FAQs

WHAT IS CERTIFICATION?
Certification is a voluntary process through which individuals are recognized for specialized knowledge and skill in a specified field of endeavor. The purpose of voluntary certification is to enhance public safety and welfare by providing assurance that the certification holder possesses the knowledge, skills and abilities required to provide services to the public at a professional level with a competence which will safeguard life, health and property and protect the general public welfare.

Voluntary certification is firmly established in such professional areas as accounting, financial planning, association management and medical specialties. Increasingly it is being established in engineering specialties such as environmental, irrigation and corrosion engineering; and now, traffic operations engineering!

 

RELATIONSHIP TO PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING REGISTRATION
The certification process which has been adopted for Professional Traffic Operations Engineers® requires that the holder be a licensed professional engineer if he or she practices in the United States, Canada or any other country that provides governmental licensing of engineers. Thus this certification process builds on and supports the practice of professional engineering registration!

 

WHY CERTIFICATION?
The process of licensing professional engineers, as is practiced in North America, provides the public with an important assurance that the holder of that registration has demonstrated acceptable knowledge and skill in basic engineering areas: civil, electrical, mechanical, etc. Comparable credentials exist in some other countries.

However, as engineering knowledge and practice have expanded, it has become more difficult for decision-makers to discern which practitioners hold skills appropriate for practice in the growing number of engineering specialties. State and provincial registration agencies have found it impractical to expand into these specialty areas.

Voluntary certification seeks to meet this need by providing an additional credential which the public, employers and clients can rely upon to assure that the required specialty skills and knowledge are held.

 

WHY SHOULD I BE CERTIFIED?
The certification process is designed to protect and promote the public safety and welfare. However, it must and does offer value to the certificate holder; it must, because obtaining certification takes time and hard work and out-of-pocket costs to travel to and sit for the examination. Keeping the certification valid requires the holder to pay attention to regularly upgrading knowledge and skills through continuing education.

In both public employment and private practice, public, regulatory bodies, clients, co-workers and employers will accept the professional competence of the certification holder. Certification as a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® is a powerful demonstration of requisite knowledge, skill and ability in the specialized application of traffic operations engineering. It is a long-term investment in one's professional career, which can be presented with pride! Perhaps the greatest benefit of holding certification is self-satisfaction; the certification holder has been tested and demonstrated that his or her knowledge and skill meet exacting and objective criteria!

 

WHO SPONSORS CERTIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC OPERATIONS ENGINEERS® AND PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC PLANNERS®?
The Transportation Professional Certification Board Inc., Inc. is an autonomous non-profit organization incorporated and located in the District of Columbia. Eight elected or appointed Directors govern the Board.

The Certification Board grew out of nearly 10 years of committee study by members of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, supported in part by funds from the U. S. Federal Highway Administration. ITE still provides significant support to the Board; however the Certification Board's policies for the award of certification status are entirely independent of ITE and its membership requirements and grades. Certification is open to any professional meeting the Certification Board's qualifications on a non-discriminatory and objective basis, and the Board actively seeks endorsement and cooperation from all professional societies with common goals.

The Certification Board was supported by start-up funds from ITE and now by its examination and certification fees. The Transportation Professional Certification Board Inc., Inc. is a member in good standing of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA.)

 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION AS A PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC OPERATIONS ENGINEER® AND PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNER?
The primary requirement is that the applicant passes a professionally created written examination. However, to be admitted to the examination, the applicant must hold a valid license to practice civil, mechanical, electrical or general professional engineering if he or she resides in any jurisdiction issuing such registration. Applicants from countries that do not license professional engineers must submit evidence that they have professional status in their country equivalent to professional licensure in the United States or Canada.

The applicant must also have at least four years of professional practice in traffic operations engineering. (Advanced education may be substituted for some of this experience.)

For the Professional Transportation Planner® you must meet all of the following requirements:

Have an accredited master’s or Ph.D. degree in planning or transportation with three years of professional work experience in transportation planning, or have an accredited bachelor’s degree in a transportation, or planning course of study and four years of professional work experience in transportation planning, or have an accredited bachelor’s degree in a non-transportation, or non-planning course of study and five years of professional work experience in transportation planning.

 

DEFINITION OF A PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC OPERATIONS ENGINEER®
A Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® is a person who applies a comprehensive knowledge of technology and scientific principles acquired through study and experience to the supervision of day-to-day operation of traffic systems. Responsibilities often include the analysis of those operations, detection of problems and deficiencies, setting of priorities, assignment of resources and development of improvements in operations through geometric design, traffic control or other means. The Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® may carry out some but not all of the above duties or serve as a consultant to individuals with the above responsibilities.

Traffic Operations Engineering generally includes:

  • Traffic Operation Analysis
  • Operational Effects of Geometric Designs
  • Traffic Safety
  • Traffic Control Devices
  • Traffic Engineering Studies
  • Social, Environmental and Institutional Issues

 

HOW WERE THESE COMPONENTS OF TRAFFIC ENGINEERING SELECTED?
Determining the components of traffic operations engineering started with an extensive review of frequently used textbooks, recognized traffic operations references, professional society programs, periodicals and publications. The initial listing was culled and perfected by two carefully selected study groups of practitioners, employers and academicians. This work was carried out in an independent study sponsored by the National Highway Institute.

A panel appointed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers refined and consolidated this listing and, in 1997, the panel's categories were verified by a professionally conducted validation study involving more than 300 traffic operations practitioners. This final study both confirmed the components of the practice of traffic operations engineering and assigned weights to each element and sub-element based on the perceived importance and criticality of each skill or knowledge area.

