Where does the candidate start?

  • The candidate must:
    • Select their desired exam date from the exam schedule. The exam must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the preferred exam date.
    • Determine and secure the preferred location and proctoring administration.
    • Complete and save the exam application.
    • Email the completed digital version to certification@apwa.org.
  • APWA will confirm receipt of the application and initiate discussions with the proctor to ensure they are trained and prepared and software is loaded.
  • The candidate and proctor will be notified of the specifics of the schedule within 14 days of the scheduled exam date.

Where can the candidate take the exam?

Place of Employment
  • The candidate has the option to take the exam at their place of employment with an in-person proctor.
  • The candidate is required to identify their exam proctor when completing their exam application form.
  • The proctor must:
    • Not have a vested interest in the candidate’s passing the exam (e.g., immediate supervisor or any other individual who may benefit from the candidate’s passing the exam). The proctor could be a manager from another department, a representative from Human Resources or any other non-vested individual that will comply with the terms of the proctoring agreement.
    • Be available and be able to remain in the room for the duration of the exam.
    • Agree to abide by, sign, and return the proctor agreement at least 7 business days prior to the date of the exam. (Information including the proctor agreement will be sent by APWA to the proctor prior to the scheduled exam date.)
  • Change of proctors must be submitted to certification@apwa.org at least 2 business days prior to the scheduled exam date and the requested substitution approved prior to the substitution being allowed.
  • If the candidate is unable to acquire a proctor from their place of employment, they can investigate the testing center options below. If they cannot find a proctor via either option, they can contact us at certification@apwa.org or (800) 848-2792 (Option 2 Education & Credentialing).
Testing Center

The candidate can choose a testing center in their area to proctor the exam.

  • APWA does not have a formal relationship with any testing centers; the candidate can use the National College Testing Association (NCTA) testing center locator to assist in locating a testing center in their area.
  • The candidate must identify their preferred testing center on their exam application and we will confirm compatibility with the Questionmark software used to administer APWA certification exams.
  • Individual testing centers may have additional fees associated with proctoring the exam. These fees and the scheduling of the exam are the responsibility of the candidate.

What are the responsibilities of the proctor?

APWA will email full details prior to the exam. In summary, prior to the exam it is the proctor’s responsibility to:

  • Read, sign, and return the proctoring agreement at least 7 business days prior to the testing date.
  • Ensure exam instructions are received in advance of the exam, and to contact APWA if the password is not received 10-14 days prior to the testing date.
  • Ensure the candidate has a designated space free from distractions to complete the exam and that the device used meets the minimum computer requirements.
  • Download Questionmark Secure to the candidate’s computer and work with IT to resolve any issues prior to the exam date (full download instructions will be provided by APWA.)
  • The designated proctor must remain present during the exam to enter passwords and monitor the candidate during testing.

During the exam it is the proctor’s responsibility to:

  • Administer the exam.
    • Ensure the candidate can login and successfully access the exam via the Questionmark software.
    • Ensure that the exam location is free of outside distractions and the candidate will have no disturbances or interruptions.
  • Ensure compliance to examination rules and report any incidents.
    • Refrain from helping regarding the interpretation of question content that the candidate may find unclear.
    • Ensure there is no copying of questions in part or whole. Report immediately to APWA any attempt to copy the questions.
    • Ensure the candidate has not brought any outside materials (including the content outline or other reference materials), a cell phone, or paper into the testing room/area.
    • A whiteboard and calculator are embedded in the exam template for candidate use. There should not be access to any image-capturing device in the testing room/area.
    • The proctor may provide scratch paper if needed and all used scratch paper must be destroyed after the exam.
    • The proctor must remain in the room for the duration of the exam and/or have visual contact with the candidate to ensure that no outside materials are used, nor any nefarious behavior is witnessed.
    • Restroom breaks are not allowed unless it is an emergency. No materials are allowed in their possession during the break. The candidate should be reminded that the exam is timed, and the clock does not stop running if they walk away from the online exam.
    • Ensure the candidate does not have access to a phone at any time during exam administration.
    • If any issue or incident occurs, the proctor should immediately contact APWA and submit an incident report.

After the candidate has completed the exam, it is the proctor’s responsibility to ensure that the candidate has logged off completely.

What are the responsibilities of the candidate?

APWA will email full details prior to the exam. In summary, prior to the exam it is the candidate’s responsibility to:

  • Ensure that all information on the exam application is correct (such as email address, proctor’s name, etc.) and that it is submitted by the postmark deadline for the desired testing block.
  • Ensure exam instructions are received (by candidate and proctor) approximately 10–14 days in advance of the exam date.
  • Ensure that the proctor has received and followed all instructions sent to them by APWA.

During the exam, the candidate’s responsibilities include:

  • Do not ask the proctor to explain or provide information regarding the interpretation of question content.
  • Do not copy any questions, in part or whole.
  • Do not bring the content outline or any other outside materials, including scratch paper, into the testing area. The candidate may bring in a silent, non-programmable, solar-powered calculator (the candidate may not use a cell phone as a calculator).
  • Do not bring a cell phone or any other image-capturing device into the testing room/area. The candidate is not allowed to have access to a phone at any time during exam administration.
  • Manage their exam time appropriately. The candidate is not allowed to make phone calls. The exam is timed and the clock does not stop running. There is a 3.5- to 4-hour time limit for the certification exam based on type.

How will the candidate receive their password?

  • The proctor and candidate each will be sent a confirmation message including the appropriate instructions via email approximately 10–14 days prior to the scheduled exam date.
  • Proctor passwords are provided via phone upon verification at the time the exam is to begin.
  • Confirmation messages will be sent to the candidate and proctor’s email address as listed in their exam application.
  • It is the responsibility of each candidate and proctor to ensure the email address listed on the exam application form is current and correct.

What if there are problems on the day of the exam?

  • If there are problems the day of the exam, the candidate or proctor should first contact certification@apwa.org.
  • The candidate or proctor can also reach out to the certification team at (800) 848-2792 (Option 2 Education & Credentialing).
  • Calls will be answered Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 pm Central time.

What happens when the exam is finished?

  • The candidate will receive a notification after they submit their answers indicating the initial results from the examination.
  • APWA will send a formal notification of the exam results within 14 business days of the end of the testing period.
  • If the candidate passed, congratulations! They will be provided information on how to share their accomplishments and the requirements to maintain their certification.
  • If they did not pass, they will be sent their exam results including a coaching report indicating how they performed in each domain. Accompanying this will also be suggested areas to focus additional preparation.
  • The candidate allowed to retake the examination if they are still within their eligibility period. A new exam application and fee are required.