Certification Program

Background

Firefighters extinguishing a fire

Following an on-site visit in May 2012 by three IFSAC members, the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress Board of Governors voted to accredit PCC's Fire Protection Technology Program on September 22, 2012. The next site visit will occur in 2017.

IFSAC member entities include 39 states, the United States Department of Defense, 10 Canadian provinces, the Republic of South Africa, Egypt, Germany, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the United Kingdom, and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Fire service personnel in Oregon may become certified by successfully passing a certification examination. The certification process is available to any member of a recognized fire department, emergency response organization, or student of a training/education institution within the State of Oregon. Candidates must score 70% on the written examination. Skills examinations are scored on a pass/fail basis. Study Guides for each level of certification offered by the FPT are available below. The following certification levels are offered by the FPT:

Certification Levels

Testing Schedule

PCC will be conducting the following IFSAC accredited certification tests. Testing is limited to a maximum of 24 applicants per day. If more than 24 register, a second date will be added. Note: if fewer than 10 applicants register, the test will be cancelled until the following scheduled date. Once you register, a confirmation email will be sent confirming your registration and testing date.

Fire Fighter I

TESTING: Written and Skill
DATE: March 28, 2014
TIME: 9:00am to 4:00pm
LOCATION: Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Training Center
12400 SW Tonquin Rd
Sherwood, OR  97140

Fire Fighter II

TESTING: Written and Skill
DATE: March 29, 2014
TIME: 9:00am to 1:00pm
LOCATION: Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Training Center
12400 SW Tonquin Rd
Sherwood, OR  97140

Hazardous Materials Awareness Level Personnel

TESTING: Written
DATE: March 27, 2014
TIME: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
LOCATION: Portland Community College, Cascade Campus
Portland Community College, Cascade Campus909 N. Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR, 97217
Room: PSEB 106

Hazardous Materials Operations Level Responder

TESTING: Written and Skill
DATE: March 27, 2014
TIME: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
LOCATION: Portland Community College, Cascade Campus
909 N. Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR, 97217
Room: PSEB 106

Registration and Application

The certification testing application process has two steps. First, go on-line and register for testing. Next, go on-line and complete an application for a testing date. After your application for a testing date is received, you will receive an email confirming your admission in the requested testing date, along with testing information.

  1. Register for testing
  2. Apply for a testing date

Policies and Procedures

Policies and Procedures for PCC's fire fighter certification program.

Inquires

If you have any questions please contact the Fire Fighter Certification Program, 971-722-5494, or:

Portland Community College
Fire Protection Technology
Fire Fighter Certification Program
705 N. Killingsworth St.
Portland, Oregon 97217

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get an IFSAC accredited Oregon Fire Fighter I or II certificate?
There are two steps you will need to follow before you can receive Oregon IFSAC accredited certification. First, you will need to meet the required qualifications/prerequisites, and second, you will need to successfully pass the certification examination process. Review the Fire Fighter Certification guide for the level of certification desired to get information on qualifications/prerequisites and examinations.
What is IFSAC accredited certification?
The International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) is one of two fire service certification accrediting bodies recognized by States, the U.S. Department of Defense and many foreign countries including Canada. Certifications received from an IFSAC accredited entity are recognized by all other IFSAC accredited entities. As a result, the certifications you receive from PCC FPT are recognized by most States, the U.S. Department of Defense and many foreign countries including Canada. Certifications from entities not accredited by IFSAC are only recognized by the entity awarding the certification. This means you ARE NOT certified outside the state where you were awarded the certifications, e.g., you will need to start over.
How much will certification cost me?

