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author Vance Rubio
date 03.26.2024

Each state has its own set of rules and requirements regarding licenses for skilled trade professionals. They may include stipulations for education and experience, as well as requirements regarding state trade and other exams for those interested in obtaining a license in their chosen field.

What about officials tasked with inspecting construction? These positions may require certification before you can legally perform inspection duties. The education and experience conditions will vary by state, but exams can be taken at the national level to complete requirements.

This is where the NCPCCI comes in. What is the NCPCCI? What exams do you need to pass to obtain certification and become a Fire Protection Inspector?

What Is the NCPCCI?

The National Certification Program for Construction Code Inspectors (NCPCCI) is a computer-based exam program that tests the knowledge and competency of professionals interested in becoming general or plan review inspectors within the construction industry. Offered by the International Code Council (ICC), these exams are designed with reciprocity in mind.

What does that mean? These certifications are widely recognized in jurisdictions throughout the country. They’re also respected among industry professionals. This means you’ll not only gain credibility by obtaining certification, but you’ll be able to take the exams almost anywhere (although you’ll still have to meet any other state requirements).

What Does a Fire Protection Inspector Do?

There are two types of fire protection certifications offered by the NCPCCI: 3B Fire Protection General and 3C Fire Protection Plan Review. Both offer specialized inspection services for construction projects.

Fire Protection General Inspectors assess fire safety in existing buildings, including making sure safety systems comply with all applicable standards, codes, and ordinances. These professionals also inspect and test components and systems to make sure they’ve been properly installed and are operational.

A Fire Protection Plan Review Inspector will conduct plan reviews to make sure planned systems comply with applicable standards, codes, and ordinances before construction or installation begins. 

Both types of inspectors are typically tasked with documenting findings, making recommendations to correct items that aren’t in compliance, and submitting reports.

Requirements to Become a Licensed Fire Protection Inspector

In addition to meeting education and experience requirements in your state of residence/operation, you’ll need to receive a passing score on your NCPCCI exam to obtain certification. The 3B Fire Protection General Exam consists of 50 questions covering the following topics:

  • Building Structure: 25 questions
  • Fire Protection Systems: 25 questions

The 3C Fire Protection Plan Review Exam also features 50 questions on the same topics but is broken down into 20 questions concerning Building Structure and 30 questions about Fire Protection Systems. 

You’ll have two hours to complete either of these open-book tests, and you must answer a minimum of 35 questions (70%) correctly to pass.

How to Prepare for NCPCCI Exams

Preparing for success is easy when you choose an exam prep program designed for working professionals by industry experts and educators. Look for a program that offers self-paced learning with convenient online access 24/7.

Contact RocketCert today to get on track for obtaining your Fire Protection Inspector certification.