FAQs

GENERAL

Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE)®

Professional Transportation Planner (PTP)®

Road Safety Professional (RSP)®

 

WHAT IS CERTIFICATION?
Certification is a voluntary process through which individuals are recognized for specialized knowledge and skill in a specified field of endeavor. The purpose of voluntary certification is to enhance public safety and welfare by providing assurance that the certification holder possesses the knowledge, skills and abilities required to provide services to the public at a professional level with a competence which will safeguard life, health and property and protect the general public welfare.

Voluntary certification is firmly established in such professional areas as accounting, financial planning, association management and medical specialties. Increasingly it is being established in engineering specialties such as environmental, irrigation and corrosion engineering; and now, traffic operations engineering!

RELATIONSHIP TO PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING REGISTRATION
The certification process which has been adopted for Professional Traffic Operations Engineers® requires that the holder be a licensed professional engineer if he or she practices in the United States, Canada or any other country that provides governmental licensing of engineers. Thus this certification process builds on and supports the practice of professional engineering registration!

WHY CERTIFICATION?
The process of licensing professional engineers, as is practiced in North America, provides the public with an important assurance that the holder of that registration has demonstrated acceptable knowledge and skill in basic engineering areas: civil, electrical, mechanical, etc. Comparable credentials exist in some other countries.

However, as engineering knowledge and practice have expanded, it has become more difficult for decision-makers to discern which practitioners hold skills appropriate for practice in the growing number of engineering specialties. State and provincial registration agencies have found it impractical to expand into these specialty areas.

Voluntary certification seeks to meet this need by providing an additional credential which the public, employers and clients can rely upon to assure that the required specialty skills and knowledge are held.

WHY SHOULD I BE CERTIFIED?
The certification process is designed to protect and promote the public safety and welfare. However, it must and does offer value to the certificate holder; it must, because obtaining certification takes time and hard work and out-of-pocket costs to travel to and sit for the examination. Keeping the certification valid requires the holder to pay attention to regularly upgrading knowledge and skills through continuing education.

In both public employment and private practice, public, regulatory bodies, clients, co-workers and employers will accept the professional competence of the certification holder. Certification as a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® is a powerful demonstration of requisite knowledge, skill and ability in the specialized application of traffic operations engineering. It is a long-term investment in one's professional career, which can be presented with pride! Perhaps the greatest benefit of holding certification is self-satisfaction; the certification holder has been tested and demonstrated that his or her knowledge and skill meet exacting and objective criteria!

WHO SPONSORS CERTIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC OPERATIONS ENGINEERS (PTOE)®, PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC PLANNERS (PTP)®, AND ROAD SAFETY PROFESSIONAL (RSP)®?

The Transportation Professional Certification Board Inc., Inc. is an autonomous non-profit organization incorporated and located in the District of Columbia. Eight elected or appointed Directors govern the Board.

The Certification Board grew out of nearly 10 years of committee study by members of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, supported in part by funds from the U. S. Federal Highway Administration. ITE still provides significant support to the Board; however the Certification Board's policies for the award of certification status are entirely independent of ITE and its membership requirements and grades. Certification is open to any professional meeting the Certification Board's qualifications on a non-discriminatory and objective basis, and the Board actively seeks endorsement and cooperation from all professional societies with common goals.

The Certification Board was supported by start-up funds from ITE and now by its examination and certification fees. The Transportation Professional Certification Board Inc., Inc. is a member in good standing of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).

DO YOU SIT FOR THE PTOE, PTP, AND RSP EXAMS IN-PERSON OR CAN ONE COMPLETE IT ONLINE? 

Exams are available in-person only.

HOW CAN IT FIND OUT WHERE THE PTOE, PTP, AND RSP EXAMS WILL BE HELD?

Scantron has testing sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. Visit https://www.castleworldwide.com/cww/our-solutions/test-delivery/test-site-cities/ for a list of locations.

ARE THERE ADA ACCOMMDATIONS AT THE TESTING SITES?
Yes. The applicant must provide a request for reasonable testing accommodations 45 days prior to the opening of the testing window. The request must be accompanied by documentation from his or her health-care provider. See the following for more information: http://www.castleworldwide.com/cww/images/programs/files/Reasonable%20Accommodations.pdf

WHAT ARE THE EXAM DATES FOR THE PTOE, PTP, and RSP EXAMS?

