Credentialing Process

Organizations that wish to host NIMS testing are encouraged to review the following and download all suggested materials. Individuals who are not currently affiliated with a company, school, or other formal training program should contact us.

Interested in hosting NIMS testing? Employers, schools, and colleges can now schedule a free, one-on-one credentialing consultation with a NIMS expert.

Hosted in the past, but need a refresher? Try a short video tutorial.

New Process Changes After October 1

Before Testing

Organizations Register

Before testing may begin, organizations complete a free registration then designate and enroll account administrators (previously called sponsors) who will oversee the NIMS testing activities. Account administrators are often instructors and trainers, but can also be other training program personnel.

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Candidates Register

Before testing may begin, individuals must register as candidates. NIMS assesses a $40 registration fee per candidate. Registration is needed once per person.

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Are you an account administrator? You can register up to 20 candidates at one time using the Add Candidates page - learn how to mass register candidates here.

Watch the registration process from start to finish

Performance + Theory

Individuals earn NIMS credentials by passing performance and theory assessments in functional job areas from entry- to master-level. Most test for NIMS credentials after completion of a training program that has aligned to the NIMS skill standards, often at an educational institution or through an employer.

Individuals may take assessments without completing a formal training program by applying their prior learning and experience. These individuals earn credentials to verify their skills and signal their eligibility for jobs and advancement potential.

Performance Assessment

An individual must successfully perform a documented series of skills checks and demonstrations. Some require a third-party quality inspection by industry representatives. 

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Theory Assessment

Upon completion of the performance assessment, individuals may take the theory assessment while under proctor supervision. Each test has a time limit of 90 minutes and is taken via the NIMS website.

NIMS assesses a $35 fee for Level I tests and a $50 fee for Level II and III tests. NEW: Beginning October 1, 2018, candidates and account administrators will be able to purchase subscriptions that include multiple tests in one bundled price. Learn more about the available subscriptions and other upcoming changes.

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Earning Credentials

Official credentials are issued once candidates successfully complete the theory assessment and the performance assessment. Credentials can be printed at any time by both candidates and account administrators by logging into the NIMS online testing center.

How much do NIMS credentials cost?