certification programs

CBT Application Procedures

Certification — Certification is awarded to individuals who meet a set of industry-specified requirements. The criteria fall in two main categories: written exams and work experience.

Preparing for Certification — NICET tests are oriented toward job knowledge and skills, so that most of what is needed to pass the exam should be acquired by a proactive technician in the course of working and learning for the job.

Content Outlines — Guides to the areas that are covered on the tests. Content Outlines are found on each program page.

Selected General References — Lists of some resources that subject-matter experts felt might be helpful in developing the knowledge for that Level of certification. (No particular books, training, or education programs are required or endorsed for certification). Selected General References are found on each program page.

Testing — Each program has a test or tests that must be passed for each level. Tests are taken using computers that will be provided at proctored tests sites.

Testing Application — Apply for a NICET examination in one of two ways:

  • Apply online — The candidate portal on NICET's web site provides the fastest way to apply for an exam. See "Additional Information", below, for more information about Online Access.
  • Mail a paper application — Download, complete, and mail the mail-in test application package. Allow five to seven weeks for mail and processing before your preferred testing window.

Both methods of application lead to an authorization from NICET to schedule your exam at Pearson VUE.

Fees — Each test has a unique fee. (See Fees)

Testing Window — During the application process, applicants choose a three month window during which they will take their exam. The window allows for flexibility to schedule a convenient test date. (See the Windows)

Scheduling — Applicants must schedule the exam location and time with Pearson VUE testing centers. Please allow 48 hours from the time you receive a scheduling authorization from NICET before contacting Pearson VUE to schedule. To receive the most convenient scheduling options reserve your location and time as soon as possible.

Pearson VUE — NICET's chosen test administration vendor for computer-based tests (CBT). Pearson VUE has hundreds of testing locations with convenient hours.

Scoring — A passing score is determined using an established scientific method that statistically analyzes input from subject-matter experts to match exam results with levels of knowledge expected of the testing candidates. NICET uses a scaled score for consistency across all exams.

Scaled Score — A sliding scale between 0 and 700, with 500 as the lowest passing score. Scores below 200 are reported as 200; scores of 500 or above are reported as "Pass."

Score Report — The document that describes how a candidate performed on the exam. Scores of 500 or above are indicated with pass. Scores below 500 include the scaled score for the exam and, for multiple-domain exams, percent correct for each domain or section. Pearson VUE provides an unofficial score report immediately after completion of the test. NICET mails the official score report within two weeks of the exam date.

Experience — Experience requirements are determined by industry experts and peers during the program development process. The Experience Application includes work history, performance measures, and at higher levels, a major project write-up and personal recommendation.

Experience Application — Experience applications are found on the program pages and the Applications and Forms page. They may be submitted before, after, or at the same time as the testing application. Please mail with payment to the appropriate address indicated on the Application. NICET reviews experience applications on a first come first served basis within 90 days** of meeting the testing requirement. Upon completion of the review NICET mails certification documents or a Conditional Decision Letter (CDL) 

Conditional Decision Letter (CDL) — CDLs are mailed to all candidates that apply for certification but do not meet established requirements. The letter describes the requirements that still need to be met for the candidate to be awarded certification.

Fees — The application fee includes an initial review and one review of additional material in response to a CDL. (See Fees)

Work History — A complete description of positions held and work performed. All work activities, regardless of relevance to the certification, should be included.

Performance Measures — A set of activities that a supervisor or someone in a supervisory capacity must verify that the candidate has performed satisfactorily. This section of the application must be completed by the verifier.

Verifier — A responsible and technically competent individual who is in a position to inspect and/or approve the applicant's work and verify that the candidate has demonstrated general competencies, specific accomplishments, and project work related to the certification.

Personal Recommendation — Must be completed by professionals who are familiar with the technical capabilities and background of the applicant and can attest to the technical quality, responsibility, and ethics demonstrated in the applicant's work experience. A Personal Recommendation is a requirement for certification in all programs, but not necessarily all levels.

Major Project Write-Up — A separate document that describes a major project the candidate has held substantial responsibility. It describes the purpose of the project the candidate role in the project, and the system involved in the project.

Additional Information — Detailed instructions can be found in the Applying for NICET Certification booklet.

Certification Documents — NICET issues official certificates, wallet cards, and an approval letter indicating certifications earned and expiration dates to all individuals earning certification.

Levels — Career Track Certifications allows individuals with varying levels of knowledge and experience to earn certification. All programs have a Level I that is for entry level applicants. Individuals may progress through the levels as their career progresses by demonstrating increased knowledge and skills. The highest levels showcase the individuals experience and expertise.

Recertification — Certifications must be renewed every three years. The process includes Continuing Professional Development and recertification fees. See Recertification.

*Online Access — NICET's customer portal provides access to the individual's records and testing applications. Individuals who have previously applied to NICET may Register using information already on file. First-time applicants may set up a New Account.

**Express — Evaluation of experience applications may be expedited for an additional fee. (See Fees)