Certification Program FAQs

CSI Certification FAQs

Exam Program Basics Questions:

  1. When and where does CSI offer the examinations?
  2. How do I register for an exam?
  3. When can I register for an exam?
  4. What are the exam fees?
  5. What are the prerequisites for the Certified Construction Specifier (CCS), Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA), and Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR) exams?
  6. Can I register for the Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) exam and the CCS/CCCA/CCPR exam at the same time?
  7. What is the format of the exams?
  8. Is the exam open book?
  9. How will I know which questions I get wrong?
  10. I am a CSI member. Do all members of my firm get the member price for the exam?
  11. How long will it take to receive my exam results?
  12. What is the pass rate for the exam?
  13. How soon after I pass the CDT can I take a certification exam?
  14. Is there a difference between the CDT exam, the International CDT exam and the CDT Student Exam other than cost?
  15. If my chapter does not have a study group, what are my options?
  16. Is CSI membership required to take the CDT exam or CSI certification (CCS, CCCA, CCPR) examinations?
  17. Is CSI membership required to maintain or renew CSI certifications?

Exam Source Material Questions:

  1. What are the source materials for the exams?
  2. Will CSI offer study guides?
  3. I'm an instructor. How do I prepare to lead a study course?

Exam Policy Questions:

  1. What is CSI's policy regarding exam cancellations?
  2. If I don't pass the exam, when may I take it again?

Certification Renewal Questions:

  1. What do I have to do to renew my certification?
  2. What are the continuing education requirements for certification renewal?
  3. I frequently see programs for AIA. Do credits achieved in AIA sponsored classes count toward my certification renewal?
  4. How do I register my continuing education with CSI?
  5. What are some examples of professional or industry activities for which I can earn PDHs?
  6. What are some examples of construction industry-related activities for which I can earn PDHs?
  7. Are there any activities which do not qualify for PDHs?
  8. Is CSI membership required to maintain or renew CSI certifications?
  9. After I submit my renewal, when will I receive a certificate reflecting my new certification expiration date?

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Exam Program Basics Answers:

