The purpose of the CFPS examination is to provide a basis for determining the competency of candidates seeking the Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) designation. The current body of knowledge for the examination is the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, 20th edition.
A complete description of the CFPS program including eligibility, exam preparation, and re-certification requirements can be found in the CFPS Candidate Handbook. Download your copy. (PDF)
You can also download a brochure. (PDF)
To be eligible to take the CFPS examination, candidates must demonstrate on the CFPS examination application that they meet one of the following criteria.
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a Fire Protection-related discipline* from an accredited college or university, including degrees in engineering fields that are applied to the practice of fire protection; plus TWO years of verifiable work experience dedicated to curtailing fire loss, both physical and financial.
- Associate’s degree in a Fire Protection-related discipline* from an accredited college or university, or a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any unrelated field; plus FOUR years of verifiable work experience dedicated to curtailing fire loss, both physical and financial.
- High school diploma or equivalent, plus SIX years of verifiable work experience dedicated to curtailing fire loss, both physical and financial.
*Examples include degrees in Fire Protection Engineering, Fire Science, Fire Protection Technology, and Fire Service Administration. Examples of engineering fields that are frequently applied to the practice of fire protection include, but are not limited to, Mechanical, Civil, Chemical, and Electrical engineering.
Question: What is work experience dedicated to curtailing fire loss, both physical and financial?
Answer: This covers a wide variety of jobs, roles, and industries. If your primary job role involves reducing the risk of fire occurring (design engineering, inspections and code enforcement, etc.), or reducing physical damage, loss of life, or financial loss in the event of a fire (fire service, risk engineering, fire protection system design/installation, etc.), your work experience will apply.
Public statement of impartiality
The NFPA Certification Department is committed to upholding the highest standards of fairness and impartiality in the administration of its certification processes and exams, and throughout the execution of all aspects of the CFPS certification program. CFPS organizational structure, policies, and procedures are all developed to maximize objectivity and manage conflicts of interest. The NFPA Certification Department works in concert with an external team of CFPS volunteers (acting as a Certification Advisory Group, or “CAG”) to ensure that all aspects of the CFPS program are administered in an impartial and fair manner. Furthermore, all CFPS candidates are evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age or disability (the CFPS program provides special accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 - ADA).
The three-hour open book CFPS examination is comprised of 100 multiple-choice questions. The examination is based on a job analysis of fire protection specialists. The examination questions are referenced in the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook. Review the Examination Content Area Weighting in the Applicant & Certificate Holders Handbook, pages 14, 15, 16. (PDF, 436 KB)
NEW! CFPS Practice Exam available for purchase
This 100-question practice exam mirrors the actual CFPS exam in question type, content, weighting, and difficulty, and was written to the same specifications as the actual CFPS exam. The practice exam uses retired CFPS exam questions, or new practice questions written by the exam committee. Find it in the NFPA Online Catalog.
Application/exam fee - $350; Annual renewal fee - $125; Retest fee - $175
IMPORTANT: NFPA wants to partner with you to protect your personal information – NEVER INCLUDE PERSONAL AND/OR CREDIT CARD PAYMENT INFORMATION IN THE BODY OF ANY EMAIL – If you wish to email your application or other personal documentation, it must be placed within an attached document, and you must use the NFPA secure email server. Once you access this server and create your NFPA secure email account, you should select OTHER from the "To" pull-down list, and then enter firstname.lastname@example.org in the address box. Complete the email process by attaching your personal documentation and clicking "Send." Remember your new NFPA secure email account information for future secure communications with NFPA.
A CFPS 2-day primer course is offered prior to each CFPS written exam. Visit the online catalog, or call +1 800 344-3555 to register.
Important information regarding tabbing the Fire Protection Handbook
The Fire Protection Handbook may be tabbed before the exam with commercial permanent adhesive type tabs similar to those provided with the Fire Protection Handbook. HOWEVER, Post-it type notes and flags or other type of easily moveable tabs or physical markers (including paper clips) are NOT permitted at any time.
- To locate a computer based testing center near you, visit the test center web site.
- The CFPS examination is available in paper and pencil format. The CFPS Exam dates listed below provide those locations where a paper and pencil format is used. Candidates who have been issued a user ID and password in order to register for a computer based exam and experience difficulty in registering should contact the testing vendor Iso Quality Testing customer support toll free at +1 866 773-1114.
CFPS exam dates
- March 27, Baltimore, MD
- May 1, Atlanta, GA
- June 26, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- July 10, Williamsburg, VA
- September 18, Minneapolis, MN
- November 6, Portland, OR
- December 4, Anaheim, CA