State Lead Certification Exam
Who must take the certification exams?
California requires certification exams for Lead Inspector/Assessors, Lead Supervisors, and Lead Project Monitors. There are separate exams for each of these three types of certificates. Lead Workers are not required to take a certification exam, however, they are still required to apply to CDPH for certification - see the Applying for Certification page for more information.
Who offers the certification exams?
CPS Human Resource Services is the contractor that CDPH has chosen to administer the exams. This company has extensive experience administering many types of licensing and certification exams in California. This is the only company authorized to offer California's approved lead certification exams. Passing a certification exam offered by another company or another state will not make you eligible for lead certification in California.
Where and when are the exams offered?
CPS Human Resource Services offers the exams monthly at testing sites in Northern and Southern California. Exams are generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.
What are the exams like?
The certification exams consist of 100 to 125 multiple-choice questions. All of the exams are offered in English and do not include any "hands-on" or performance testing.
Can I take the exams in Spanish?
The Supervisor exam is offered in Spanish. The exam is equivalent to the English language version, and all of the costs and procedures are the same. The Supervisor study guide is also available in Spanish, at the bottom of this page. Note: you can take the exam in Spanish even if you took the training in English. No other exams are available in languages other than English.
How much does it cost to take the exams?
The registration fee for each exam is $212. The cost to re-take each exam is also $212. Special, optional testing arrangements may require additional fees.
Can I have the exam given at my company?
Yes. For an additional $398, CPS Human Resource Services will give an exam, at a time and place of your choosing, for up to 20 people. This is in addition to the registration fee. If you have more than 20 people at your company who need testing, contact CPS Human Resource Services. You must also provide, schedule and pay for an acceptable facility in which to hold the testing. Call CPS Human Resource Services at (916) 263-3644 for more information.
Can I go to Cooperative Personnel Services to take my exam?
Yes. If you cannot wait until the regularly scheduled exams, and wish to travel to the CPS Human Resource Services Sacramento office to take the exam on a different day, you may do so. The additional cost for this is: $99 to take 1 exam; or $124 to take 2 exams at a single sitting. You must call CPS Human Resource Services at (916) 263-3644 to schedule a test date first. CPS Human Resource Services will not administer exams on a "drop-in" basis.
Summary of Exam Fees
- Regularly Scheduled Exam - $212.00 per exam
- Exams At Company Facility - $212.00 per exam, plus $398.00 group fee
- Exams At Cooperative Personnel Services - $212.00 per exam, plus:
- One exam at a sitting - $99.00
- Two exams at a sitting - $124.00
Are special accommodations available for people with disabilities?
Yes, for no additional charge, CPS Human Resource Services can provide ADA accommodations for those with special needs.
Are there "combined" exams?
No. The exams for Lead Inspector/Assessor, Lead Supervisor, and Lead Project Monitor are each separate. If you want to get more than one of these certificates, you must take a separate exam for each. You can take up to two exams per day.
When do I take my exam?
You may take the exam at any time. However, you need to pass the exam before you apply to CDPH for certification.
How do I register for my exam?
You may telephone CPS Human Resource Services directly at (916) 263-3624, option 5, to obtain registration materials. You can also get information on the CPS Human Resource Services website (www.cps.ca.gov). Complete the registration form that you received from CPS Human Resource Services and mail it to:
CPS Human Resource Services
Attention: Lead Certification Registration
241 Lathrop Way
Sacramento, California 95815
Your registration fee must be a cashier's check or money order, made payable to CPS Human Resource Services. You must register for your exam at least two weeks before the exam date. Do not send your exam registration form to CDPH.
How do I get admitted into the exam?
To be admitted into your exam, you must show a government photo ID, such as a State Driver's License, State ID Card, Passport, Military ID Card or Resident Alien Card. If you cannot properly identify yourself when you arrive to take your exam, Cooperative Personnel Services will turn you away and not allow you to take the exam. You may reschedule the exam should this happen.
How do I reschedule an exam?
Candidates wishing to reschedule or withdraw from an exam must notify CPS Human Resource Services in writing within 5 business days after the exam. If you do not notify CPS withing 5 buisness days you will forfeit all fees.
If the candidate reschedules more than once, a $25.00 rescheduling fee will be charged. If a candidate registers for an exam after previously receiving a refund for that exam, the $25.00 rescheduling fee will be charged.
What happens if I fail my exam?
If you fail an exam, CPS Human Resource Services will tell you how many questions you got correct and how many you missed on each of the topic area subsections of the exam. For exam security reasons, however, they cannot tell you which questions you missed. You may retake the exam, following the same procedures as the first time. There is no waiting period, however, you should take the time to study more before retaking the exam. The fee for retakes is the same amount as the fee for the initial exam.
What happens after I pass my exam?
CPS Human ResourceServices will send a copy of your exam results to you, including how many questions you got correct and how many you missed on each of the topic area subsections of the exam. Once you have received notice that you passed your exam you may apply for certification. The application you send to CDPH should include a copy of the exam results letter. CDPH will then review your experience, training, and education to determine if you meet all of the requirements for certification.
When can I apply for certification?
Apply to CDPH after CPS Human Resource Services has notified you that you have passed the exam
How do I apply for certification?
You must apply to CDPH for certification. Do not send application materials to CPS Human Resource Services. For application forms, instructions, and other certification-related questions, review this site, or contact CDPH at 1-800-597-5323.
Are there any study guides available to help me prepare for the test?
Yes. The following links allow you to download lists of topics and regulatory references covered on each of the exams.
The files below are in Portable Data Format (PDF). Follow this link to go to the Adobe Homepage and download the Acrobat Reader you will need to read the files. (It's free!)
For exam schedules, testing locations, special testing options and registration confirmation, contact:
CPS Human Resource Services
(916) 263-3624, option 5, or