Exams are held annually during the months of February, June, and October. For information, visit http://www.tpcb.org/examschedule.asp.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE WHEN RENEWING MY CERTIFICATIONS?
Several weeks prior to the certification renewal being due, certificants will receive a renewal packet in the mail. Included in the packet is a renewal form to be filled out and returned with payment.

Reviewers of the renewal form will be looking for the following information which should be listed on each separate, specific line.

  1. Hosting organization
  2. Title or subject matter**
  3. Event (webinar, seminar, conference, etc.)
  4. Dates completed
  5. Number of PDHs

**The subject matter required should follow the subject domain of the respective exam.
For PTOE: http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptoe/exam-format-and-content/
For PTP: http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptp/exam-format-and-content/
For RSP1: https://www.tpcb.org/TPCB/assets/File/public/RSP/JB19GA45.pdf
For RSP 2:

This information can also be submitted as an attachment to the original form.

DOES TPCB AUDIT RENEWALS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION?
In the certification and licensure industry, it has become common for a certain percentage of recertification applicants’ attestation materials to be audited and verified. TPCB has been working with its psychometrician at Scantron (TPCB’s certification and licensure testing company) to determine that percentage as well as the process that must be implemented to reapply for its accreditation. TPCB has implemented a policy in which 20% of application materials will be audited which means that the certificant will be required to provide documentation as backup to support the application. Additionally, TPCB must reserve the right to selectively audit individuals in certain circumstances such as:

  1. Individuals who were previously audited and did not meet the standards;
  2. Individuals who have been given a hardship;
  3. Individuals who may be subject to discipline by the TPCB Board.

FURTHER INFORMATION
 If you desire further information on certification or want detailed candidate information please write, call, fax or e-mail to a number given below. The Certification Board invites your interest.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION AS A PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC OPERATIONS ENGINEER®?
The primary requirement is that the applicant passes a professionally created written examination. However, to be admitted to the examination, the applicant must hold a valid license to practice civil, mechanical, electrical or general professional engineering if he or she resides in any jurisdiction issuing such registration. Applicants from countries that do not license professional engineers must submit evidence that they have professional status in their country equivalent to professional licensure in the United States or Canada.

The applicant must also have at least four years of professional practice in traffic operations engineering. (Advanced education may be substituted for some of this experience.)

DEFINITION OF A PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC OPERATIONS ENGINEER®
A Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® is a person who applies a comprehensive knowledge of technology and scientific principles acquired through study and experience to the supervision of day-to-day operation of traffic systems. Responsibilities often include the analysis of those operations, detection of problems and deficiencies, setting of priorities, assignment of resources and development of improvements in operations through geometric design, traffic control or other means. The Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® may carry out some but not all of the above duties or serve as a consultant to individuals with the above responsibilities.

Traffic Operations Engineering generally includes:

  • Traffic Operation Analysis
  • Operational Effects of Geometric Designs
  • Traffic Safety
  • Traffic Control Devices
  • Traffic Engineering Studies
  • Social, Environmental and Institutional Issues

HOW WERE THESE COMPONENTS OF TRAFFIC ENGINEERING SELECTED?
Determining the components of traffic operations engineering started with an extensive review of frequently used textbooks, recognized traffic operations references, professional society programs, periodicals and publications. The initial listing was culled and perfected by two carefully selected study groups of practitioners, employers and academicians. This work was carried out in an independent study sponsored by the National Highway Institute.

A panel appointed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers refined and consolidated this listing and, in 1997, the panel's categories were verified by a professionally conducted validation study involving more than 300 traffic operations practitioners. This final study both confirmed the components of the practice of traffic operations engineering and assigned weights to each element and sub-element based on the perceived importance and criticality of each skill or knowledge area.

This carefully controlled evolution has paid off in the considerable confidence that can be placed in the components and scope of practice which will be certified and in the balance of the certification examination.

THE EXAMINATION PROCESS

The examination for Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® consist of 150 multiple-choice problems and questions created by subject matter experts and verified as objective, relevant and reliable by professional psychometricians following established procedures. The examination are scheduled for six hours. It will be closed book and will require some mathematic applications. However, the examination will not cover knowledge and skill areas which are testified to by professional engineering registration.