  1. When and where does CSI offer the examinations? All CSI examinations are administered through Prometric. Prometric is a recognized leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services. Upcoming exams dates are listed at www.csiresources.org/certification/csi-certification.The CDT , CCCA, CCPR and CCS examinations are administered by computer-based testing at Prometric test centers throughout the U.S. The CDT examination is administered at select international locations. To view the Prometric test center locations, visit www.prometric.com/CSI and select “Locate a Testing Center."
  2. How do I register for an exam? During open registration, candidates may apply to sit for the CDT, CCCA, CCPR and CCS examinations through the CSI website at www.csiresources.org/certification/mycertifications. Following the approval of an application, candidates will receive email notification with instructions on reserving their date and time at a Prometric test center using an individual authorization number. 
  3. When can I register for an exam? Registration dates are listed on the individual pages for the CDT, CCCA, CCPR and CCS.
  4. What are the exam fees? Exam fees vary based on CSI membership and date of registration. Full-time students may register for the CDT exam at a discounted rate. See the information available for each individual exam at www.csiresources.org/certification/csi-certification
  5. What are the prerequisites for the Certified Construction Specifier (CCS), Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA), and Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR) exams?
    1. There are no prerequisites for the CDT certificate exam.
    2. CCS certification exam candidates must:
      1. Have passed the CDT exam.
      2. Have prepared or coordinated either Division 00 – Procurement and Contracting Requirements or Division 01 - General Requirements actually used in requirements
      3. Have a minimum of two years’ experience in the preparation and coordination of specifications actually used in construction.
      4. Provide contact information for two experienced professionals in the field who will attest the candidate has at least five years’ experience in the preparation of contract documents.
    3. CCCA certification exam candidates must:
      1. Have passed the CDT exam.
      2. Have at least two years of experience in contract administration process, attested by two people experienced in the field.
    4. CCPR certification exam candidates must:
      1. Have passed the CDT.
      2. Have a minimum of two years’ experience representing construction product(s) exclusive of academic preparation, attested to on company letterhead by two manufacturers and /or employers.
  6. Can I register for the CDT exam and the CCS/CCCA/CCPR exam at the same time? No. You must receive your passing results for the CDT exam before you are eligible to register for the CCS/CCCA/CCPR examinations.
  7. What is the format of the exams? All tests are Computer Based multiple-choice examinations.
    1. CDT: 120 Questions with 20 non-scored pretest questions
      1. Overall Time: 180 Minutes
      2. Test Time: 120 minutes (2 hours)
    2. CCS, CCCA and CCPR: 200 Questions
      1. Overall Time: 300 minutes
      2. Test Time: 240 minutes (4 hours)
  8. How will I know which questions I get wrong? The notification of exam results includes an exam diagnostic analysis You will see the subject area and percentage correct. This diagnostic provides information on overall performance and does not include information on individual questions.
  9. I am a CSI member. Do all members of my firm get the member price for the exam? CSI membership is on an individual basis. A firm may not apply the member price to any individual employee who is not a CSI member. Firms with multiple candidates should explore CSI's Corporate Partners Program for information please contact Maureen Eyles at meyles@csinet.org
  10. Is the exam open book? CSI exams are not open book. Study materials are not permitted while taking the exam.
  11. How long will it take to receive my exam results? Candidates taking a computer-based exam will receive their results immediately after their exam at a Prometric test center.
  12. What is the pass rate for the exam? CSI does not publish official pass rates for any exam.
  13. How soon after I pass the CDT can I take an advanced certification exam? Provided all other eligibility criteria are met, candidates may begin registration for advanced certification exams in the first available testing cycle following the successful completion of the CDT examination.
  14. Is there a difference between the CDT exam, the International CDT exam and the CDT Student Exam other than cost? No. While the exact questions will vary, the content and structure of the exams are the same.
  15. If my chapter does not have a study group, what are my options?
    1. Contact the chapter and ask them to help you find a mentor in your area, as well as other candidates
    2. Download a FREE Candidate Handbook for the CDT, CCCA, CCS, and CCPR
    3. Purchase CSI's Project Delivery Education Program, or a similar program in the CSI Store
    4. CSI offers webinars and other support in the weeks leading up to the exam. Subscribe to CSI's free, weekly e-newsletter to stay informed.
  16. Is CSI membership required to take the CDT exam or CSI certification (CCS, CCCA, CCPR) exams? No. CSI membership is not required for testing.
  17. Is CSI membership required to maintain or renew CSI certifications? No. CSI membership is not required to maintain or renew CSI certification.

Exam Source Materials Answers:

  1. What are the source materials for the exams? To be sure you're using the correct source materials, visit www.csiresources.net/certification and read the information posted for your specific exam or on the candidate handbooks.
  2. Will CSI offer candidate handbooks? Yes. FREE candidate handbooks are available. Download a candidate handbook for the CDT, CCCA, CCS, and CCPR
  3. I'm an instructor. How do I prepare to lead a certification class? Read the relevant sources identified in the candidate handbooks. Plan to start your class in early January for the spring exam window and in July for the fall exam window. Begin marketing courses so candidates can register for the exams prior to the early registration deadline for either exam window. CSI also offers recommended education programs for purchase in the CSI Store. 

Exam Policies Answers:

