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Frequently Asked Questions

Please review your emails:

Nearly 80% of the questions we get were addressed in your emails.  Check your confirmation email, your voucher code email, and welcome email.   Every email or phone call we have to take for questions that were already addressed causes delays in processing new requests and processing ID cards/certificates.  In order to focus our time on processing requests and cards for those who have read the emails and followed instructions, we may not be able to respond to questions that are already clearly answered in the emails or information below.  Thanks for your understanding.

 

When will I get my Voucher email or Welcome email:

Per the information and instructions on the Request Assessment page 1-10, requests are generally processed within 3 business days.  Once processed the voucher and welcome emails will be sent to the email provided with the request.  If you have not received these emails after 3 business days, please check your spam/junk folders.  Then reply to the Request confirmation email so that we can check the status.  If our offices are closed for holidays or other dates indicated on the Request Assessment page, then there will likely be additional delays.  These can also be delayed longer if the submitter did not follow instructions, such as submitting a jpg head photo.  Submitting pictures of driver's license or pdf files can delay or even prevent requests from being processed.   We have seen an increased issue with "Gmail" blocking these emails as spam.  Google implemented very specific requirements for anyone sending emails to Gmail accounts or those using Gmail Workspace for emails.  As a result, every sender of emails has to provide specific configurations to their email and websites to allow emails to pass through.  CSA has implemented the current format.  It is difficult to keep up with constant changes in the industry.   Contact us if you have issues. 

I get an error when entering my Voucher code:

Make sure there are no blank spaces before or after the code if you copy / past the code. Pasting usually inserts a blank space after the code, resulting in an error that the code does not apply to this candidate.  If you get an error that the code has expired or is not valid for the date selected, then you have likely waited too long to schedule or selected a date more than 60 days from submitting your request.  Vouchers are valid for 60 days and the exam must be scheduled and taken within the 60 days.

I need help scheduling an exam or I scheduled the wrong type:

If you have questions about logging into an account, finding the correct tab in Webassessor, the "Buy Now" button, where to enter the Voucher code, etc. than please review this pdf document.    It has screen shots and instructions to walk you through the process.  If you did not read instructions clearly or have scheduled an online exam when you wanted a physical proctoring center, only CSA can make this change.  First, you must cancel your appointment at least 24 hours before your scheduled time.  Then email CSA with a couple dates/times and location you would like to take the exam.  CSA staff will have to schedule the new time and location.  This can only be done during our normal business hours and not over holidays.  If you do not cancel your appointment within the allotted time you will have to submit a new request and make a new payment.  All of this must be done within your original 60 day window. 

 

I am having problems scheduling on my phone / tablet:  When scheduling you must check and accept a Terms and Conditions box.  Due to browser compatibility issues, many phones and tablets do not allow you to check this box.  Without checking the box you cannot complete the schedule process.  The only fix at this time is to use a laptop or PC with a different browser. 

It has been 3 weeks and I have not received my card/certificate:

CSA processes ID cards and certificates in batches.  We try to process them within 3 weeks.  For reasons that we have no control, the USPS typically takes 1-2 weeks to deliver the 9" x 12" manilla certificate envelopes.  We have asked USPS many times why these take longer than first-class regular mail and we hear many excuses.  We have made several suggested changes to the label format, postage, etc. trying to improve delivery times.  Many jurisdictions will accept your Passing email as evidence to process your local licenses.  If it has been a month and you still have not received the ID card/certificate, feel free to email CSA with the candidate's name and the address that the card should have been mailed to.  We can let you know the date the card was processed and mailed.   Some things candidates can do to help is: 1) Make sure to provide the correct address when submitting the request, or emailing CSA with a new address if they moved since submitting the Request.  2) Take the assessments earlier and don't wait until the deadline to submit qualifications to the jurisdiction. 

 

What exam do I need for my jurisdiction:

We cannot speak for the jurisdictions.  It is the candidate's responsibility to verify what their jurisdiction will require for the work being performed.  We have some information on our website under the Contractor Information tab that might help.  However, we cannot guarantee the links have not changed or what changes a jurisdiction may make. 

