When it comes to certification exams, oftentimes standards organizations limit exam candidates from bringing any outside materials to their testing appointment. Fortunately for solar professionals, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) actually does allow its applicants to bring their personal copies of the NEC Codebook (that is, the National Electric Code) to their PV Installation Professional computer-based exam.
For reference, the PV Installation Professional exam covers a wide range of solar installation topics that are mandated through the NABCEP Solar Installation Job Task Analysis. In other words, candidates are tested on their knowledge of the NABCEP standards. These standards often reference outside resources, such as the National Electric Code. It can seem pretty overwhelming to learn all of the NABCEP guidelines as well as the code requirements, so thankfully, NABCEP allows candidates to have their NEC codebook with them during the exam.
If you’re fairly new to the solar certification process, please visit our page on Qualifying for the NABCEP Certification to get a better idea of what training and work experience requirements are needed. If you’re familiar with the NABCEP Certification Handbook and eligibility requirements, keep reading for more information about using the NEC Codebook during your NABCEP exam.
How will NABCEP prevent cheating?
Proctors at Scantron (formerly called Castle Worldwide), where the NABCEP Certification exams are administered, will inspect NEC codebooks being brought into the testing environment to ensure that they follow NABCEP’s new NEC Codebook Requirements.
Which version of the NEC Codebook do I need?
Interestingly, codebooks from any year may be used. However, it’s important to note that the 2018 PV Installation Professional exam is based on the 2017 NEC. If you’re going to bring a codebook with you, you should bring the 2017 NEC codebook for best results!
Does this mean that I need to buy the NEC Codebook?
Actually, no. If you own a copy of the NEC, then you are able to bring it with you to your testing session. However, if you do not own a copy of the NEC, NABCEP and Scantron will provide a PDF version of the 2017 NEC Codebook to you!
What happens if I am taking the paper-and-pencil format of the PVIP exam?
Anyone taking the PV Installation Professional (PVIP) exam will still have to 2017 NEC Codebook provided to them during the exam, so they will not be able to bring their own copy.
We think it’s really great news that NABCEP not only lets you bring your personal copy of the NEC Codebook to your exam but that they also provide candidates with a PDF version if an applicant doesn’t already own one. Either way, NABCEP is ensuring that its exam applicants have the supplemental information they need, and that is respectable.
Don’t be fooled, however, into thinking that all the answers to the exam will be in the NEC codebook! Having this resource doesn’t excuse you from meeting the education requirements or learning the NABCEP standards. After all, NABCEP and NEC are separate entities, so NABCEP’s standards will not be in the NEC codebook.
If you’re ready to begin satisfying the NABCEP Training Requirements, start with Everblue’s NABCEP PV Installation Professional program, which can be taken 100% online or partially in person. Give us a call at (800) 460-2575 if you have any other questions about NABCEP Certification eligibility or training needs!