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  Fire Department Certification

The Division of Personnel Standards and Education

The Division of Personnel Standards and Education (PS&E) is responsible for assisting local governments in improving the levels of education and training standards for local firefighters.


This division manages a program of training and certification for over 50,000 firefighters in Illinois. The program involves developing standards, utilizing the input of SCAC Committee members, for training, testing and certifying at all levels including: firefighting, fire prevention, public education, fire investigation, fire department management and specialties including apparatus driver, airport firefighter, hazardous materials and rescue.


The Division of Personnel Standards and Education also administers the Claims for Reimbursement program for firefighter training costs. The PSE Web Access Program will give fire departments access to our Personnel Standards and Education system. They will be able to update contact information and rosters. Fire Departments are able to search and request the following: Course Completion Rosters, Request for Examinations and Applications for Certification. Reports will be available for Firefighter Courses and Classes.


For more information about the program, please call (217) 782-4542 or Email the Division of Personnel Standards and Education

Certification Testing Notice

The OSFM requires separate certification testing after taking certain courses.  Some have wondereded why this is necessary.

 Here is an explainer

Notice regarding recent changes to the PS&E Web Access Program

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has developed a new Division of Personnel Standards and Education’s (DPSE) WebAccess site that is utilized to participate with the certification program. The new site was implemented Tuesday, June 2, 2015.


The new site allows the capability for all Illinois firefighters, who are employed by a fire department, to create their own User ID and Password to access their individual records.


An item of importance; Fire Chiefs, have the capability to designate "permissions" for selected members on your department. "Permissions" allow the individual access to the fire department records. For Example: Update roster, submit for a course completion, apply for a certification, schedule a test date, submit for new course approval, etc.


If no additional permissions are granted, the firefighter will still be able to create their own account, view their own individual records and print exam results and certificates only.


Link for PSE Web Access:


The FD e-mail account will remain the same and will continue to be utilized to communicate important information from the OSFM. The logon and password for the FD e-mail account will not change.


A department is now able to change the fire chief by utilizing the PSE WebAccess. A menu item has been added to allow for this capability. A formal notification is no longer required to be submitted to the Office.


The DPSE has adopted a new State Certification Advisory Committee (SCAC) and guidelines to ensure that certifications are revised and updated to a current NFPA Standard. A majority of the certification programs have been submitted to the Fire Advisory Commission and State Fire Marshal for approval. Once approval is documented, the certification program update/revision changes must be submitted to revise the Administrative Rules governing the certifications. The Administrative Rule changes can be a prolonged process. Our goal is to notify the Fire Service of the upcoming changes by utilizing the FD Mail and website.


The purpose of the SCAC is to review and recommend published reference books and instructor outlines. With this change, an Instructor Reference Manual will no longer be developed for distribution. In addition to this change, the DPSE will no longer accept, review or approve end of course examinations as equivalent for the state written examination.


Another change to the PSE WebAccess is the development of a scheduling component. The component will be released in the next couple of months. All organizations that participate with the certification program and have an approved course approval will be required to submit a schedule of all courses being conducted utilizing the course approval. The schedule must be submitted using the PSE WebAccess on-line system. The information required, if applicable, is name of fire department possessing course approval, title of course, location of course, date of classroom, date of practical exam, date of written exam, name and contact information for instructor. This required information must be submitted to the Division no less than two weeks prior to the first day of course. If course is cancelled, notification must be submitted immediately.


The current course approvals that include a written examination as equivalent to a state written examination (except Fire Officer I and II courses), will be scheduled to expire on December 31, 2016. The course approval will be revised to eliminate the written examination and re-establish the original expiration date for the course only.


The course approval for Fire Officer I and II courses and examinations (excluding Instructor levels) will remain valid until 6/30/2019, which is the anticipated expiration of the Fire Officer I and II certification programs. If the current course approval is scheduled to expire before that date, the Fire Officer I and II course approvals only, will be extended and changed to expire, 6/30/2019.


DPSE is currently developing new proctoring/testing procedures. These procedures will allow an academy/school to proctor the state written examinations at their convenience and also for the convenience of their students. This could include test dates that are scheduled hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at the end of a course and also for one person who needed to reschedule due to an absence. The Division anticipates a pilot program of these new procedures within the next couple of months. Once the pilot is completed, the Division will be accepting applications from academies/schools to participate with the new proctoring/testing program.