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The Academy of Certification Exams (ACE), provides certifications for technicians working in inspection, testing and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems. ACE holds the status of a NICET equivalent in the states of Florida and Georgia. Additionally, ACE certification is accepted by NASA contractors in Florida, further demonstrating the program’s credibility and recognition in the industry.

Eligibility for ACE Certification is based on different factors depending on which certification level is sought. Please note both training and work experience requirements must be met to be eligible to sit for an exam.

Water-based Fire Protection Inspector Level I

A Level I Inspector certification is designed for ITM technicians who perform ITM duties under supervision.

Prerequisites to Test for Certification

Water-based Fire Protection Inspector Level II

A Level II certification is designed for ITM technicians who work independently to perform normal ITM duties and have a minimum of 2,000 hours of work experience in the field of inspection and testing of water-based fire protection systems.  This certification is typically for individuals who have successfully passed the Level I exam and gained experience in the industry.  However, if an Inspector already meets the prerequisites for a Level II and wants to test directly to Level II, skipping Level I certification, that is permitted.  The Inspector would sign up for a “Level II Direct” during the registration process.  It is recommended that Inspectors test for Level I and then Level II but it is not required. 

Prerequisites to Test for Level II Certification

  • A minimum of 32 hours of relevant education in previous 24 months prior to the exam.
  • A minimum of 2,000 hours of work experience in the field of inspection and testing of water‐based fire protection systems.

Water-based Fire Protection Inspector Level III - COMING SOON

The Inspector III Certification is designed for Inspectors who work independently to perform all ITM duties.  An Inspector III certification is reserved for individuals who have a minimum of 8,000 hours of work experience (within the previous five calendar years) specific to the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-based Fire Protection Systems and may serve in a supervisory role. Candidates testing for Level III must show an understanding of, and some experience working with, a variety of complex system types including, but not limited to, Water Spray, Foam-Water, and Water-Mist systems.  Additionally, candidates should also have experience conducting obstruction investigations, impairment management and an overall knowledge of the ITM processes.

Inspector III Prerequisites to take the exam:

  • 8,000 hours of work experience specific to inspections, testing and maintenance or water-based fire protection systems obtained within the previous five years.  
  • 32 hours of relevant training in the previous 36 months (24 hours must be specific to ITM of water-based fire protection systems, the additional eight hours can simply be industry related).

Tests are based on NFPA 25 2023 edition.

ACE is looking for individuals who want to grow in their field to take the ACE Level III certification exam. The exam is being offered to a select number of individuals who meet the prerequisites outlined above before it is available to the public.  Find out more information here: Level III Certification

State Certification Information

The state of Florida requires water-based fire protection inspectors to hold an Inspector II certification.  However, Inspectors may obtain a “provisional permit” for a period of two (2) years with an Inspector I certification.  The provisional permit will NOT be renewed and the expectation is that the Inspector will achieve an Inspector II certification prior to the next renewal.  

The outline above is simply for informational purposes only.  A complete review of Florida’s licensing requirements can be found here.

Effective August 1, 2022 the state of Georgia is accepting ACE certifications for water-based fire protection inspectors.  Additionally, the Georgia certification requirement of a NICET III, was changed to a Level II certification.  Because of the change to Level II certification, the SFMO will no longer being issuing waivers for water-based fire protection inspectors. 

ACE offers the opportunity to test directly to a Level II certification if you meet the necessary prerequisites.  Additionally ACE accepts NICET I to test to Level II.

The summary above is for informational purposes only.  Please review Rule 120-3-19-.07 Inspectors License for more information. 

Steps for Certification

If you don’t already have an account, “Create New Account“.  After you’ve created your account, you’ll be taken to your Account page.

Once logged in, click on the Register for an Exam link on the left side of your Account page.  You will be shown a list of all upcoming exams. Select one to begin the registration process.

When registering you will need to provide your training and work history.  Certificate for training can be uploaded directly to your account.  A Work Experience Validation Form will need to be completed, signed and uploaded.  Documents can be uploaded using your mobile device.

Once registration is complete, ACE Staff will review your application
and validate your work experience and training.

If your application is not adequate or appropriate, ACE Staff will notify you.

Once your application is approved, you will receive notification of acceptance and be given a final confirmation and information for taking the exam.

Please bring your ID and approved materials to complete the exam.  Check out all the details on the “About the Exam” page.

Exams are graded and results will be emailed within 7 – 10 business days to the email address on file.  

Certification is Awarded.