This carefully controlled evolution has paid off in the considerable confidence that can be placed in the components and scope of practice which will be certified and in the balance of the certification examination.

 

DEFINITION OF A PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNER®
The Professional Transportation Planner® (PTP®) certification program is designed for candidates who have a wide-range of education and experience in transportation planning. Currently, no other certification program is offered that specifically addresses the work performed by transportation planners. Transportation planning is the discipline that examines and evaluates the potential of future actions to improve movement of people and goods by various modes of transportation in accordance with a set of objectives.

Providing cooperative interaction between the public, transportation professionals and decision makers—transportation planning balances the needs of access mobility and safety with environmental economic and social equity concerns.

Planning generally includes:

  • Land Use and Transportation Relationships
  • Needs Assessment for Short- and Long-Range Planning
  • Transportation System Planning for Short- and Long-Range Goals
  • Transportation System Evaluation
  • Public Policy
  • Environmental Analyses
  • Plan Implementation

 

HOW WERE THESE TRANSPORTATION PLANNING COMPONENTS SELECTED?
Determining the components of transportation planner started with an extensive review of frequently used textbooks, recognized traffic operations references, professional society programs, periodicals and publications. The initial listing was culled and perfected by two carefully selected study groups of practitioners, employers and academicians.

A panel appointed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers refined and consolidated this listing and, in 2006, the panel's categories were verified by a professionally conducted validation study involving over 300 planners. This final study both confirmed the components of the practice of planners and assigned weights to each element and sub-element based on the perceived importance and criticality of each skill or knowledge area.

This carefully controlled evolution has paid off in the considerable confidence that can be placed in the components and scope of practice which will be certified and in the balance of the certification examination.

 

FUTURE PLANS
The TPCB is developing a new road safety professional (RSP) certification. This goal of this certification is to ensure that those charged with protecting the lives of the traveling public can demonstrate the requisite knowledge of road safety and to serve as a catalyst for greater attention to road safety in university curriculum and through continuing education.  The RSP certification will have two levels: Level 1 is aimed at a broad audience of transportation professionals from the engineering, motor vehicle, behavioral, law enforcement, and emergency response communities. The goal is to ensure these individuals have foundational knowledge of road safety’s multidisciplinary dimensions. Level 2 certification is directed at transportation professionals whose primary focus is in the practice of road safety. In addition to completing Level 1 requirements, Level 2 certificants will pass a second exam that demonstrates a deeper level of understanding and proficiency in the application of road safety science. This exam will be aimed at transportation professionals responsible for developing and implementing engineering or behavioral programs aimed at reducing the number of fatalities and injuries due to road crashes. The initial RSP Level 1 exam is anticipated to be given in October 2018, with the Level 2 exam available in 2019.

 

THE EXAMINATION PROCESS
The examination for Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® and the Professional Transportation Planner® consist of 150 multiple-choice problems and questions created by subject matter experts and verified as objective, relevant and reliable by professional psychometricians following established procedures. The examination are scheduled for six hours. It will be closed book and will require some mathematic applications. However, the examination will not cover knowledge and skill areas which are testified to by professional engineering registration.

The examination is designed to assure that the successful applicant possesses the specialized knowledge, skills and abilities which are required to practice traffic operations engineering at a professional level with a competence which will safeguard life, health and property and promote and protect the general public welfare.

 

FEES
Fees for 2018 have increased.  See website for the current fee schedule.
http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptoe/fee-schedule/
http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptp/fee-schedule/

 

FURTHER INFORMATION
An application form is available to download. If you desire further information on certification or want detailed candidate information please write, call, fax or e-mail to a number given below. The Certification Board invites your interest.
http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptoe/application-form/
http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptp/application-form/

 

ARE THERE ADA ACCOMMDATIONS AT THE TESTING SITES?
Yes. The applicant must provide a request for reasonable testing accommodations 45 days prior to the opening of the testing window. The request must be accompanied by documentation from his or her health-care provider. See the following for more information: http://www.castleworldwide.com/cww/images/programs/files/Reasonable%20Accommodations.pdf

 

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE WHEN RENEWING MY CERTIFICATIONS?
Several weeks prior to the certification renewal being due, certificants will receive a renewal packet in the mail. Included in the packet is a renewal form to be filled out and returned with payment.

Reviewers of the renewal form will be looking for the following information which should be listed on each separate, specific line.

  1. Hosting organization
  2. Title or subject matter**
  3. Event (webinar, seminar, conference, etc.)
  4. Dates completed
  5. Number of PDHs

**The subject matter required should follow the subject domain of the respective exam.
For PTOE: http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptoe/exam-format-and-content/
For PTP: http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptp/exam-format-and-content/

This information can also be submitted as an attachment to the original form.

 

DOES TPCB AUDIT RENEWALS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION?
In the certification and licensure industry, it has become common for a certain percentage of recertification applicants’ attestation materials to be audited and verified. TPCB has been working with its psychometrician at Castle (TPCB’s certification and licensure testing company) to determine that percentage as well as the process that must be implemented to reapply for its accreditation. Please be advised that beginning January 1, 2018, TPCB will implement a policy in which 20% of application materials will be audited which means that the certificant will be required to provide documentation as backup to support the application. Additionally, TPCB must reserve the right to selectively audit individuals in certain circumstances such as:

  1. Individuals who were previously audited and did not meet the standards;
  2. Individuals who have been given a hardship;
  3. Individuals who may be subject to discipline by the TPCB Board.