PE&RS September 2014 - page 824

September 2014
What types of certification does ASPRS offer?
ASPRS offers 3 different types of certification in 3 different
areas. The oldest is the professional certification. Initially
the program only has a Certified Photogrammetric program
under which everyone was certified. In 1992 professional
certification was expanded to include Certified Mapping
Scientist - Remote Sensing and Certified Mapping
Scientist - GIS/LIS. In order to acknowledge the technician
within our profession, ASPRS developed the Technician
Certification program in the 3 areas, namely photogramme-
try, remote sensing, and GIS/LIS. Finally, ASPRS developed
a Provisional Certification program for graduating students.
The student can select either professional certification or
technician certification in any of the 3 specialization areas.
The provisional certification program has recently been
renamed as the Geospatial Intern Program. Incidentally,
this intern program is consistent with other licensing allied
professionals such as engineers and surveyors.
What are the requirements for each?
The specific requirements for certification can be found
at the ASPRS Certification Program web page: http://
and-Recertification-Guidelines.html. In general, for
professional certification the applicant needs to have 6
years of professional experience acceptable to the peer
review panel and outlined in the guidelines document.
Educational experience is also accepted but only 1/2 year
for a bachelors degree, 1/2 year for a masters degree and
1/2 year for a PhD. The candidate must declare compliance
to the ASPRS Code of Ethics and answer a set of questions
on the application page. Additionally, the applicant needs
4 letters of recommendations from individuals who are
familiar with the applicants abilities in the areas being
certified. The application package is then forwarded
onto the specialization peer committee who evaluates
the submission. Once approved by the peer group, the
applicant then needs to pass a written exam. Individuals
looking at certification must recognize that the recertifi-
cation requirements are much different than the initial
certification process. The newly certified begin the process
of documenting continuing professional development hours
(PDH) required for recertification. A minimum of 100
PDHs are required for recertification. These should only
show those items the applicant has completed in the 5
years since the last certification.
Technician certification is a little different. Here, the
applicant must have 3 years of experience, at least 2
of which must be in the specialization area. As for the
professional, the candidate must include 4 letters of
reference along with a statement indicating support of the
ASPRS Code of Ethics. Once the application is completed
the entire package is sent to the peer group for review. If
approved the applicant is required to pass a written exam.
Technician certification is valid for 3 years and the certi-
fied individual needs to maintain a record of continuing
education during the certification time frame. A minimum
of 60 PDHs are required for technician certification.
The Geospatial Intern Program is different in that
the applicant does not have the professional experience
needed for certification. The applicant must be in their last
semester in school when the application is made. One letter
of recommendation from the student’s advisor or other
professor familiar with the candidate’s educational program
is required along with college transcripts. The candidate
must have completed 2 courses in the spatial sciences. The
completed application is then sent to the peer group for
review and when approved the student must pass a written
exam. This is the same type of exam administered to the
professionals and technicians. The applicant for professional
certification has 10 years to accumulate the 6 years of
experience while those going for technical certification have
5 years to obtain the 3 additional years of experience. There
is no recertification for the Geospatial Intern Program.
Applicants should be aware that the application is only
valid for one year so if it has not been approved within
that timeframe then the whole process needs to be started
again. Usually these delay are due to the references not
completing and sending in their reference forms. ASPRS
will contact the applicant after 30 day or so to let them
know the application is incomplete. After that, it is the
applicants responsibility to contact ASPRS periodically
through the review process. If the applicant has a problem
with a particular reference, find another reference and let
ASPRS know about the change.
How long is the exam? Are applicants allowed
For the professional certification, the exam is 4 hours long.
It consists of 100 multiple choice questions, some of which
may involve calculations. The test taker should bring a
calculator but are not allowed to bring any other electronic
devices like phones, notebooks, etc. into the exam room.
reference is allowed for the exam.
The technician certification exam is 2 hours long and
contains 50 multiple choice questions, again some of which
may involve calculations. The other criteria are identical
to that of the professional exam.
Can someone be certified in more than one area at the
same time?
An individual can be certified in more than one area
of specialization at a time. Assume that an individual
is applying for certification as a Professional Mapping
Scientist - Remote Sensing and a Professional Mapping
Scientist - GIS/LIS at the same time. They must submit
two different applications with different references and
pay two different fees. The references may be the same
individuals but they have to submit 2 different forms.
Once the two submissions have been approved, the appli-
cant needs only to pass one exam. In this case the exam
consists of 150 questions with a 6 hour allotted time frame.
Still only one bound reference is allowed.
What types of questions are covered on the exam? (for
addition reference, insert exam breakdown charts here)
The exam is a general exam designed to measure what
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