The Division of Personnel Standards and Education

About the Division

The Division of Personnel Standards and Education (DPSE) is responsible for promoting, encouraging and assisting local governments in improving the levels of education and training standards for local firefighters.  DPSE is responsible for the standardization and enhancement in the levels of education and training for firefighters and professionals in Illinois with the highest priorities placed on safety and career advancement.  DPSE operates under the mandate of the Illinois Fire Protection Training Act (50 ILCS 740), which provides for the promotion of standards to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. While this program is strictly voluntary, the OSFM highly encourages local governments to adopt and take part in our firefighter certification programs.

Contact the Division of Personnel Standards and Education

Tutorials and training videos

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 accordingly.

Computer Based Testing

As of June 1, 2018, twenty-five state written examinations became available to be challenged through a 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 Operations Firefighter Complete, Mod A, Mod B and Mod C
  • 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

The Division of Personnel Standards and Education (DPSE) has partnered with Pearson VUE testing centers, who has over 80 locations throughout the state of Illinois with testing centers also available in neighboring states.   The traditional paper-and-pencil testing will continue to be offered initially but will eventually be phased out.  More detailed information regarding this process will be released at a later date.

How to schedule a computer-based exam:

  • The Request for Examination must be submitted to DPSE by the Fire Chief or Training Officer, or other such authorized individual. 
  • As always, a Request for Examination must first be submitted for approval to the DPSE through the OSFM portal.    The form should be marked "computer-based test" and a date entered in the date field.  The date represents the first day that the individual will be permitted to challenge the exam.  This date also marks the first day of a 45-day window in which the individual must complete their exam.  When submitting for a computer-based exam, it must be marked by selecting the appropriate reference material utilized for the course so the candidate receives the correct examination.
    Important - prior to submitting a Request for Examination, the individual must be registered for the OSFM portal or the request will be denied.
  • Approval is a manual process by DPSE staff and are generally processed within 1-2 business days.  
    Once approved, Pearson Vue is notified, and they will email the individual with instructions for registration and scheduling their exam.
  • The individual will then be able to personally schedule their test at a Pearson Vue site:  
    Individual will select a date and time for exam.
    • Web scheduling is available 24/7. 
    • Pearson Vue emails confirmations to candidates when they schedule, cancel, or reschedule an exam.
    • Pearson Vue website address is https://home.pearsonvue.com

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 status (pass or fail) will be presented to candidates immediately following the exam, within 24 hours the candidate may view their test score in the OSFM portal.

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 by OSFM for each exam retake attempt (this is the current Request for Exam process).  Individuals may cancel or reschedule their exam no later than 48 hours before their reservation date and time or else they will forfeit their test fee.