  1. What is CSI's policy regarding exam cancellations?
    1. Cancellations and Deferrals. Candidates who are unable to sit for a scheduled exam may request a cancellation and refund of the application fee. Cancellation requests must be submitted to the Institute in writing using this form. A scheduled exam appointment with Prometric must also be cancelled through Prometric via www.prometric.com/csi or 1-800-503-8991. Candidates who do not request a cancellation and do not sit for the exam forfeit all fees. Application fees may not be transferred to another individual. Candidates who wish to sit for the next exam must submit a new application and fee.
      1. Cancellation requests received 30 days prior to the first day of the test window will be refunded 100% of the exam fee.
      2. Cancellation requests received less than 30 days prior to the first day of the test window will be refunded 50% of the exam fee.
      3. Cancellation requests received less than 14 days before the first day of the test window will not be refunded the exam fee.
      4. Candidates who do not request a cancellation or refund and do not sit for the exam forfeit all fees. Application fees may not be transferred.
      5. If you already have a scheduled appointment with Prometric you must also inform them of your cancellation and are subject to a cancellation fee through Prometric. Please visit www.prometric.com/CSI.
    2. Retesting
      1. Candidates who are unsuccessful in passing an exam may retest during the next exam window, but may not take the test more than two times in 12 months. Retesting requires a new Examination Application and application fee. CCS, CCCA, and CCPR certifications are valid for three years. Renewal may be achieved by earning 24 hours of continuing education and paying the renewal fee. CDT is a lifetime achievement and does not require renewal.
    3. Substitutions
      1. No substitutions may be made for any CSI exam. Application fees may not be transferred to another individual.
    4. Contact Information
      1. Should you have questions regarding CSI's Certificate/Certification Programs, please contact CSI's Member Services at one of the following:
        • Phone: 800-689-2900, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (eastern)
        • Fax: 703-236-4600
        • Mail: CSI
        • Attn: Member Services, 110 South Union Street, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22314
        • Email: csi@csinet.org
  2. If I don't pass the exam, when may I take it again? Candidates who are unsuccessful in passing an exam may retest during the next exam window, but may not take the test more than two times in 12 months. Please note that a new application form and full registration fee are required for retesting.

Certification Renewal Answers:

  1. What do I have to do to renew my certification? CCS, CCCA, and CCPR certifications are all valid for a period of three-years and expire on June 30th. The year of expiration is based on the initial date of certification. CSI sends email and postal reminders for Certification Renewal beginning in early spring.. Certification renewal is fully electronic and completed within the individual portal. Candidates for renewal must report 24 Continuing Education hours, complete the renewal attestation and pay the renewal fee.
  2. What are the continuing education requirements for certification renewal? Certificants are required to earn a minimum of 24.0 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) by the end of the 3-year renewal period. The certification renewal period is defined as July 1 through June 30.
    1. 50% of topics must be related to the professional practice of the certification being renewed, as defined by the CSI Practice Guide.
    2. Up to 50% may accrue from serving on a CSI standing or ad hoc committee or on a CSI task team.
    3. Attending educational seminars and certification study courses by CSI Chapters and Regions.
    4. 100% must be related to the construction industry or the construction process.
  3. I frequently see programs for AIA. Do credits achieved in AIA sponsored classes count toward my certification renewal? Yes. CSI recognizes AIA credits as part of a certificant's continuing education.
  4. How do I register my continuing education with CSI? Certificants may enter completed CE activities in their account at any time. CSI does not require candidates to provide supporting documentation at the time of renewal. However, CSI does hold the right to perform random audits and may ask you to provide documentation of your continuing education hours in the form of AIA transcripts, meeting agendas and CEU certificates.
  5. What are some examples of professional or industry activities for which I can earn PDHs? Meeting state/professional license requirements, attending/instructing seminars, or publishing articles.
  6. What are some examples of construction industry-related activities for which I can earn PDHs? Technical tours, , and professional technical meetings.
  7. Are there any activities which do not qualify for PDHs? Yes. Activities which do not qualify for PDHs include any activities which are a normal part of your vocational job description, and which are normally and routinely performed in the course of your employment duties.
  8. Is CSI membership required to maintain or renew CSI certifications? No. CSI membership is not required to maintain or renew CSI certification.
  9. After I submit my renewal, when will I receive a certificate reflecting my new certification expiration date? CSI mails renewal certificates approximately 4-6 following a candidates successful completion of the renewal process.

Additional questions? Contact CSI Member Services at csi@csinet.org

CSI Certificate/Certification Programs