Transferring to Texas
This page is for certified fire fighters who are thinking about re-locating to Texas.
- If you are coming to Texas from an IFSAC jurisdiction, please refer to the first part of this page, Transferring to Texas from an IFSAC jurisdiction.
- If your current jurisdiction does not participate in IFSAC, please refer to the second part of this page, Transferring to Texas from a non-IFSAC jurisdiction.
Transferring to Texas from an IFSAC jurisdiction
Individuals transferring to Texas from an IFSAC jurisdiction may be eligible for Texas certification.
IFSAC is the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). The State of Texas recognizes IFSAC certificates from other jurisdictions in its basic structural fire protection, aircraft crash and rescue, hazardous materials technician, driver/operator-pumper, fire inspector, fire investigator, fire instructor and fire officer disciplines.
In general, individuals who hold IFSAC certifications in these disciplines are eligible to apply and hold certification in the State of Texas; however, please check the Standards Manual for details regarding the specific discipline. (For the basic structural fire protection certification, applicants must show that they are certified at a level equivalent to NFPA 1001 - Fire Fighter I and Fire Fighter II.)
For example, if you are transferring to Texas from an IFSAC jurisdiction, in order to be certified as a basic fire fighter, you will apply for certification by submitting the following:
- A copy of your Fire Fighter II IFSAC seal.
- Documentation of completed equivalent medical training (ECA, EMT or Paramedic) or certification (Texas Department of State Health Services or National Registry). A copy of your certificate of completion from the training or your actual certification card would be acceptable documentation.
- A completed Form TCFP-002, Application for Certification (including completion of the fingerprint criminal history check, when applicable).
- An $85 certification fee.
Transferring to Texas from a non-IFSAC jurisdiction
For individuals who have received out-of-state or military training from a jurisdiction that does not participate in the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC), there are four basic steps to become eligible for Texas certification:
- Find out if your training is equivalent to Texas requirements.
- Complete the commission-designated skill evaluation process.
- Pass the commission examination in the discipline for which you are seeking certification.
- Determine whether you meet any additional certification requirements.
The requirements for becoming certified for each certification discipline the commission offers are in the Standards Manual for Fire Protection Personnel. The following information presents the basic certification requirements in a step-by-step format; it is for explanation purposes only and does not supersede the rule.
Find out if your training is equivalent to Texas requirements
Individuals who have received out-of-state or military training may be eligible to have their training deemed equivalent in order to complete the commission-designated skill evaluation process and challenge the commission's examination for the applicable certification discipline by submitting your training to be reviewed by the commission staff. The commission charges a non-refundable fee of $35 for each records review conducted for the purpose of determining equivalency to the appropriate commission certification training program or to establish eligibility to complete the evaluation process. Applicants submitting training records for review will receive a written response from the commission. The staff needs to evaluate detailed information regarding each course taken (i.e., course content, number of hours, and a copy of an official transcript and/or certificate of completion). Please submit your training records and the fee to:
Texas Commission on Fire Protection
ATTN: Training Approval and Testing Program
PO Box 2286
Austin, TX 78768-2286
Please use form TCFP-045, Record Review Request Form, to request a review of your records to determine eligibility.
If it is determined that your training meets the training requirements for the certification discipline(s) sought, and you meet any pre-requisite requirements as identified in the appropriate commission rule, you will be issued a commission Personal Identification Number (PIN). Furthermore, you will be provided with a Qualification Number (Qual#) for each level of certification you are eligible to test. If your training does not meet the commission's minimum requirements, your training will be returned to you along with written notification as to what documentation is missing.
Complete the commission-designated skill evaluation process.
Once you receive your Qual #(s), the next step will be to complete the commission-designated skill evaluation process. In order to complete this process, an individual must have the required number of commission-designated skills evaluated by a commission-approved field examiner. The skills will be randomly selected from the skills identified in the applicable chapter of the Curriculum Manual. (A commission-approved field examiner is an individual who holds instructor certification, is approved by the commission to evaluate the discipline being evaluated, and has taken the commission's field examiner course within the last two years.) The evaluations must take place at a training facility certified by the commission to conduct the certification training for that discipline. (A list of training facilities is available on this site.)
Once you locate a certified training facility willing to evaluate your skills, you will arrange your skill evaluation date, time, and location with the training coordinator. Furthermore, you will provide the training coordinator with your commission PIN# and the applicable Qual # for the discipline to be evaluated to allow them to notify the commission of your upcoming skill evaluation schedule.
Commission rule 439.11 (c) states, "In order to qualify for the Commission certification examination, the student must successfully complete and pass all designated skill evaluations. The student may be allowed two attempts to complete each skill. A second failure during the evaluation process will require remedial training in the failed skill area with a certified instructor before being allowed a third attempt. A third failure shall require that the student repeat the entire certification curriculum." For more information on commission rules, please see the Standards Manual.
Pass the commission examination.
Once you have completed the required skill evaluations, please contact a Training Approval and Testing staff member at (512) 936-3819 to obtain the information needed to establish a state certification examination date.
A minimum grade of 70 is required on the written examinations.
Determine whether you meet any additional certification requirements.
After you have passed the state exam, the final step is to determine whether there are additional certification requirements you must meet. For example, in order to become certified as an aircraft rescue fire fighter, marine fire fighter, hazardous materials technician or driver/operator-pumper, you must hold certification as a structure fire fighter. Please contact the commission's certification staff at (512) 936-3825 to determine additional requirements in a specific discipline. (It may also be helpful to review the commission's Standards Manual to become familiar with the certification requirements in your discipline.)
When you have completed requirements 1-4 you may apply for certification by submitting form TCFP-002, Application for Certification. There is a non-refundable $85 fee to apply for certification. If you do not meet the certification requirements at the time of application, the commission will inform you of any deficiencies in your application, but will not refund your application fee.
When the commission receives your completed application, the certification staff will conduct a background check in accordance with the Standards Manual, Chapter 403, Criminal Convictions and Eligibility for Certification.
If you pass the criminal background check and meet all other eligibility requirements (including the emergency medical response requirement--for more information, please refer to the basic certification page), you will then be issued your certification.
Certification and professional development
A brief introduction to the commission's certification and professional development program.
The commission offers 40 certifications or certification "levels" (i.e., basic, intermediate, advanced, etc.). This chart provides links to the requirements for each certification and each level.
A form to verify a certified individual's certification status.
Overview of the requirements to become certified as an entry-level fire fighter in the State of Texas.
Information and FAQs for individual certificate holders. (Individual certificate holders are those who are not affiliated with a regulated department.)
Guidelines for transferring out-of-state or military fire protection certifications to Texas.
A-list and B-list courses for higher levels of certification.
Sources of continuing education for higher level certification.
Resources and links to more information about the Courage to be Safe program.