The fees for each certification test are identified in Section 5-6 of PCC’s Certification Policies and Procedures Manual. The fee for each certification level is as follows:

Certification Level Cost Per Certification Level
HM Awareness
(HM Written)
$11.00
($11.00)
HM Operations
(HM Ops Written + HM Ops Skill)
$66.00
($14.00 + $52.00)
Fire Fighter I
(FF I Written + FF I Skill)
$221.00
($14.00 + $207.00)
Fire Fighter II
(FF II Written + FF II Skill)
150.00
($14.00 + $136.00)
Will PCC FPT grant reciprocity for my certifications from Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) or another state?
PCC FPT will only grant reciprocity for certifications received from an IFSAC accredited entity. In addition, the certification must be current and it must be one of the certification levels PCC FPT has been accredited to certify.

Basis of the PCC FPT Certification System

Equal Access for All
Applications for certification will be accepted from any person meeting the criteria listed in the Certification Policies and Procedures and specified in the appropriate certification guide. Applications will be accepted without regard to race, color, religion, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, or status as a military veteran. Applications will be accepted without regard to age, as long as the applicant is at least 18 years of age upon the date of the examination. Applications will be accepted without regard to disability, as long as that disability does not hinder the applicant’s ability to perform the psychomotor requirements identified in the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Professional Qualifications Standards for the certification level applied for by the applicant. Where appropriate, accommodation for a disability is permitted. If you have any questions regarding certification, please, contact Portland Community College (PCC), Fire Protection Technology (FPT) program by calling 971-722-5494.
Legal Authority
Authority to award International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) accredited certification in Oregon was granted to PCC FPT program by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) through a letter of empowerment dated April 9, 2009. DPSST retains legal authority to award Oregon certification.
Accreditation
The PCC FPT program has been accredited by the IFSAC to certify fire service personnel to accepted national standards. Oregon fire service personnel that are successful in completing the certification process achieve international certification. Accreditation of the PCC FPT program certification process assures the Oregon fire service that standards used within the system adhere to the most current recognized NFPA Professional Qualification standards. The assurances gained through an accredited certification process provide credibility and prestige for every fire fighter participating. As a result, fire fighters certified through PCC’s FPT program are recognized throughout most of North America and internationally as meeting the Professional Qualifications standards set forth by the NFPA.
Certification Recognition
Once candidates have successfully met the certification requirements, the individual’s name is entered in the PCC FPT certification data bank, as well as the international certification data bank maintained by IFSAC. An official seal from the IFSAC is affixed to every certificate of certification and includes a unique individual international certification number.
System Integrity
The requirements, criteria, and processes set forth are used to ensure the highest possible credibility and stature for candidates in the PCC FPT certification system. These processes help ensure certified fire service personnel are among the most highly respected fire fighters in the world.
Entering the System
Qualified personnel from any recognized fire department, emergency response organization, or students of a training/education institution within the State of Oregon may participate in the certification system. Applicants must enter the certification system at the level for which qualified. For example, Fire Fighter I must be completed before Fire Fighter II.
Application & Fees
Every individual seeking certification within the PCC FPT certification system must submit an application and the fee to secure entrance into the system. Applications for each level and category of certification may be obtained from the PCC FPT at no cost or can be downloaded. The PCC FPT requires an application with payment at least 14 days prior to testing. Individuals seeking certification must pay the appropriate fees prior to testing. The Fire Protection Technology Program will not “bill” individuals for the certification fee.
Approved Methods of Payment
PCC accepts credit and debit cards when registering. Payment is required at time of registration. Purchase orders from a city/organization may be accepted by contacting William Benjamin at 971-722-5494. After completing the registration, applicants must submit an application for testing. Any application received without prior to registering will not be accepted. The PCC FPT accepts applications at any time. Registration and application must be completed at least 30 days prior to the exam date identified by the candidate. NO “WALK-IN” REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT ANY TEST SITE! Applicants will receive a confirmation after the application has been processed.
Refunds of Registration Fees

A request for registration refund must be made prior to the exam date. Registration fees will not be refunded if you fail to request a refund prior to the certification exam. Refunds will be applied to the credit or debit card used to pay the registration fee. NO CASH REFUNDS.

