The Candidate Guidebook for the certification program in which you are interested is the best resource for detailed information on many of the below frequently asked questions.
Applying for Certification
Taking My Exam
1. Why should I get certified?
Recognized by over 20 national, state and local government bodies and with over 2,100 certifications earned to-date, ASHRAE certifications increasingly have become the must-have credential for built-environment professionals.
2. How will people know that I am certified?
The name and location of each active certificant are posted on ASHRAE's website. The list is updated monthly to reflect new certificants. In addition, ASHRAE encourages certificants to include their ASHRAE certification designation on their e-mail auto-signature, business cards, letterhead, social networks and other public locations.
3. What does ANSI accreditation mean?
ASHRAE’s High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP) certification program is accredited by ANSI as conforming to a rigorous, internationally recognized standard (17024) for personnel certification programs. The 17024 standard addresses certifying body legal status, management of confidentiality and impartiality, governance, recordkeeping, security, certification scheme requirements, appeals and complaints, among other requirements. While at present only the HBDP program is accredited, all 6 ASHRAE certification programs are managed against the 17024 standard.
Applying for Certification
1. What does earning an ASHRAE certification involve?
Applicants must submit a completed application attesting to fulfilling the eligibility criteria and then – if approved to sit for the exam - pass an examination.
2. Where can I find an application?
The electronic application for each certification program is available on the ASHRAE website.
3. What is the application fee?
$295 for ASHRAE members and $415 for non-members.
Taking My Exam
1. Where and when can I take an exam?
Exams may be taken year round at any one of over 300 testing centers in countries around the world.
2. How do I schedule an exam?
Candidates approved to sit for a certification exam will receive an e-mail notification that includes directions on how to schedule their examination, including the selection of an examination center, date and time. Candidates must schedule and take their exam within 90 days of approval to sit for the exam.
3. What is tested on the exam?
Certification exams assess competence in critical job tasks, and their related knowledge, skills and abilities, as identified by the Exam Subcommittee for each program. These tasks can be found in the detailed content outline (DCO) in the Candidate Guidebook for each certification program.
4. What is the exam format?
Each exam consists of 115 multiple-choice items, of which 100 will be scored. The additional 15 items are interspersed throughout the exam and are used for "pre-test" purposes; candidates do not know which items are scored and which are being pre-tested. The three cognitive levels tested on exam are recall, application and analysis.
Candidates for the Healthcare Facility Design Professional (HFDP) certification have 2 hours in which to complete their exam, while all other exam candidates have 2.5 hours.
5. How do I go about requesting an accommodation for testing?
ASHRAE complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act while striving to ensure that no individual with a disability is deprived of the opportunity to take the examination solely by reason of that disability. To request an accommodation for testing, please submit a completed “Request for Special Accommodations Form” immediately following submission of your application. Please note that up to 45 days will be needed to evaluate the request. It is ASHRAE policy to maintain strict confidentiality of all information pertaining to an individual’s application.
6. Is there an exam prep course I can take?
The best preparation for the exam is your work experience, as it’s an exam on competence in critical job tasks, and their related knowledge, skills and abilities. For those interested in preparing for their exam, ASHRAE offers the following resources, which can be found on the landing page for each certification program:
- A list of which critical job tasks are potentially tested on the exam. This Detailed Content Outline (DCO) can be found beginning on page 7 of the Candidate Guidebook. The DCO even goes so far as to say how many questions are in a particular content area!
- A list of exam study tips, three sample exam items and a list of key resources for possible study.
- A convenient, 30-question, online practice exam ($39). Though not a gap analysis tool, it will help exam candidates become more familiar with exam content and difficulty.
Since no two exam candidates have the exact same education and work experience background, it must be up to the individual to identify areas of improvement for exam preparation.
7. What score do I need to pass my exam?
Candidates will receive a result of "pass" or "fail," as well as a numerical score, but ASHRAE does not publish the scores need to pass, primarily to encourage examinees to score as high as possible on their exam. The passing score can be different for different certification exams, but that doesn't mean one exam or certification is more or less difficult, or more or less rigorous, than another.
8. What can I bring to the examination?
The only item that a candidate can bring into the examination room is a non-programmable, scientific calculator. Exam candidates may not bring any other items with them. The examination center as well will provide each candidate with scratch paper and a pencil.
9. If I fail the exam, can I retake it?
Yes – but such candidates must wait at least 90 days before retaking the exam.
1. Why do I have to recertify?
Over time, the critical tasks of a job, and its related knowledge, skills and abilities, evolve. The purpose of recertifying every three years is to ensure that Certificants maintain a level of continuing competence through acceptable professional development activities.
2. What is required to renew my certification?
Forty-five (45) professional development hours (PDHs) in subject matter related to the certification earned. Renewal requirements for ASHRAE certifications are posted at www.ashrae.org/certification.
The cost of recertification is $125 for ASHRAE members and $195 for non-members.
3. For renewal purposes, can acceptable PDHs be earned only through ASHRAE activities?
PDHs can be earned in a wide variety of ways and not just through ASHRAE activities! Definitions of acceptable PDHs as well apply across all countries in which Certificants live.
1. Who serves on the Certification Committee?
Certification Committee members are ASHRAE members who volunteer to serve three-year terms because they are passionate about the benefit and value of certification to professionals in the built environment industry.
2. What is the role of the Certification Committee?
The Certification Committee is responsible for developing and implementing ASHRAE Certification programs.
3. Who is Applied Measurement Professionals?
Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP) is ASHRAE’s exam development and test delivery partner.
1. How are the Detailed Content Outlines (DCO) for certification exams developed?
Using a consensus-based process, ASHRAE exam development partner Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP) leads Exam Subcommittees of subject matter experts in identifying the domains of critical, work-related activities in which professionals in a given job are involved.
2. How are test questions developed?
AMP trains Exam Subcommittee members in the best practices of exam item development. Once items are drafted, the item review procedure requires unanimous agreement on the acceptability of each item until test specifications have been fulfilled.
3. How are passing scores developed?
AMP leads Exam Subcommittees in conducting a passing point study. The expert judgements of these SME committee are required to produce and interpret the study results and set the examination passing point.
What if I have additional questions?
Feel free to contact ASHRAE Certification at 678-539-1113 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, and we will be happy to respond within one business day.