certification programs

Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems

The Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems certification program is for engineering technicians engaged in the inspection and testing of existing water-based fire protection systems, including identifying and addressing emergency and pre-planned impairments. Areas covered include inspection, testing, documentation, safety, and work management. Technical areas covered include types of water-based systems and their components; types of damage and deficiencies that can impact system operation; basic building features; system inspection and testing frequencies, requirements, and procedures; use of appropriate tools and test equipment; working safely with minimal impact on surroundings; applicable codes and standards, primarily NFPA 25; impairment procedures; and reporting of findings.

Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems comprises three levels of certification.

  • Level I is designed for technicians who perform limited job tasks under direct supervision.
  • Level II is for technicians who perform routine inspection and testing tasks under general daily supervision.
  • Level III is for technicians who can work independently to perform complete system inspection and testing jobs, and who may supervise the work of other I & T technicians.

Certification requirements for each Level build on those of lower Levels: Certification at Levels II or III does not require prior certification at the lower level, but it does require that the certification requirements of the lower levels have been met.

The Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems exam is delivered on a computer at Pearson Vue Testing Centers. Computer-based testing (CBT) allows NICET to extend several benefits to our customers: more flexible exam dates and appointment times; immediate scheduling and confirmation; and quicker exam scoring. For more information about taking the Standard Model exam, please click here.


Starting December 1, 2019 NICET will begin offering one exam per level for ITWBS exams.

Currently, Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems has multiple exams per level. Two at Level I, three at Level II, and two at Level III for a total of seven exams that must be passed to meet the Level III requirement.

We will allow transition time for test takers who have already started the multi-exam process. If a candidate has already passed at least one, but not all exams at a given level, they may choose to take the remaining exams for that level through December 2020.  OR, candidates can voluntarily choose to switch to the new, single exam for that level.  Please note that if you decide to switch to the single exam per level, you will not receive any credit for the partial exams already passed at that level – AND – you will not be able to switch back to multiple exams at that level.  Additionally, when candidates complete the multiple examination requirement at any level, they will automatically switch to the single examination requirement at the next higher level.

Applicants with a disability as defined in Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act who may be placed at a disadvantage when taking a NICET certification examination may request a testing accommodation by contacting test@nicet.org prior to scheduling testing. Each request will be evaluated individually and every effort will be made to offer reasonable accommodations to qualifying applicants. There will be no additional charges to qualifying applicants for these accommodations. NICET will contact the applicant to arrange a mutually suitable accommodation.