The examination is designed to assure that the successful applicant possesses the specialized knowledge, skills and abilities which are required to practice traffic operations engineering at a professional level with a competence which will safeguard life, health and property and promote and protect the general public welfare.

FEES

See website for the current fee schedule.
http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptoe/fee-schedule/

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION AS A PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNER?

For the Professional Transportation Planner® you must meet all of the following requirements:

Have an accredited master’s or Ph.D. degree in planning or transportation with three years of professional work experience in transportation planning, or have an accredited bachelor’s degree in a transportation, or planning course of study and four years of professional work experience in transportation planning, or have an accredited bachelor’s degree in a non-transportation, or non-planning course of study and five years of professional work experience in transportation planning.

DEFINITION OF A PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNER®
The Professional Transportation Planner® (PTP®) certification program is designed for candidates who have a wide-range of education and experience in transportation planning. Currently, no other certification program is offered that specifically addresses the work performed by transportation planners. Transportation planning is the discipline that examines and evaluates the potential of future actions to improve movement of people and goods by various modes of transportation in accordance with a set of objectives.

Providing cooperative interaction between the public, transportation professionals and decision makers—transportation planning balances the needs of access mobility and safety with environmental economic and social equity concerns.

Planning generally includes:

  • Land Use and Transportation Relationships
  • Needs Assessment for Short- and Long-Range Planning
  • Transportation System Planning for Short- and Long-Range Goals
  • Transportation System Evaluation
  • Public Policy
  • Environmental Analyses
  • Plan Implementation

HOW WERE THESE TRANSPORTATION PLANNING COMPONENTS SELECTED?
Determining the components of transportation planner started with an extensive review of frequently used textbooks, recognized traffic operations references, professional society programs, periodicals and publications. The initial listing was culled and perfected by two carefully selected study groups of practitioners, employers and academicians.

A panel appointed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers refined and consolidated this listing and, in 2006, the panel's categories were verified by a professionally conducted validation study involving over 300 planners. This final study both confirmed the components of the practice of planners and assigned weights to each element and sub-element based on the perceived importance and criticality of each skill or knowledge area.

This carefully controlled evolution has paid off in the considerable confidence that can be placed in the components and scope of practice which will be certified and in the balance of the certification examination.

THE EXAMINATION PROCESS

The examination for Professional Transportation Planner® consist of 150 multiple-choice problems and questions created by subject matter experts and verified as objective, relevant and reliable by professional psychometricians following established procedures. The examination are scheduled for six hours. It will be closed book and will require some mathematic applications. However, the examination will not cover knowledge and skill areas which are testified to by professional engineering registration.

The examination is designed to assure that the successful applicant possesses the specialized knowledge, skills and abilities which are required to practice traffic operations engineering at a professional level with a competence which will safeguard life, health and property and promote and protect the general public welfare.

FEES
See website for the current fee schedule.
http://www.tpcb.org/certification/ptp/fee-schedule/

WHY IS THIS CERTIFICATION BEING DEVELOPED

With more than 40,000 lives lost annually on highways in the United States and Canada and the growing attention on improving public safety through initiatives such as Toward Zero Deaths, Vision Zero, and the Road to Zero, the RSP represents an important step forward for the safety profession. The RSP certification provides for professionals involved in a wide array of safety-related disciplines to establish their competency in providing for the safety of the traveling public.

WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE ROAD SAFETY PROFESSIONAL® CERTIFICATION

  • To recognize road safety as a profession
  • To establish a recognized level of practice and knowledge
  • To incentivize safety education
  • To support public safety initiatives such as Toward Zero Deaths, Vision Zero, and Road to Zero

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE LEVEL 1 EXAM?

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and a minimum of two (2) years professional experience in transportation, highway safety or public health; or
  • A minimum of four (4) years professional experience in the transportation, highway safety, or public health fields.

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE LEVEL 2 EXAM?

  • Successful completion of Level 1 Exam; and
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and a minimum of five (5) years professional experience in transportation, highway safety or public health; or
  • A minimum of ten (10) years professional experience in the transportation, highway safety or public health fields.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO LEVELS OF THE EXAMS?

