Certification Best Practices


Alexandre Racine CIP-3

At the NACE International Institute (NII), we continually take steps to ensure that our certifications remain the most respected and reputable in the industry. Obtaining your certification demonstrates that you and other NII certification card holders are qualified and dedicated to getting the job done right the first time. Moreover, you hone these skills by proving you’re up-to-date on industry best practices when applying for NII recertification.

Over the last 18 months we have made changes to our programs that will raise the standard of certification within the industry, and we will continue to make these improvements going forward. We want to ensure that NII certification holders like you are properly prepared and well qualified to perform your daily job in line with current industry expectations. As a certification card holder, you are a part of a network of trusted certified professionals that strive to protect assets, the public, and environment from the adverse effects of corrosion.

Over the last 18 months and moving forward, we have and will continue to make changes to our program that will continue to raise the standard within the industry. We want to ensure that NII certification holders like you are properly prepared and well qualified to perform your daily job in line with current industry expectations in a network of trusted certified professionals to meet the NII’s objective of helping equip people to protect assets, the public, and environment from the adverse effects of corrosion.

What sets NACE certifications apart from other certifications


Brendan Fitzsimons CIP 3 & Protective Coatings Specialist

1. We use active certified field practitioners throughout the exam development process. These individuals come from all over the world, with varying years of field experience, and across multiple industries. We use volunteers experienced in the field to provide real-life work experience and technical insight to guide the development of the certification exams. Individuals draw on their first-hand knowledge to:

  • write exam questions
  • validate test questions
  • translate exams and supporting materials
  • select question types
  • insuring the reading level of the questions match the audience
  • insuring the exam meets the needs of multiple industries
  • insure the exam measures what is required of the job

The engagement of a wide range of individuals currently working in the field who contribute to and write the exams validates that the testing criteria covers the defined scope of the job.


2. We are in the process of moving our tests from pen and paper certification exams to computer based testing (CBT) certification exams through the Pearson Testing Center

  • With CBT, certification exams are available globally at more than 6,000 testing centers, making it easier to find a testing location that fits your schedule and travel plans
  • CBT gives an equal, fair experience to everyone who takes the exam, no matter where they go to take their test. The same security rules and regulations will apply to everyone all over the globe.
  • Students get their results immediately with CBT. Those taking one of the computer exams will know whether they passed or failed immediately and receive a score report detailing areas of strengths and weaknesses is made available.
  • CBT gives the NII staff more in-depth data for statistical analysis to monitor the performance of the exam, ensuring that the exam is fair and error-free. Exams undergo constant analysis and improvement, and ineffective questions can be brought back to the content contributors to be removed or changed.

3. The NII has implemented an exam development process that aligns to the Certification industry standard. The first step in the development process is to conduct a formal job task analysis that defines the knowledge skills and abilities required to perform a specific job role. Why was this change needed?

  • Instructors used to write exams based on the related NACE education course. This method was very effective for an end of course exam that ensured individuals understood the course material. However, for validation of an individual’s ability to perform high-quality work in the field, the exam needed to reflect what is required of the field work, not just what’s in the course manual.
  • The exams need to validate that individuals who pass not only understand the theory but also have the applicable real-life skills needed to apply knowledge and skills in the field. Now, the standardized development model ensures the certification exams are based on knowledge from multiple sources, including individuals with years of on-the-job knowledge, standards, text books, experience, etc.

4. What’s next for the NII in our commitment to recognizing the most qualified professionals in the industry? We are moving to accredit our certifications with ISO 17024. This standard affirms that our best practices are in place and recognized by a governing body. If we are measuring that someone is following industry standards in the corrosion industry, shouldn’t we hold ourselves accountable to equally high standards?


Manish Saini CP 2

5. At NII we take ethics extremely seriously. Our goal is simple: To hold the integrity of our certification program and its card holders to highest standards. Those seeking certification must sign an attestation acknowledging the rules of their certification and the ethics that they must abide by, as well as a non-disclosure agreement. We continually educate our members and certification holders on how to avoid ethics violations, from cheating on an exam to misrepresenting their level of certification. Our belief in keeping NIII certification card holders honest and transparent stems from our commitment to putting the public and industry’s safety first.

  • • In the unfortunate event of an ethics violation, we use independent committees that are separate from the board of directors to investigate every complaint that we receive. Consequences of ethics violations can range from loss of job, damage to personal reputation, losing your certification or being banned from receiving any NACE Institute certifications in the future.

  • Our ethics standards are core to our program as we understand the level of effort our certified professional have applied in achieving a NACE certification and the damage to reputation for both you and NACE if ethical standards are not adhered to.

All the steps taken within our certification program stem from our objective to strengthen and bring even greater respect to the industry by ensuring certified individuals truly are the best in their field, while still protecting your investment in your future. The stronger the work force is, the more successful and respected the contractor is, the more protected asset owners are, and ultimately the public is protected from the harmful effects of corrosion.




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