For an applicant to be eligible to take an LSP licensing examination, two things must occur: (1) the applicant must submit a complete written Application, together with the application fee, and (2) the Board must review and "approve" that written Application. Those whose Applications have yet to be approved may not take an examination.
When an Application is "approved" by the Board, the applicant is qualified for a two-year period to take the Board's licensing examination.
Applicants who do not achieve a passing score on an examination may take additional examinations within the two-year period until a passing score is achieved. An examination fee of $325 must be paid each time the examination is taken.
After the two-year period expires, if the applicant has not yet passed an examination, the applicant must re-apply by submitting a shortened version of the Application (a "Limited Application To Qualify For Examination").
Exams are administered twice a year, usually in or around June and December. When the Board notifies an Applicant that his or her written application has been approved, the Applicant is instructed to contact the Board's staff to schedule an appointment to take an exam on one of these fixed dates. The date selected must be within the Applicant's two-year "window" of eligibility.
All exams will be administered at the Board's office in Boston.
The examination fee is $325, and it must be paid in advance of the examination. This fee must be paid each time an examination is taken.
Examinations are comprised of 160 multiple-choice questions and are designed to test the applicant's "overall regulatory understanding" and "overall technical understanding."
Overall regulatory understanding means an understanding of the Board's regulations (309 Code Mass. Regs.), the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 Code Mass. Regs. 40.0000), and related written policies and other environmental regulations sufficient to render competent waste site cleanup activity opinions.
Overall technical understanding means an understanding of basic concepts and methods in those scientific and technical fields related to assessment, containment and removal actions sufficient to render competent waste site cleanup activity opinions.
In an effort to provide examinees with a better sense of what knowledge areas will be tested by the exam, the Board refers examinees to the Content Outline and Reference List.
The Content Outline has been developed under the Board's supervision by the Technical Advisors who worked with the Board's exam development contractor to develop the Board's licensing exams. In creating this Content Outline, the Technical Advisors sought to describe all the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the full range of work that LSPs perform. The Board then determined what percentage of the exam's 160 questions would be in each content area (the bold, major headings on the Content Outline). (Please note that these percentages, known as the content area "weightings," are shown on the Content Outline.) The revised, weighted Content Outline was then used as a guide in writing examination questions. Each question on the exam is designed to test whether the examinee has one or more of the knowledge elements, skills or abilities listed on the Content Outline. Keep in mind that while some content areas listed on the Outline will be more heavily represented on the exam than others, questions will appear in all content areas. However, not every subtopic on the Outline will be a subject of test questions on each exam, even in the more heavily weighted content areas.
The Reference List was developed during the process of writing questions for the exam. For most of the 160 questions on the exam, the correct answer can be verified by reference to one or more of the books or other documents on the Reference List. In all other cases, the correct answer is supported by what the Technical Advisors describe as "general knowledge within the LSP profession." Please understand that the Board cannot say how worthwhile or useful it will be for exam-takers to have studied these references before taking the exam. Bear in mind that a reference would have been included on this Reference List even though it was used as a reference for only a handful of questions on the exam. In giving examinees this Reference List, the Board is simply trying to provide them with as much information about the exam content as can be made available without disclosing the actual exam questions.
The examinations are administered "closed-book," except that upon entering the examination room examinees are provided with a copy of the current edition of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan. Examinees may bring and utilize a non-programmable, non-printing calculator with a numeric (non-alphabetic) keyboard.
The Board has established a passing score for each version of its exam. This score is based on the Board's determination of the score that should be obtained by an individual who has the level of technical and regulatory knowledge that would reasonably be expected by an otherwise qualified applicant with five years of relevant professional experience.
Updated: November 26, 2007