Certification Program Resources

Certification Program FAQs and more

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Professional certifications are offered in many industries as a means of demonstrating competence in a particular field of expertise. Certification may be a means of qualifying an individual for employment or higher pay grade within a profession.  The NCWM Professional Certification Program provides confidence that an individual has a strong understanding of U.S weights and measures standards as adopted by NCWM and published in Handbooks, 44, 130, and 133.  Competence is evaluated through a written exam created by a group of subject matter experts in that respective field.  Thus far the program is limited to basic levels of competence marked by cognitive levels of knowledge, understanding and application.  Professional certification is available to members and non-members in both the private sector and in government positions.

The certification applies only to the person certified and states only that they have demonstrated achievement of the learning objectives described in the Body of Knowledge for the specific Certification.  Certification does not apply to the organization employing the certificate holder or to others in the organization.

The process begins with a set of learning objectives created and reviewed by subject matter experts in the respective field.  These learning objectives come in two forms; Terminal Objectives, which describe what the candidate is expected to achieve, and Enabling Objectives, which describe how the candidate can demonstrate achieving some part of a Terminal Objective.  Related learning objectives are collected in a Module that forms the basis for one part of the exam.  The subject matter experts then created questions to evaluate achievement of the multiple enabling objectives in the Module.

The NCWM Professional Development Committee creates a Certification by selecting a group of Modules that encompass the Body of Knowledge in a given area. For example, the Retail Motor Fuel Device Certification is based on a Body of Knowledge of three Modules covering, 1) general provisions of Handbook 44, 2) general liquid measuring concepts, and 3) liquid measuring concepts specifically related to those devices.  The Committee approves a weighting of the exam, i.e. based on the number of questions for each part of the exam.

The results of exams are regularly evaluated and comments on the exam content are reviewed to ensure the exam mirrors the learning objectives and is both fair and correctly scored.

1) Take appropriate training courses directed at that area covered by the Certification.

2) Learn about the form and content of NCWM Certification examinations.  You can find this information on the NCWM website.  From here, you can click on the hyperlinks for each specific exam of interest to open a window with the announcement for the exam.  The announcement will describe the exam in detail and provide links to examine the learning objectives in the modules that are covered by the exam. 

3) Review the learning objectives in the Body of Knowledge for the exam.  The hyperlinks for these are on the Exam Announcement.  You may download the Modules in each exam to use as reference material.

4) Gather the appropriate references so they can be accessed quickly while taking the exam.  The Certification exams are open-book.  It is likely there will be questions that require you to refer to or cite sections of the Handbooks.  The exam announcement specifically identifies the Handbooks potentially referenced in the exam.

You can find this information on the NCWM website.  If you are an NCWM member, you must login on the website prior to selecting the exam to receive the member pricing.

To find this information, look across the top of the main page for Professional Certification tab among the main headings.  Under Training & Exams, you will the links to the basic and professional exams.  On the appropriate exam page, click Purchase Exam.  On the following page, fill in the information at the bottom and click Add to Cart.  To ensure members get the member pricing, be sure that the price reflects the member discount.

After payment is arranged, the request to take the exam will be submitted to NCWM.  You will receive the link to the exam and your credentials in the form of user name and password that enable you to take the exam.

The exam is taken on line using the NCWM website.  Using the hyperlink provided by NCWM, go to the exam page and login using your credentials for that exam.  You should set aside the appropriate time when you can take the exam without being interrupted.

Answers are mostly multiple choice where you click in the selection circle next to you selected answer.  There are some short answer questions.  You will be provided with a text box to enter your answer to these questions.  The exam is electronically scored so correct spelling and punctuation are critical.  Please double check your answer before going to the next question.

Each part has a prescribed time limit and the remaining time is displayed.  You must complete a part of the exam before moving to the next part.  You may go back to questions in the part you are working on if there is time.  Once you leave a section or when you reach the time limit, you will be moved to the next section and you may not return to the previous part(s).  At the end of the final part you will be moved to the final grading section where you will be given your grade and a pass-fail rating on each part.

The exams are graded electronically by the computer and the results are displayed after completing the last part.  You will receive a pass-fail grade for each part of the exam and you will also receive a total grade for the entire exam.  The passing grade, typically 70%, is based on the total number of questions.  For a 50 question exam, passing is 35 or more correct answers.

At the conclusion of the exam, you will also receive your pass-fail grade via email.  If you pass, you are provided with a link to display and print your Certificate.  You may also go back to the exam login for a limited time, using the credentials for that exam, to reprint your Certificate.  If the option is no longer available, contact info@ncwm.com.

No.  To protect the integrity of the questions the NCWM will not provide information on those questions answered incorrectly.  This is consistent with practices of most certification exams such as Bar exams and Professional Engineer exams.

Yes.  If you fail your initial attempt, your initial login credentials allow for one retest.  The questions on each exam are randomly selected so the exam will appear to be different each time you take it.   If you fail after two attempts you may purchase the exam again, but you will not be able to take the test for 30 days following the last failed attempt.

Send your comments to the NCWM Professional Development Committee through NCWM via info@ncwm.com or call (402) 434-4880.