Local fire departments defer the entire cost of the CPAT to the candidates. In so doing, the departments simply direct individuals to NIPSTA and define the timeline by which the test must be successfully completed. NIPSTA offers the CPAT on a monthly schedule, allowing candidates the opportunity to meet department's immediate needs.
Candidates will then be responsible for registering and scheduling themselves into the CPAT process at NIPSTA. Each candidate will have the ability to participate in the Pre-Test Preparation Program and the Test. The Pre-Test Preparation Program includes mentoring from trained NIPSTA personnel, and access to specialized CPAT facilities and equipment.
An administration fee of $140 ($150 in 2014) is assessed by NIPSTA to each candidate who registers for the CPAT. Upon successful completion of the test, candidates will receive an identification card, which may be presented to the fire department upon request. The department may, at its own discretion, independently verify the identification card issued by NIPSTA.
There are no fees assessed to fire departments during this process. However, the IAFF does require that each department apply for a no-cost CPAT license and conduct a transportability study to ensure that the CPAT test adequately measures the skills and abilities required for employment. Assistance in fulfilling these obligations is available upon request from NIPSTA.