Q: Why get certified?

A: Certification is an easy choice for any landscape company that takes pride in quality workmanship and professionalism. Certification at the company level establishes credibility and the motivation to constantly improve. By investing in employee certification, the company is involved and willing to put forth the extra effort to go above and beyond what is required to do business. The certification program can also offer companies a built-in training program. As employees study for the exam, they are being trained for job success. Landscape Industry Certified Technicians can walk away from the test with a greater sense of accomplishment, confidence and pride having proven their qualification and knowledge of the job they perform. More and more having a Landscape Industry Certified Technician on staff or on site is becoming a requirement for many commercial and municipal jobs. And, the public is looking for a way to distinguish one landscaping company from another.
Q: Who is eligible for testing?

A: Anyone is eligible to take the exam, but it is strongly recommended that the applicant have a minimum of 2,000 hours work experience.
Q: What can I expect on test day?

A: We won't lie; test day is a long day! You should plan to arrive for check-in around 6:00am (specific check-in times are assigned to each candidate). We start with test orientation at 6:30, which is your chance to ask any last questions about procedures, schedules, test site map, etc. Testing begins promptly at 7:00am and goes until 6:05pm, but please know that you will not be testing for 11 hours straight! We break for a long lunch and you have 10 minutes between each time period to get to your next test station. Test schedules are created on a first-come, first-served basis, so the higher your test ID number, the more likely it is that you will have some vacant periods during which you'll have to wait throughout the day. This is unavoidable with the large test that we have here in Ohio, so we ask for your patience with the hectic schedule on test day. Once you have completed all of your test problems, you are free to go.

The written exams consist of timed, multiple choice questions which are offered several times throughout the year. As a first time test taker you are allotted 2.5 hours to complete your written tests. The hands-on portion is a series of timed, hands-on tasks that are monitored by a judge and requires the applicant to perform a variety of landscape functions. At the end of each timed problem applicants rotate to the next station.
Q: How do I prepare for the test? Is there study material?

A: This is a self-study exam and certification; however, recommended training materials are available for purchase. There is a Landscape Training Manual for Installation, Irrigation and Maintenance technicians and each is available in English and Spanish. In purchasing the manual, you have more than 20 training videos and e-learning modules that are accessible for your use online, at any time, through a unique registration code included in each book. You can download the study manual order form here: Training Manual Order Form.

Also, once you register for a test, you will receive a copy of the test book. This book outlines the written tests and is the exact test for the hands-on problems. For each test problem the test book references specific chapters in the Landscape Training Manuals to study.

Other study ideas: Set up individual test problems at work or in your backyard. Do the problem from start to finish, practicing within the allotted time. Practice with someone else who is knowledgeable in that area and have him/her critique your work. If you do not have a background for a particular test problem, seek out an expert to help you. Study in groups. Ask around your area to see who else is interested in taking the test and set up time to review the material with each other. Use your own experience. Most candidates have a number of years of on-the-job experience and training. While that won't give you the answers, it's a solid start in the right direction.
Q: Can I be certified in more than one specialty designation?

A: Yes, you can obtain certification in as many of the five specialty designations as you'd like. You select one designation the first time you register for the test, as there is only enough time in your first test day for the problems associated with one designation. After that, however, whether you've obtained your first certification specialty or have a few problems to retake, you can register for additional designations.
Q: What happens if I don't show up on the day of the test?

A: By the time test days arrives, we have prepared for everyone who registered for the test. This includes creating the schedule for each individual registered, recruiting all the judges and volunteers, purchasing food, beverages and all the tools, materials and supplies needed for the test. So unfortunately, failure to show up for the test will result in forfeiture of your test fee. We do recognize, however, that emergencies happen. In the case of an emergency, please notify us as soon as possible and we will work things out with you.
Q: Are testing accommodations available?

A: Testing accommodations are available as needed. Please provide official documentation regarding the disability and the respective accommodation(s) required at the time of registration. With appropriate documentation, candidates are allowed extra time for the written exam and to have the information read to them, as outlined in an IEP. For the hands-on component, the directions can be read to the candidate. However, the hands-on component demonstrates the physical ability to perform the task given. No extra time is allowed for completing the stations and tasks involved.
Q: My employees speak Spanish. Is any of the material in Spanish?

A: Yes, the written tests and the hands-on test instructions are available in Spanish. Additionally, each of the study manuals is available in Spanish. You can download the order form here: Training Manual Order Form.
Q: Do I need to bring anything with me to test?

A: You must present a current driver's license or other valid U.S.-issued photo ID for identification purposes on the day of registration for both the written and hands-on test. All of the tools and materials needed to test are provided for you on site, although you are welcome to bring your own with you if preferred. You may bring your own PPE's as well, such as gloves and eye and ear protection.
Q: What is the dress requirement?

A: The Landscape Industry Certified Technician test site is considered by international test guidelines to be an OSHA job site. Candidates are required to wear hard-soled work boots (nylon or canvas-type boots are not allowed) and long pants. All candidates are provided with a t-shirt upon arrival, which must be worn for the test.
Q: When and how will I get test results?

A: Test results are sent via U.S. Mail within one month of the date of the test. Please note, test results and all test communications are sent to candidates' home addresses.
Q: What is a passing score and what if I do not pass every test?

A: In order to become a Landscape Industry Certified Technician – Exterior, all written tests and hands-on problems must be passed with a score of 70% or higher. Any test problem you do not pass may be retaken during the next scheduled test or at another test location. (Additional fees and registration will be required.) You do not have to retake any test problems you successfully complete; only those on which you scored below 70%.
Q: How do I appeal a score for a hands-on test?

A: Landscape Industry Certified Technician candidates have 30 days from receipt of their test results to appeal a score. To make an appeal, the candidate must submit, in writing, the reason for the appeal. Appeals will be reviewed by the Ohio Landscape Industry Certified Technician Committee Chair, the Test Designation Chair and the Judging Committee Chair/Test Administrator. Appeals will be reviewed and decisions communicated within 90 days of the date of the appeal. Candidates will be notified by phone or in writing once a decision is made. The decision of the Ohio appeals review committee is final. The International Certification Council (ICC) is available to consult with the Ohio appeals review committee but the ICC will not accept nor review candidate appeals.
Q: How long do my scores stay valid while I'm trying to achieve certification?

A: If more than three consecutive years elapse since an attempt was made to test or retest, your scores are invalid and you must retake all test problems.
Q: Once I earn my certification, how do I maintain it?

A: To remain in good-standing, you must re-certify every two years by reporting 24 continuing education units (CEUs) to NALP. It is your responsibility to maintain a record of your re-certification credits and submit them to NALP. For additional information or for the CEU submission form, see the Recertification page.