Certification Exams

Certification exams are a means to prove that a candidate possesses the knowledge and skills of a particular level according to a NFPA Professional Qualification Standard.  Certification exams are administered at the conclusion of Vermont FIre Academy programs to provide candidates with an opportunity to gain certification at that level.  Challenge exams are a means to gain certification where the candidate has not received the required training by successfully completing a Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned program of instruction, but the candidate has received an equivlent training through some other means. Currently, challenge exams are available for Firefighter I, Firefighter II, and Fire Instructor I.

Firefighter I and II Certification Exams
Firefighter I Challenge Exams
Firefighter II Challenge Exams
Fire Instructor I Challenge Exams

Firefighter I and II Certification Exams

Individuals who have successfully completed an approved Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned Firefighter I or II Course can gain certification by passing the Firefighter I or II Certification Exam.  The certification exam is a two part process consisting of a written exam and a practical skills exam.

Certification Exam Part 1:  Written Exam

The written exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions based on the knowledge requirements outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Students who complete a Firefighter I/II Combined Course will have a written exam consisting of 150 questions.  Candidates must achieve a minimum passing score of 70.  Candidates are permitted two attempts at passing the written exam.  A second attempt may take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.

Certification Exam Part 2:  Practical Skills Exam

The practical skills exam consists of 5 practical skill stations based on the requisite skills outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Students who complete a Firefighter I/II Combined Course will have a practical skills exam consisting of 10 practical skill stations.  Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory skill performance in each of these skill stations.  Two attempts per skill station are permitted at the initial skills exam.  Candidates are permitted one retest opportunity consisting of two additional attempts for stations that are failed plus two attempts at an additional randomly selected skill station.  The retest opportunity must take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.  If the candidate fails to pass either the previously failed skill station or the additional random skill station, then the exam process ends and the candidate must re-take the course and begin the certification exam process from the beginning.

Firefighter I or II Certification is granted once a candidate passes both the written and practical skills exams.

Firefighter I Challenge Exams

Individuals who have not completed an approved Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned Firefighter I Course, but who feel they have obtained the necessary training by some other means; or whose previous certifications are more than 2 editions in arrears of the current NFPA 1001 standard, may challenge the Firefighter I Exam.  The challenge exam process is available to candidates once every five years per certification level.  To be eligible to take the Firefighter I Challenge Exam, the candidate must be at least 18 years of age at the test date and submit proof of the following training with their challenge exam application:

  • Current Adult and Child CPR with AED Certification
  • Current First Aid with Environmental Emergencies Certifications
  • Hazardous Materials Operations that qualifies as current with NFPA 472.
  • Traffic Incident Management 
  • Wildland Firefighter (9 hours)
  • ICS100: Introduction to Incident Command System

Challenge Exam Part 1:  Written Exam

The written exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions based on the knowledge requirements outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must achieve a minimum passing score of 70.  Candidates are permitted two attempts at passing the written exam.  A second attempt may take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.

Challenge Exam Part 2:  Practical Skills Exam

The practical skills exam consists of 10 practical skill stations based on the requisite skills outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory skill performance in each of these skill stations.  Two attempts per skill station are permitted at the initial skills exam.  Candidates are permitted one retest opportunity consisting of two additional attempts for stations that are failed plus an additional randomly selected skill station.  The retest opportunity must take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.  If the candidate fails to pass either the previously failed skill station or the additional random skill station, then the challenge process ends.

Firefighter I Certification is granted once a candidate passes both the written and practical skills exams.

Download the Challenge Exam Application

Firefighter II Challenge Exams

Individuals who have not completed an approved Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned Firefighter II Course, but who feel they have obtained the necessary training by some other means; or whose previous certifications are more than 2 editions in arrears of the current NFPA 1001 standard, may challenge the Firefighter II Exam.  The challenge exam process is available to candidates once every five years per certification level.  To be eligible to take the Firefighter II Challenge Exam, the candidate must be at least 18 years of age at the test date and submit proof of the following training with their challenge exam application:

  • Proof of valid Vermont Firefighter I Certification or certification that is recognized as equivalent to Vermont standards.
  • Current Adult and Child CPR with AED Certification
  • Hazardous Materials Operations Certification that qualifies as current with NFPA 472.
  • ICS200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

Challenge Exam Part 1:  Written Exam

The written exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions based on the knowledge requirements outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must achieve a minimum passing score of 70.  Candidates are permitted two attempts at passing the written exam.  A second attempt may take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.

Challenge Exam Part 2:  Practical Skills Exam

The practical skills exam consists of 10 practical skill stations based on the requisite skills outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory skill performance in each of these skill stations.  Two attempts per skill station are permitted at the initial skills exam.  Candidates are permitted one retest opportunity consisting of two additional attempts for stations that are failed plus an additional randomly selected skill station.  The retest opportunity must take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.  If the candidate fails to pass either the previously failed skill station or the additional random skill station, then the challenge process ends.

Firefighter II Certification is granted once a candidate passes both the written and practical skills exams.

Download the Challenge Exam Application

Fire Instructor I Challenge Exam

Individuals who have not completed an approved Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned Fire Instructor I Course, but who feel they have obtained the necessary training by some other means; or whose previous certifications are more than 2 editions in arrears of the current NFPA 1041, Standard for Fire Service Instructor Professional Qualifications, may challenge the Fire Instructor I Certification Exam.  The challenge exam process is available to candidates once every five years per certification level.  To be eligible to take the Fire Instructor I Challenge Exam, the candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • Affiliated with a Vermont Emergency Service Organization
  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Five years of experience in fire or emergency services.
  • Current/Approved Firefighter I or equivalent EMS certification (EMT, Advanced EMT, or Paramedic) with three years of service at that level.
  • Endorsement by the candidate’s current department chief in the form of a signed letter stating the applicant’s qualifications and experience are equal to those outlined in NFPA 1041, Standard for Fire Service Instructor Professional Qualifications.

Challenge Exam Part 1:  Written Exam

The written exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions based on the knowledge requirements outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1041.  Candidates must achieve a minimum passing score of 70.  Candidates are permitted two attempts at passing the written exam.  A second attempt may take place after 14 days but within 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.

Challenge Exam Part 2:  Practical Skills Exam

The practical skills exam consists of 3 practical skill stations based on the requisite skills outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1041.  The stations will consist of delivering a cognitive presentation, delivering a psychomotor presentation, and then one random Fire Instructor I skill.  The topics and prepared lesson materials for the practical skill exam presentations will be assigned and provided to the candidate 14 days prior to the exam date.  Candidates will be provided with a standard LCD projector, PC equipped with the current version of PowerPoint, paper easel, and markers.  Candidates are responsible for providing any additional equipment that may be necessary for their presentations.   Candidates are permitted one retest opportunity for stations that are failed plus an additional randomly selected skill station.  The retest opportunity must take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.  

Download the Fire Instructor I Challenge Exam Application

Fire Instructor I Challenge Practical Exam Guide

 

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