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Sponsor an NFI Review Course/Exam

How to Sponsor an NFI Review Course and Exam
(This section is for HPBA affiliates, hearth product manufacturers, distributors and related organizations on how to host an NFI Review Course and Exam event)

A major element of NFI's Certification program is sponsored certification events. NFI recognizes approved sponsors of NFI as NFI Partners. Each year scores of NFI Partners work with NFI to organize the NFI Review Course and Exam for thousands of hearth professionals across the country. This allows the exam sponsors to provide a crucial service to the hearth professionals in their area and build long-lasting, professional relationships.

There are a number of factors that NFI considers before recognizing an organization as an NFI Partner. If your organization is interested in becoming an NFI Partner, please contact us at 703-524-8030.

Log in to NFI Partner Pages

What To Know

Know Your Event's Location
Your review course and exam program should:

  1. Comfortably accommodate the candidates you anticipate (chairs, tables, etc...)
  2. Be cost-efficient for your program's budget
  3. Be in a suitable location (easy to locate and central to your participants)
  4. Be conducive for taking an exam
  5. Have the necessary equipment (Av screen, LCD projector, etc...)

Know Your Event's Timing
The scheduled date of your event should NOT:

  1. Be in competition with other events nearby
  2. Be during the busy season for the hearth industry (typically)

Know Your Event's Promotion

  1. NFI will post your event online at for industry professionals to find (if your event is closed to persons outside of your organization it will be noted on the online listing
  2. Plan on promoting your event several months prior to the scheduled date to ensure a strong attendance
  3. If you need help with your promotion, please contact us. We'll be glad to help

Know Your Event's Instructor
Designate the instructors(s) who will teach the NFI Review Course(s). The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation has a list of Available Instructors which can be accessed on the NFI Partner pages. While it is not required that you use an instructor from the list, it is highly recommended.
Your NFI Review Course Instructor MUST:

  1. Be NFI Certified in the category that they are teaching
  2. Be familiar with the NFI Review course if approved, HPBEF will send your instructor(s) a copy of the appropriate NFI Review Course PowerPoint Presentation; the presentation must be learned thoroughly in order to teach the content effectively.
  3. Upon request NFI will send your approved instructor an official NFI Instructor polo shirt

Know Your Event's Exam Proctor
NFI places a great deal of importance on the exam proctor. All proctors must be pre-approved by NFI. To be approved, the exam proctor must:

  1. Be unfamiliar with hearth industry technical issues
  2. Be a trusted person of a high level of integrity
  3. Sign the NFI Proctor Pledge
  4. Be able to follow instructions and complete the necessary paperwork

The exam proctor carries a great deal of responsibility, including but not limited to:

  1. Maintaining the security of the exams from the time they are received in the mail to the time they are shipped back to NFI
  2. Screening examinees before test time (checking ID's for proper documentation, signing in examinees)
  3. Instructing the examinees on the proper procedures of examination (when and where to open the exam, how to fill in their name and personal information, how to fill in exam answer sheets, keeping the time, various exam policies, etc...)
  4. Ensuring the utmost integrity of the examination process

Know Your Event's Administration
Please provide NFI ALL of your event's information. The more we know, the better we can assist you. Please complete the NFI Exam Sponsor Information Form here.

Here are the issues you should be aware of:

  1. Candidate registration
    NFI has a new online exam candidate registration system. You must enter all events and candidates online.
  2. Reference Manual(s)
    1. HPBEF will process manual orders for new candidates within 4 business days of receiving the online registration.
    2. All manuals are shipped using USPS and FedEx. Unless Expedited or Rush shipping is specified, materials are shipped ground services.
    3. Rush shipping is $40.00 USD.
  3. Review Course and Exam Cancellations
    1. Course and exam candidatwes must cancel at least 24 hours in advance. notice of cancellation should be in writing, emails are acceptable.
    2. NO shows may not be eligible for refunds.
  4. Pricing
    Set the cost for your exam candidates. Costs vary by region and each sponsor has its own expenses to consider. NFI charges your organization a special NFI Partner rate but you will probably need to add on extra to cover your administration charges. Please contact us to discuss the NFI Partner rate and to discuss recommendations for your pricing.
  5. Exam shipment
    1. NFI will ship the exams for your event directly to the designated proctor
    2. We will include return postage
    3. Exams should be shipped back IMMEDIATELY after the exams are completed
  6. Photos
    1. The NFI ID card is an important part of certified materials package. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization to take proper pictures of the examinees in a digital format and provide them to NFI in a timely manner.
    2. Pictures can be sent to NFI on disk by overnight mail, via email ( quantities of 5), or preferably, they can be uploaded to the online registration system.
    3. There is no penalty for failing to take pictures of examinees, however, it is standard practice and your exam candidates will most likely be expecting a photo ID Card. If no pictures are provided to NFI, succesful candidates will receive a blank ID Card.
  7. Final invoicing
    NFI will invoice your organization at the discounted NFI Partner rate after your event is completed.


NFI will send out all exam results within 3-4 weeks of examination. All successful candidates will be added to the certified specialist search on the website.