Examination Requirements

The following questions and answers apply only to
NICET's paper-and-pencil examinations. For information
about the Video Security Systems computer-based tests,
please click here.


Can I meet an exam requirement in one exam sitting?
Approximately 75 percent of all examinees meet the Level I exam requirement on the first exam. In most programs, it is also possible to satisfy the Level II exam requirement in one exam sitting, but the majority of first-time examinees miss it by 1 to 5 work elements. Most examinees can complete the Level II exam requirement -- and pass a few Level III work elements -- in two exam sittings.

What qualifications must I have before I can take a NICET exam?
There are no pre-qualifications for taking an exam. Once you meet an exam requirement, you must then satisfy the program's other criteria before you can be certified.

Can I test right away for Level III or IV?
The exam requirements for each level of certification are cumulative; each successive level builds on the previous level's requirements. Therefore, you cannot test only Level IV work elements to achieve Level IV certification; you must meet all lower level exam requirements first.

Where can I find work element information and testing requirements?
In the program detail manual (which you can download from NICET's website), you will find the Examination Requirements Chart, work element descriptions, and many other resources.

What are general, special, and core work elements?
General work elements contain responsibilities and job tasks that should be mastered by almost all technicians practicing in the subfield. Core work elements are general work elements that are mandatory for achieving certification in the respective level of a particular program. Because of geography and varying regional specifications and employer practices, not all technicians in the subfield perform exactly the same job tasks. For this reason, most programs include a flexible range of Special work elements that allow you, to an extent, to tailor the program to your needs.

What is the passing requirement for a work element exam?
Every program detail manual contains an "Examination Requirements Chart" that specifies, for each Level of certification, the exact number of work elements you must pass from each level and category (general, core, and special).

If I pass the test, am I certified?
Passing the test is only one of the requirements for certification. For work element programs, you must also submit a detailed write-up of your work experience, supervisor's verification of your on-the-job performance, and a current personal recommendation.

Can I begin testing for a higher level of certification before I have the required amount of work experience?
You may test for a higher level before satisfying the work experience requirement, but NICET reserves the right to question the validity of any higher-level work elements successfully tested and/or verified for persons with substantially less than the required amount of experience. Also, in the time it takes you to fulfill the work experience requirement, you would be required to comply with any changes to the exam requirement.

Some time ago, I met an exam requirement but did not meet the other requirements for certification at that level. Since that time, the exam requirement for that level has changed. Do I need to retest?
If you meet an exam requirement, you will receive a Conditional Decision letter that grants you one year of immunity from any program changes that occur while you submit documentation to meet the other certification criteria. After this date, you will be subject to any changes that occur in the exam requirement or other certification criteria. NICET policies #10 and #11 govern the updating of certification requirements and program detail manuals.

Will all work elements that I pass be in my testing record permanently?
Work elements associated with a particular certification program are permanent as long as you maintain that certification in Expired Status. CAUTION: If you begin testing in a particular field/subfield and do not achieve certification at any level, and do not continue testing in that field/subfield, we will delete associated work elements from your testing record after five years from the date that you last tested work elements in that field/subfield. Please see NICET Policy 26.

Can I use one Part A general knowledge exam to meet the exam requirement for other general knowledge certifications?
As long as you maintain an active status TT or higher grade certification in a general knowledge program (with the exception of Electrical Testing, which has a different Part A exam), you may achieve AET certification in other general knowledge programs by passing the associated Part B exam. If, however, your general knowledge certification lapses and you fail to reinstate it within three years of its expiration date, your test records will be deleted, and you must test both Parts A and B before you can be awarded another general knowledge certification. Please see Policy 30 for more information about certification maintenance and Policy 26 about deletion of test records.

If none of these FAQs answered your question, please e-mail NICET or search again. Questions related to your personal progress toward meeting a certification requirement must be directed to NICET by telephone. Please call 888-476-4238 or 703-548-1518.


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