 

Level 1

Level 2

Description

Demonstrates expertise in

road safety’s multidisciplinary dimensions

Higher level certification that demonstrates deeper level of understanding and proficiency in road safety science

Audience

For any professional who in the performance of their work makes decisions or takes actions that potentially impact the safety of the traveling public

Any professional whose primary job functions are directed at improving the safety performance of the surface transportation system

Exam Options

One option

Two options:

  • Behavorial
  • Infrastructure

Time Frame

First exam –October 2018

First Exam – October 2019

Qualifications

Combination bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years’ experience transportation, highway safety or public health

Successful completion of Level 1 exam

Combination bachelor’s degree and 5-10 years’ experience transportation, highway safety or public health

Exam Content

3 hours

75 questions Qualitative Multiple Choice

3 hours

75 questions

Qualitative and quantitative Multiple Choice

 

WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP INDIVIDUALS PREPARE?

Level 1: https://www.tpcb.org/certification/rsp/reference-material/
Level 2: https://www.tpcb.org/certification/road-safety-professional-2/reference-material/

ARE THE EXAMS AVAILABLE IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH?

Currently the exams are only available in English.

WHEN WAS THE FIRST RSP LEVEL 1 EXAM HELD?

The first RSP exam was held in October 2018. 

THE EXAMINATION PROCESS

Each of the exams is a 75 multiple-choice question, three (3) hour exam. The Level 1 exam is qualitative in nature. While knowledge of quantitative methods may be examined, no computations will be required to complete the exam. The Level 2 exam includes questions that are both qualitative and quantitative in nature.

The exam is in-person at one of the Scantron testing sites. The test is completed electronically. For a list of testing sites, visit https://www.castleworldwide.com/cww/our-solutions/test-delivery/test-site-cities/

WHAT DOES THE RSP EXAM COVER?

Below is the content outline for the RSP Level 1 exam.  For the RSP Level 2 exam, click on the appropriate content outline below:

Behavioral 
Infrastructure

Domain I: Foundations of Road Safety

Task 1: Define road safety by using an approved reference source (e.g., Highway Safety Manual, highway safety plans).

Task 2: Describe evidence-based road safety, including the distinction of nominal vs. substantive safety, by using road safety literature (e.g., ITE Handbook).

Task 3: Describe the complexity of road safety and list the elements that are involved in crash causation and influence the severity of the outcome.

Task 4: List road safety-relevant characteristics of different road users (e.g., drivers, pedestrians, cyclists) and how they apply to effective selection of countermeasures.

Task 5: Identify partners in road safety by listing disciplines and agency types that have a role to play in preventing crashes and reducing their severity.

Task 6: Describe different approaches to road safety management (e.g., traditional 4E, Haddon’s matrix, safe systems approach, Vision Zero).

Task 7: Describe how to balance safety with other transportation goals (e.g., environment, congestion, mobility) by evaluating safety benefits and costs for comprehensive comparison and decision-making.

Task 8: Describe the elements of a culture that fosters road safety within an organization or discipline and how to achieve it.

Task 9: Discuss developments in policy and technology that will influence future decisions and actions in road safety.

Domain II: Measuring Safety

Task 1: Identify types, applications, and users of safety data, and discuss the challenges, limitations, and ways to mitigate them by using nontraditional safety data.

Task 2: Discuss how the quality of safety data can lead to more effective programs, projects, and initiatives and investments.

Task 3: Explain how key factors (e.g., speed, volume, time of day) could affect the frequency and severity of crashes.

Task 4: Explain the primary components of quantitative safety analysis.

Domain III: Human Behavior and Road Safety

Task 1: Identify key characteristics and limitations of human behavior that influence how road users interact with the roadway environment.

Task 2: Describe multidisciplinary safety strategies to modify human behavior.

Task 3: Describe the key characteristics of effective educational strategies (e.g., informational/awareness campaigns) and discuss their benefits and limitations in modifying human behavior.

Task 4: Describe the key characteristics of effective enforcement campaigns and discuss their benefits and limitations in modifying human behavior.

Task 5: Describe and give examples of how roadway infrastructure features and elements (e.g., traffic control devices, road alignment, cross section) affect human behavior.

Task 6: Describe why human factors should be considered in the process of planning, design, and operations to increase the safety of all road users.

Task 7: Describe how applying positive guidance principles to road elements can be used to affect road user behavior and improve safety performance.

Task 8: Apply the driving task model to the process of identifying contributing factors to road user error.

