Test Center Certification: Initial Certification

Congratulations on your decision to apply for NCTA Test Center Certification (TCC). Attaining certification shows your commitment to testing integrity and the highest standards of quality and performance in the field of collegiate test administration.

Collegiate test centers that earn NCTA Test Center Certification provide evidence during the certification process that their test center upholds NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines. NCTA-Certified Test Centers exceed the expectations of examinees, students, faculty, staff and vendor partners. 

Embarking on this process involves a commitment on your part, as well as from your staff and supervisor. In addition to completing the application you will also need to provide documentation, in the form of Appendices, which document your test center’s policies and processes. Crafting, reviewing, editing and finalizing these Appendices takes time, which is why it is important for you to have the support of your staff and supervisor before taking on this project.

The certification process will help a test center improve and enhance the assessment experience of the institution’s students and other test-takers, as well as contribute to the professional development of the testing staff. NCTA will publicly recognize college and university test centers which earn the distinction of being certified. This is a multi-phase process and it takes time to get through all the steps.
Certification Process Steps

  1. Read the Selected Standards for Certification and application checklist (see Resources page)
  2. Each contact person listed on the application must be a member of NCTA.
  3. Each contact person listed on the application must subscribe to the NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines.
  4. Review and complete the application and all appendices.
  5. When ready to submit your file, send an email to [email protected].
  6. The Test Center Certification Committee’s Communications Coordinator will contact you with instructions on uploading your completed file/documents.
  7. If paperwork is complete, the Test Center Certification Committee’s Vice Chair for Initial Certification will assign an Advisor. If your materials are not complete, they will be returned to you for revision and resubmission.
  8. Work with your Advisor to review and edit the application and appendices as needed.
  9. Your Advisor will send your completed application and appendices to the appropriate Vice Chair, who then sends your materials to two Evaluators.
  10. Two Evaluators will review and send feedback.
  11. If revisions are needed, you will work on improvements and send the documents back to your Advisor. If revisions are not needed, you will move onto the next step.
  12. Submit your test center certification fee to NCTA,
    1. $200 for initial certification
    2. $100 for recertification
  13. You will select two (2) colleagues from your school for a Site Visit. They will submit their report and findings to the Site Visit & Certification Coordinator.
  14. Once the site visit is successfully completed and your fee is processed, your site will be recommended to the NCTA Governing Council for certification.
  15. An announcement will be made via the NCTA Listserv and on the NCTA website.

The time it takes to become certified varies from school to school. However, the application and appendices must ALL be submitted at once. Failure to do so will result in the withdrawal of your application. The whole certification process should not take longer than six months.

Reasons Why Applications/Materials May Be Rejected

1)    The application was not complete

2)    All appendices were not submitted

Sample Appendices are available for your review on the Resources page

NCTA Test Center Certification is valid for five (5) years. Certified test centers are announced on the NCTA listserv. In addition, the center receives a large plaque suitable for display, the right to use the certified center logo on its website and other promotional materials, and a sample press release to announce this accomplishment. The Test Center Certification Committee’s Recertification Vice-Chair will initiate the Recertification process six months prior to the expiration of your certification period.

If you have any questions about certification, please contact [email protected]