Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll down for FAQ's regarding Testing, Certification, Re-certification, Miscellaneous.

TESTING

1) How do I sign up to take a test?

In order to take a certification test, a department chief or administrator must fill out an Exam Request Form . Because the form requires a signature, it must be faxed or mailed to the certification office. Due to the number of tests being conducted statewide, test requests must be received 30 days prior to the requested test date. The exception to the 30 day requirement is if you take the exam at the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy (UFRA) on their monthly test date – the first Friday of each month. If you plan to test at UFRA, please call the Certification Office in advance to schedule your test.

2) Where do I take the test?

The Exam Request Form has a space to indicate where you would like the test to be conducted. Tests are usually conducted at a fire station or city building. Tests can also be conducted at the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy.

3) How many questions are on the test?

Written – The number of questions for each test can be found in the Certification Standard (under the heading Certification Examinations and subheading Written Examinations).

Skills – Each skills test consists of three skills from the certification standard, or 10% of the skills (whichever is greater).

4) What should I study to do well on the test?

All questions for the written tests are taken from texts that are listed in each Certification Standard. The list of texts can be found under the heading Department Training and the subheading of Written Objectives.

All the skills that may be tested are listed in the Certification Standard as Manipulative Skills Objectives. Prior to the exam, you should have completed each skill successfully and completed an "in-house" version of the exam to show competency. At that point, you should be adequately prepared for skills portion of the test.

5) What do I need to bring with me when I take a test?

At all certification exams, candidates must have, and present, a current picture ID.

Written test - Noting the exception below, you are not required to bring anything with you to take a written exam (pencils and scratch paper will be provided).

Wildland test – Bring the Fireline Handbook and IRPG.

Skills test – before a skills test will be administered, training records will be checked by the Certification Tester. You will not be tested if you do not have a completed Training Record. Training Records can be found in the Appendix of the Certification Standard for each level. Training Records are checked for the following:

  • Participant has been trained in each manipulative skill for the level being evaluated.
  • Department training officer has signed off each manipulative skill.
  • Each participant has passed a department "in-house" manipulative skills examination.

6) Who can sign my training record?

Training records must be signed by a department chief, training officer, or instructor.

7) How are certification testers chosen / what are the qualifications?

To be a Certification Tester, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an active member of a fire department in Utah.
  • Be certified, as a minimum Firefighter I. It is strongly recommended the person is certified as Instructor I.
  • Submit a Certification Tester Application, which can be obtained by contacting Lori Howes , along with two letters of recommendation.

Certification Testers must adhere to the following:

  • Attend and complete the Certification Tester course as offered by the Certification Office.
  • Attend up-date training every year or as determined by the Certification Council.
  • Be state certified at equal or higher to the level they are testing unless otherwise approved by the Certification Council.
  • Adhere to all other Certification Tester policies and procedures listed in the Certification Policy and Procedures Manual.

8) What is a passing score on a certification test?

A passing score on the written test is 70%. The skills test is 100% pass/fail.

9) How do I get my test results?

Tests are mailed back to the Academy by the certification tester. After the tests are received, they are graded and scores are entered into our database. At that point, results are mailed to the department /organization. This can take up to 30 days. (Results are not mailed to individuals.)

In order to protect the individual, test results cannot be given over the phone. Even if a social security number is given, identity cannot be verified by phone.

10) How long does it take to receive my test results?
After the tests are received at the Certification Office (usually about five days after the exam), results will be mailed to the department/organization within 30 days.

11) What if I do not pass the test the first time?

An individual is allowed to take the written and skills test three times within a one year period (30 days are required between each attempt). A different version of the written test is given each time. When a skills test is taken for the 2nd time, the candidate will be re-tested on the skill they failed. When a skills test is taken a 3rd time, the candidate is tested on the skill they missed plus one additional skill from the same section of the standard.

12) If I fail a third attempt, when can I test again?

After a 3rd attempt failure, an individual has two options:

Option 1: Wait one year after the third attempt to re-enter the testing process for that level. At that point, the individual enters the testing process as if for the first time (1st attempts). The individual is required to pass both written and skills portions of the test again (even if one or the other was passed originally).

Option 2: Petition the Council for re-entry into the system prior to the one year requirement. This would allow the candidate to re-enter the examination process 120 days after the last test date but the candidate must re-take a class in the level that was failed. The Council must act on the petition at its next scheduled meeting. The Council will notify the candidate as to their decision within 30 days after the meeting.

13) What if I have a learning disability and need a reader or other accommodations when I take a test?

Accommodations are made only for the written examination and may be in the form of: providing a reader to assist with the exam or by allowing additional time to complete a written examination. Candidates must make a request in writing to the Certification Council specifying the level of testing, the reason(s) for requesting testing accommodations, and the type of accommodation they are requesting (i.e., reader or extended time). A statement must accompany the request from the candidate's doctor or fire chief/administrator attesting to the need for testing.

CERTIFICATION

1) What are the certification standards and where can I find them?

Certification standards are documents that describe what needs to be learned in order to certify at a certain level. The standards are available online at http://www.uvu.edu/ufra/certification/standards.html or at the Academy.

2) Are there prerequisites to certify on any level?

