Certification Frequently Asked Questions
- Locate a test site
- Set-up information for private testing sites
- Systems requirements for computers
- Ordering certification test vouchers
- Training proctors
- Requesting special accommodations for candidates
- Requesting replacement certificates
- Renewing your certification
Candidates interested in sitting for one of the NRF Foundation professional credentials have two options for scheduling the exam.
Public Testing Sites:
Candidates can locate a testing center and schedule a date/time for the exams using our testing partner, Castle Worldwide's online scheduling system. Choose the appropriate certification exam, click on the button for "Other Location (CASTLE Partners)" and click "Submit." You do not have to enter a voucher number. On the next registration page, you will see a drop-down box that lists all the cities/states where you can take the exam, and also select your date/time. The site is e-commerce, so candidates can pay with credit card. The cost of the certification is $80.00.
Candidates can also sit for certification exams at private testing sites across the country. These sites may offer the exams at specific, set times or may be able to accommodate a personalized reservation. The testing fee varies per site. Use our interactive map to locate a testing site, and contact the site directly for more information.
1. Complete the required paperwork. The Site Profile form identifies the main contact for testing and the proctor(s) who will administer the exams (we recommend sites have at least 2 proctors). If you are not opening your site to the public (candidates not enrolled in your program), then indicate 'not applicable' in the "Your Facility" section.
The Assessment Service Order form is essentially an agreement with us indicating that your site will comply with all the requirements necessary to administering the certification assessment and administer it according to the procedures in the manuals. This form is also the form for ordering the testing vouchers (voucher numbers are what give candidates access to the online test).
Submit the paperwork to Manager of Certification Programs. You can email, fax to: 202-737-2849, or mail to: NRF Foundation, Attn: Certification Dept., 325 7th Street NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20004. For questions, call: 202-626-8130.
2. Once the NRF Foundation receives the paperwork, all contacts will be sent a confirmation email outlining the next steps, an invoice, and proctors will be put in contact with Castle Worldwide (our testing partner). Castle Worldwide will contact your proctors directly with materials to review for the proctor training, and they will also explain the technical and system requirements for set-up. There is no software to install on your computers, but we need to make sure you have upgraded Internet browsers, etc. The proctor training is conducted via an online training module and takes approximately an hour to complete.
3. Pricing Information: There is a one-time, site set-up fee of $250, to cover proctor training and on-going IT support from CASTLE, as needed. The cost of the customer service and sales test vouchers is $55/per test; retail management and the retail business credential is $85/per test. The test vouchers are good for one year from the month issued. NRF Foundation requires payment before test vouchers are issued.
The system requirements information will be covered during the proctor training session. However, before testing your IT contact will need to run a systems requirement check on *all* computers, to make sure your pop-blockers are disabled and your Internet browser has been upgraded.
Test vouchers are only issued to approved NRF Foundation private test sites. Vouchers must be prepaid. If you are in the process of setting up as a test site, and you are ordering vouchers for the first time, please submit the Assessment Service Order and NRF Foundation will invoice you.
If you are re-ordering vouchers, please send an email to Jenny Hammock, Manager of Certification and Training Programs, and include your name, company information, the type and quantity of vouchers you'd like to order, and your purchase order (if applicable).
Once payment is received, the test vouchers will be issued via email. Test vouchers are typically issued within 2-3 days of receiving payment. The cost of the customer service and sales test vouchers is *$50/per test; retail management and the retail business credential is *$80/per test. Test vouchers are good for one year from the month issued. (*Please note: all certification voucher prices will increase by $5.00, effective September 1, 2012. Customer Service & Sales Vouchers will be $55/per; Retail Management/Retail Business: $85/per.)
Proctor training is only available to approved NRF Foundation test sites and new proctors must be approved by the NRF Foundation before training can be scheduled. The number of proctors at each site should be in proportion to the number of candidates testing (i.e. one proctor for every 10-15 candidates). To add a new or replacement proctor at your test site, send an email and please include the site name, city and state, proctor name, proctor phone number, and proctor email. NRF Foundation will notify our test partner, Castle Worldwide, of all new proctors. Castle Worldwide will contact your proctors directly with materials to review for the proctor training. Only proctors who have completed the online training module are eligible to administer the certification exams.
Before administering the certification exams, proctors should make sure they have the proctor supervisor's manual on hand. This manual reviews the steps to register students, logging-in, systems requirements and other standard procedures for testing. Proctors should also make sure they have their proctor ID numbers on hand before administering the exams. If proctors have lost/misplaced proctor ID credentials, please contact Castle Worldwide.
The NRF Foundation wishes to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not deprived of the opportunity to participate in the assessment solely because of a disability. NRF Foundation complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended, in accommodating candidates with documented disabilities who need special arrangements to take an assessment. Reasonable accommodations depend on the nature and severity of the documented disability. A particular accommodation will not be granted if it is not deemed reasonable and other suitable techniques are available.To request special accommodation, a candidate or test administrator must submit the Request Form to NRF Foundation within thirty (30) days before the assessment appointment. NRF Foundation will review it and will email a confirmation and outline the next steps. If the request is approved, the next steps include:
- Pre-register the candidate 7 days in advance of testing. Candidates can register as usual using a voucher.
- On the online registration form, the candidate should specify his/her test date. After registering, he/she will be issued a "candidate password." Please keep this password, as it is needed to log-in on the test date.
- Proctors should email a confirmation to the Manager of Certification Programs, indicating the candidate has registered, confirm the test date, and provide the voucher username/password that was used.
- NRF Foundation's Manager of Certification Programs will coordinate with CASTLE Worldwide, our testing partner, to code the candidate's test for the special accommodation.
- NRF Foundation will email the proctor a confirmation that the accommodation has been made, and provide information on how to log-in the candidate on the day of the test.
For additional questions regarding accommodations, email NRF Foundation.