Certification Process

SOFES Eligibility
Online Signup
Application ReviewTypes
Schedule Test Appointment


1. Fulfill Eligibility Criteria

SOFES certifications require you to meet general knowledge and minimum work hours experience and level of skills. You will need to provide us with details of your knowledge in building operations and maintenance and where you obtained your skills, so it’s best to gather and prepare this information before you open the application.

To find out the eligibility requirements, consult the handbook for the certification that interests you. Each one has unique eligibility criteria.

2. Online Signup

Once you’ve determined you meet the eligibility criteria, it’s time to signup. Collect the following information and then use our online signup.

  • Contact information — email, address, phone number
  • Type of skills — electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc.
  • Work experience — details of the building operations and/or building maintenance work, you’ve worked on including qualifying hours, dates of employment, role, organization details, reference, and experience summary
  • Domain education — names of courses completed, institutions attended, dates, qualifying hours

Once you open an application, it will remain active for 30 days after which time it will close.

Tip: To complete the application quickly, gather all of the information and documentation you need before opening it.

3. Application Review

Once we receive your application, we’ll verify that you meet the eligibility criteria and that your general knowledge and minimum work hours experience work are valid.

Typically the application review period will take 1–5 days, depending on the certification. Once it’s complete, we’ll email you to move on to the next step.

If we have any questions or issues with your application, we’ll email you further instructions and direction.

For each certification, a specified percentage of applications are randomly selected for audit. SOFES conducts application audits to confirm the experience and/or education documented on certification applications. The purpose of the audit is to enhance the credibility of the certification program and of the certification holders.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about the application audit process. 

4. Payment

After we notify you that your application is approved, it’s time to provide payment so you can move to the final stage. The fastest and easiest way to pay is through our online certification system.

Once payment is received, we’ll email you an eligibility number that you’ll use to schedule your test appointment. You are eligible for one year, and you may take the exam up to four times during that year. 

5. Schedule Test Appointment

Once you are eligible, SOFES will e-mail you exam scheduling instructions with your eligibility code, which you will need when scheduling your exam appointment. You can schedule your exam appointment online or by telephone.

Want to create an exam study plan?


  • Study! Consider enrolling in an exam prep course.

Ready to Apply?

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Ready to Apply?

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