Some certification levels have prerequisites that need to be met before a certification may be issued i.e. in order to receive the certification of Inspector I you must have the HazMat Awareness prerequisite fulfilled. A complete list of prerequisites for each certification level is available online at http://www.uvu.edu/ufra/docs/prerequisites-requirements.pdf. Following the example, you may test for the Inspector I level before testing for HazMat Awareness, but you have to successfully pass the HazMat Awareness test before you can certify at Inspector I.

3) If I want an IFSAC or ProBoard Certification after Utah testing, how can I get that?

Both IFSAC and ProBoard are accrediting bodies, not certifying agencies. When you receive Utah Certification, at most levels, your certificate comes with a uniquely numbered IFSAC gold seal on it. Both IFSAC and ProBoard will issue certificates in addition to the Utah Certificate that we issue. There is a cost for each accrediting body, IFSAC and ProBoard, and each require a separate application to be completed. The ProBoard application (http://www.uvu.edu/ufra/docs/certification/proboard_application.pdf) also enters you into a National Registry. This must be mailed to UFRA for verification.

UFRA enters all successful candidates for accredited levels into the IFSAC Registry shortly after the Utah Certification is issued using the seal number to track the individual. An IFSAC Certificate application can be downloaded here. This application can be mailed directly to IFSAC.

4) How do I get a copy of my certificates?

Copies of certificates can be printed from the UFRA website. Go to http://www.uvu.edu/ufra/lookup/index.php/search, acknowledge the policy, and enter your last name and the last 4 digits of your social security number to access your certificate(s).

Copies of certificates may be also acquired by contacting the Certification Office. Copies are $5.00 per certificate. Since IFSAC seal numbers are unique and only appear on the original seal and original certificate, copies will not have a seal on them; instead the seal number will be written on the copy of the certificate.

5) What if I have certifications from another state? Will they be accepted in Utah?

You may receive reciprocity for certifications issued in another state provided that the other state is IFSAC or Pro Board accredited. Click on the links for those sites to see if the state you received your certifications from is a member of either organization. Reciprocity is $20.00 per level.

6) What if I tested several years ago but was never certified?

Test scores are valid for certification for three years provided that the individual has remained with a department and kept up on their training hours.

7) What if I leave the fire service or move out of state then return? Are my certifications still valid?

In the event that either scenario above has occurred, an individual will need to retest for each desired certification level because the training requirement for re-certification has not been fulfilled for the length of time gone from the fire service or out of state.

RE-CERTIFICATION

1) When and how do I re-certify?

Certification is valid for a three-year period*. Each certified level may be renewed by having the chief/administrator of the department/organization submit a "Certification-Recertification Request." This form indicates that the individual has participated in at least thirty-six (36) hours of structured class and manipulative training per year, or a total of one hundred eight (108) hours of training in the previous certification period unless otherwise specified by a certification standard.

*Each time a new certification is issued (other than HazMat Technician and Wildland), the expiration date for all levels is updated to reflect the expiration date of the new certification.

2) What is the cost for re-certification?

There is a re-certification fee of $ 5.00 per person. That fee will re-certify all levels except HazMat Technician and Wildland which each carry a separate $5.00 fee.

HazMat Technician requires an updated training record/in-house exam (found in the certification standard) to be submitted in order to recertify.

Wildland re-certification requires that an individual take a four hour refresher course (available online through UFRA) and submits the results of a pack test or mile and a half run score every year. Both requirements must be completed within the year the individual wishes to participate in the wildland program.

MISCELLANEOUS

1) What are IFSAC and ProBoard accreditation?

ProBoard stands for National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications. ProBoard accredits organizations that use the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA's) professional qualification standards. Certifications that have a ProBoard seal are recognized in other states that are accredited by ProBoard.

IFSAC is the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. They are a self governing system that accredits both fire service certification programs and higher education fire-related degree programs. Certifications that have an IFSAC seal are recognized in other states that are accredited by IFSAC.

2) What is the Certification Council?

The Utah Fire Service Certification Council (UFSCC) is the governing member for fire service certification and is authorized by the Department of Public Safety and State Fire Marshall's office to manage the certification program. The twelve-member Council, representing volunteer and paid departments, works in conjunction with the Certification Program Manager to establish uniform minimum standards for certifications, and ensure quality and uniformity in the certification system. The UFSCC is a working council that performs assigned duties and reports activities to the Fire Service Standards and Training Council. For more information, including a list of council members, please visit the Certification Council web page.

3) How do I get a card with my picture and certifications?

To acquire an ID card please sent a current photo to the certification office in a jpeg format. Wallet cards cost five dollars each.

4) What do I need for my wildland recertification?

Wildland re-certification requires that you take a four hour refresher course (available online through UFRA) and successfully pass a pack test or mile and a half run every year. The department chief or training officer must then submit a Request for Certification/ Recertification form as well as a form listing pass/fail for the pack test or mile and a half run.

5) How do I update the qualifications on my red card?

Qualifications are updated every year when an individual re-certifies after the qualifications have been verified through the Department of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. If an additional qualification is wanted on the red card before the yearly renewal, there is a five dollar fee for the updated card.

6) Who do I give my wildland task book to?

Completed task books should be sent to Shane Freeman at the Department of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. A copy of the task book cover page should be sent to the Academy with the certification request.