc.)
    • Experience writing/developing a manual and exam bank for professional pesticide applicator certification exams
    • Experience and/or education related to best practices in learning assessments (exam items) for clarity, accessibility, and cultural awareness
  • Recommended Experience:
    • Strong working relationship with a prospective National Project Lead applicant
    • Using/administering coordination tools such as shared calendars, scheduling polls, conference calls, and screen-sharing technologies

Eligibility: State and tribal regulators, academic/private/non-profit educators, and talented technical writers are encouraged to apply. Funding is available to compensate the Lead Technical Writer for their time, pending the applicant’s eligibility to accept payment under the rules governing this cooperative agreement.

Application Procedure & Selection: Complete the web-based form available through this link: Be prepared to describe your qualifications, availability, compensation requirements and your interest in the project.

Application receipt deadline: July 25, 2022

Earliest start date: ~ September 8, 2022

PERC Administrators from the University of California of Davis Continuing and Professional Education and Oregon State University will make the final selections using a score-sheet based on the qualifications listed above. All applicants will be notified by August 8.

For questions, please contact

About PERC: PERC is led by University of California of Davis Continuing and Professional Education and Oregon State University, and is funded by a 5-year cooperative agreement (#X8-84019401) from the U.S. EPA. PERC aims to protect the public and the environment by minimizing the misuse of pesticides, increasing access to high-quality education for applicators, and managing projects in support of safe pesticide use, thereby ensuring the safety of chemicals in the marketplace, and advancing the safe use of pesticides. This is complementary to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, Goal 7 – Ensure Safety of Chemicals for People and the Environment, Objective 7.1: Ensure Chemical and Pesticide Safety”. See

Regulatory Guidance

Browse brief guides about protections for workers and handlers, the AEZ, posting, PPE, exemptions, training, respirators, and more, in English and Spanish.

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