What Edition of the codes do I need for exams:

The study guide for each assessment (under the Assessment Subjects tab) will indicate what codes and editions are applicable to each assessment/exam.  This means that the assessment has been updated / evaluated to that edition.  As exams are reviewed and updated it is standard practice to incorporate code changes into the questions.  However, a candidate will not fail an exam just because of new changes.  They may miss some questions though.  Example, your jurisdiction uses the 2016 edition of NFPA 13, but the CSA exam has been updated to the 2019 edition.  CSA does not restrict what edition of the code to use during the exam, as you could use any edition.  The bigger challenge in this example is that the format of NFPA 13 changed drastically between the 2016 and 2019 editions.  Not a lot of content changed, but where the content can be found changed considerably.  Some questions may reference the code section (2019 edition) to help you find the referenced paragraph or a table.  If you are using the 2016 edition it may take more time to locate the applicable paragraph/table.  Taking up this valuable time to find the applicable section in the 2016 edition may result in failing the exam due to time limits, not necessarily the question content.  New questions will usually start off with something similar to "Effective with the 2019 edition ....".

My card has expired or is about to expire, what do I do:  

CSA cards generally expire at the end of the month three years from the passing date.  Example, if you passed an exam on April 5, 2023 the card would expire April 30, 2026.  Renewal requires retaking the test.  This is to ensure that candidates stay current with the codes and recent changes.  CSA does not charge membership or application fees, only exam fees.  Thus, the renewal fee is the exam fee for that particular exam.  Go to the Request Assessment page and submit a new request, payment, and jpg image file.  Expiration dates for jurisdiction licenses are determined by that jurisdiction. 

I want to take an online proctored exam, what do I need:

DO NOT schedule an online exam unless you have read and followed ALL instructions on the Proctoring Options page and Webcam Tips page.  Although online proctoring has some benefits, it has many limitations.  We DO NOT recommend taking online exams.  Candidates can take basic calculators into a physical testing center but must use an on-screen calculator when taking online exams.  Online exams have risks that CSA cannot control.  Due to the high-stakes nature of our exams, a specific software is required to lock-down the candidates computer and provide a video signal to the proctors.  It is very possible and a good chance that an internet blip during an exam may drop the video signal.  If this occurs, the candidate will be instructed to exit the exam and reboot the computer.  You will not lose time and you will start where you left off.  However, you will be required to wait in que again for the initial security screening of your ID, books, the room, etc.   This can take on average 15-45 minutes each time.   CSA strongly encourages candidates to take exams at a physical proctoring location whenever possible to avoid these challenges.  If you select online exams, you assume the risk that comes with it.  CSA is not liable for lost time, or lost fees to retake the exam.  

Can I take books or study guides into the exam:

This information can be found in the particular study guide for that assessment/exam.   The study guide and the Test Info page also has information on books, permanent tabs, and marking in the books. 

I scored a 79.9%, wont this work:

Unless otherwise indicated, CSA assessments require a minimum passing score of 80%.  79.9% Does not satisfy the minimum of 80%.  Here are how your customers would consider your score;  Getting an 80% means that you installed 20% of their system wrong.   Codes are already MINIMUM standards.  Thus, not only are you being held to minimum criteria, but you are also allowed to miss 20% of the criteria.  It is expected that individuals taking exams to install systems for the protection of life and property are professionals in their field and should thus be held to high standards for the trade / service they are providing.  

I am having problems setting a password:

Please review the Troubleshooting page.

I need a duplicate receipt for payment or did not get a receipt:

Receipts for payment are processed by Square and are sent to the email address provided on the Square payment page.  Often a person entered someone else's email (please check with them) or mis-typed the email.   If you still need a duplicate, send CSA an email (see contact page) and provide the date of the payment, who it was for, and whose name was on credit card.  If you forward your schedule confirmation email to us with this request it will help.  We can usually forward a receipt to you within 48 hours. 

Does CSA Offer Assessments in Spanish:

No, CSA does not offer any exams in Spanish for several reasons.  A primary reason was at the request of contractor companies.  During partnering sessions involving contractors and AHJ's this item was discussed.  To help their employees, several of the companies indicated that they offer / pay for their employees to take "English as a second language" classes at the local community college.  The contractors identified that it was essential that their employees be able to speak English well enough to communicate with the project superintendents, building/fire inspectors, and other trades on a job.  Thus, they utilized our assessments to help in validating the individual's English communication skills.  By not offering assessments in Spanish, this would be an additional incentive for the individuals to take these classes and improve their English communication.  Other companies agreed with this concept and were going to look into also paying for such classes for their employees' personal growth. 

Holiday Hours:

CSA staff get very few vacation days through the year as our limited staff works hard to keep your requests and cards processed in a timely manner.  As a result, CSA will observe and be closed during Holidays.  This includes the week of Thanksgiving and often two weeks around Christmas.  These tend to be slower times of the year for us to take advantage of this time.  Please submit your requests before or after these holiday times.   There may be delays in processing following these holidays due to the backlog of submittals while we are out.  Many testing centers are closed around the holidays (especially those associated with colleges).  Those that are open may fill up slots fast.   

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