Testing Deadlines

Candidates testing for any level of certification will be given six (6) months to complete the certification process for the certification level being sought. The six (6) month time limit begins on the date of the initial certification examination attempted by the candidate. This includes any retests required.

Candidates are encouraged to complete as many documentation requirements as possible, prior to applying for certification. Detailed documentation requirements can be found in the Certification Guide, including the Local Verification found at the end of the Guide. After the expiration of the time limit allotted for certification, candidates that have not completed the certification process, including any retests, will be required to submit a new application, pay a new certification fee, and complete the entire certification process, regardless of any portion successfully completed during the previous certification process. This includes all documentation requirements identified in the Certification Guide.

Certification Exam Availability

Every qualified individual seeking certification will be allowed access to the certification exam process (see “Certification Requirements” and "Membership & Residency” in the certification policy and procedures manual).

A list of exam sites is maintained by the PCC FPT and is available to any interested party. Candidates are required to pre-register for exams through PCC FPT. The pre-registration process ensures that adequate resources are available and that no test site is overburdened with too many candidates to test within the allotted time. Pre-registration may be accomplished as explained in the “Application and Fees” section above. Restricted test sites are also conducted for fire departments having enough candidates to “fill” a test site. Fire departments wishing to schedule a restricted test site should contact the PCC FPT for more information.

Facial Hair Policy
Persons with beards or facial hair in the area of the SCBA face piece seal (including full-face beards, muttonchops, goatees, etc.) will not be permitted to participate in the skills exam for any certification level that requires the use of self contained breathing apparatus. This policy will be strictly enforced. No exceptions to this policy will be granted. This is in conjunction with 29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory Protection Standard.
Exam Results
After candidates have completed the exam process, the PCC FPT begins the process of scoring and processing the test results. As soon as grading, processing, and documentation is complete, the results are sent to the candidates via U.S. Mail. To ensure candidate confidentiality, certification exam results will not be released on the telephone, through email, or by any other mechanism. The candidate should receive test results within 20 working days of the exam. If candidates do not receive their test results within 20 working days, they should notify the PCC FPT. Please DO NOT contact the PCC FPT Certification and Accreditation Unit prior to the 20 working days.
Certification
Upon successful completion of the certification process, the applicant’s name will be entered into the PCC FPT certification database and the International Certification Database maintained by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). Individuals will also receive (at no additional cost), an individualized certificate recognizing International Certification through PCC FPT. This certificate will also bear a numbered seal from the IFSAC. NOTICE: PCC FPT will only issue one International Certification certificate bearing an IFSAC numbered seal. Applicants are responsible for keeping copies of all documents!!
Denial and Revocation of Certification
The PCC FPT may deny or revoke an individual’s certification if that individual knowingly submits false information to the PCC FPT or cheats during the evaluation process.
Appeal Process

If certification is denied or revoked, the individual is entitled to due process, including an appeal and hearing. Any person believing that he/she has not received fair treatment within the certification process is also entitled to the appeal process.

Issues that arise during the testing process will be addressed by the Lead Proctor. The PCC FPT certification program manager is responsible for appeals not resolved on-site, appeals arising from the application process, and appeals arising from the certification process.

The first step in the appeal process arising from an on-site testing issue is to contact the Lead Proctor. The first step in the appeal process arising out of the application process or as a result of denial or revocation is to contact the PCC FPT certification program manager.

All appeals must be initiated in writing or by personal contact (or telephone) and must be initiated within 90 days of the action being appealed. The candidate may request the review be conducted through a meeting with the certification program manager.

If the appeal is not resolved at the first step, a candidate may appeal to the Portland Community College Fire Service Certification Program Appeals Board. This appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the certification program manager’s review. Candidates may request a formal review of the appeal through a meeting with the Portland Community College Fire Service Certification Program Appeals Board. The decision of the Portland Community College Fire Service Certification Program Appeals Board will be final.

The Appeals Process is found in Chapter 11 of the Certification Policies and Procedures Manual.


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