The Division of Personnel Standards and Education

​The Division of Personnel Standards and Education (DPSE) is responsible for assisting local governments in improving the levels of education and training standards for local firefighters.

This division manages a program of training and certification for over 50,000 firefighters in Illinois. The program involves developing standards, utilizing the input of SCAC Committee members, for training, testing and certifying at all levels including: firefighting, fire prevention, public education, fire investigation, fire department management and specialties including apparatus driver, airport firefighter, hazardous materials and rescue.

The Division of Personnel Standards and Education also administers the Claims for Reimbursement program for firefighter training costs. The DPSE Web Access Program will give fire departments access to our Personnel Standards and Education system. They will be able to update contact information and rosters. Fire Departments are able to search and request the following: Course Completion Rosters, Request for Examinations and Applications for Certification. Reports will be available for Firefighter Courses and Classes.

 Contact the Division of Personnel, Standards, and Education

Scheduling Notice: 

Pearson VUE owned and operated sites work to their business hours with the following holidays - New Year's Day; Memorial Day; Labor Day; Christmas Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Independence Day and Thanksgiving. 

For 3rd Party sites they have the freedom to determine their own hours and days of operation. This is particularly relevant to Colleges and Educational establishments that tend to close over the student holiday period. 

Due to such closures, test-takers should plan ahead accordingly.

New Computer Based Testing

On June 1st, 2018, twenty-five state written examinations will be available to be challenged through a new, computer based, testing process.  As certification programs are revised to the updated NFPA Standards, more examinations will become available.

Examinations Available:

  • Basic Operations Firefighter Complete, Mod A, Mod B and Mod C
  • Advanced Technician Firefighter Complete, Mod A, Mod B
  • Company Fire Officer, Advanced Fire Officer
  • Airport Firefighter, Fire Investigator
  • Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Service Vehicle Operator
  • Hazardous Materials Operations and Technician
  • Instructor I, II and III
  • Public Fire Life Safety Educator I, Fire Inspector II, Youth Firesetter
  • Rope Operations and Technician
  • Trench Operations and Technician

Registration for computer based exams will begin June 1 with exam offerings at Pearson VUE test centers located throughout the state.   Paper-and-pencil testing will continue to be offered initially but will eventually be phased out within 3 years.  More detailed information regarding this process will be released at a later date.

A Request for Examination must be submitted to the DPSE to approve the individual to challenge an examination.  This process will not change.  Once the individual is approved by DPSE, Pearson Vue is notified.  The individual will then be able to schedule the test at a Pearson Vue site.  Individuals will be able to choose a specific date and time to schedule their exam.  Web scheduling will be available for candidates 24/7.  Email confirmations will be sent to candidates when they schedule, cancel, or reschedule an exam.  Pearson Vue website address is

OSFM will pay 100% of the exam fee for a candidate's first scheduled test attempt at a Pearson VUE test center (includes pass, fail, and no-show).  All exam retakes at a Pearson VUE test center will be $59, payable by the candidate or fire department, as applicable.  Exam scores will be presented to candidates immediately following the exam.

Two (2) forms of identification are required at the testing center.  One government issued, photo- and signature-bearing ID (passport, driver's license, etc.) and one alternate ID (for example, a credit card)

Individuals are provided with one exam authorization.  Individuals must be reauthorized for each exam retake attempt by OSFM in the event that they fail the exam (this is the current Request for Exam process.)  Individuals may cancel or reschedule their exam no later than 24 hours before their reservation date and time or else they will forfeit their test fee.

Firefighter Web Access Portal

All Illinois firefighters who are currently employed by an Illinois fire department have the capability to register and view their records. In addition to the DPSE WebAccess portal was the development of the Public Event Calendar. This calendar lists all public course availability and regional examinations as well as training information for their respective fire departments.

The Web Access Portal is here


State Certification Advisory Committees

The DPSE has adopted a new State Certification Advisory Committee (SCAC) and guidelines to ensure that certifications are revised and updated to a current NFPA Standard. A majority of the certification programs have been submitted to the Fire Advisory Commission and State Fire Marshal for approval. Once approval is documented, the certification program update/revision changes must be submitted to revise the Administrative Rules governing the certifications. The Administrative Rule changes can be a prolonged process. Our goal is to notify the Fire Service of the upcoming changes by utilizing the FD Mail and website.

The purpose of the SCAC is to review and recommend published reference books and instructor outlines. With this change, an Instructor Reference Manual will no longer be developed for distribution. In addition to this change, the DPSE will no longer accept, review or approve end of course examinations as equivalent for the state written examination.

More SCAC Committee details are here

New Firefighter Certification Rules

Many months ago the Division of Personnel Standards and Education (DPSE), with the assistance of the State Certification Advisory Committee (SCAC), embarked on an effort to update the administrative rules that govern the firefighter certification program in the State of Illinois. These new rules were recently adopted by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and took effect in August, 2017.

The new rules are meant to more closely align Illinois certification regulations with their respective National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards and Job Performance Requirements. These changes include updated NFPA Standard editions, examinations, certifications and requirements.

The updated rules can be found here