Domain IV: Solving Safety Problems

Task 1: Identify and describe the steps in a safety management process that uses effective data-driven procedures and methods to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by traffic collisions.

Task 2: Identify and describe a systemwide (countermeasure-oriented) approach.

Task 3. List reliable sources of multidisciplinary countermeasures to reduce fatalities and serious injuries.

Task 4: List tools used to diagnose safety problems and describe their specific advantages and disadvantages.

Task 5: Describe how multidisciplinary approaches can be used to deploy the most effective solutions.

Task 6: Understand collision patterns and crash contributing factors.

Task 7: Describe opportunities for user-focused interventions targeted at different populations.

Task 8: Identify how countermeasure costs and benefits can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of program and project investments.

Task 9: Identify the elements of a countermeasure evaluation by using data to determine its impacts (e.g., positive and negative impacts).

Task 10: Identify techniques for estimating and comparing the safety performance of different project alternatives.

Domain V: Implementing Road Safety Programs

Task 1: Describe how strategic safety plans are prepared and used.

Task 2: List important elements of successful road safety policies and programs.

Task 3: Explain the role and value of champions in influencing road safety policies and programs.

Task 4: Identify elements of successful communication and outreach strategies that build consensus among decision-makers and lead to increased public acceptance/awareness about road safety initiatives.

Task 5: Describe how multidisciplinary teams and partnerships can achieve road safety goals.

Task 6: Describe the value of safety program evaluation and explain how results influence future program delivery.

 

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT QUALIFIES FOR PDH CREDITS TOWARD MY RENEWAL OF MY RSP CERTIFICATION?

TPCB accepts coursework or other professional development  that align with the exams subject matter:

RSP Level 1

  • Foundations of Road Safety
  • Measuring Safety
  • Human Behavior and Road Safety
  • Solving Safety Problems
  • Implementing Road Safety Programs

RSP Level 2

Behavioral Specialty

  • Fundamentals
  • Road Safety Program Management
  • Safety Data and Analysis
  • Target Crashes and Countermeasures
  • Human Health and Transportation Modes
  • Public Health and Transportation Safety
  • Addressing Safety Problems with Public Policy (Law, Regulation, Policies, and Standards)
  • Strategic Safety Planning
  • Safe System Approach

Level 2

Infrastructure Specialty

  • Road Safety Management
  • Acquiring and Using Safety Data
  • Crash Prediction and Trend Interpretation
  • Target Crashes and Countermeasures
  • Multimodal Transportation Safety
  • Addressing Safety Problems with Policy
  • Safe System

HOW MANY PDHs ARE REQUIRED TO RENEW RSP?

  • RSP1 24 PDHs are required to renew
  • RSP 1 & 2 (one specialty) - 45 PDHs are required to renew
  • RSP 1 & 2 (both specialitiesI) 60 PDHs are required to renew

IF I PASSED RSP1 AND RSP2 EXAMS, HOW DO I LIST MY DESIGNATION?

RSP2 is the advanced level certification. Individuals who have passed RSP2 will be designated as RSP2.

IF I AM RSP2 CERTIFIED, WHICH DEADLINE FOR RENEWAL APPLIES?

If certified in one speciality (behavioral or infrastructure), you need to achieve 45 PDHs within three years of receiving your RSP2. If certified in both specialties, you need to achieve 60 PDHs within three years of receiving your RSP2.

CAN I TAKE THE RSP1 AND RSP2 ON THE SAME DAY?

Yes, however, you must pass RSP1 first.  Therefore, even if you pass RSP2 you will not be recognized as such if you do not pass RSP1.

FEES

  • Exam Fee: $100 per exam (RSP 1, RSP 2B, RSP 2I)
  • RSP 1 certification fee: $180 ($60/year) – 10% discount for PTP or PTOE, 25% discount for both
  • RSP 2 certification fee: $315 ($105/year) – 10% discount for PTP or PTOE, 25% discount for both. Credit will be given for any "unused" RSP 1 years.
  • RSP 2 certificants renewal date – for both RSP 1 and RSP 2 – will be 3 years from RSP 2 date. 

Example:

John Doe took RSP 1 in October 2018 and paid $100 exam fee and $180 certification fee.

John Doe wants to take RSP 2 in October 2019.  He would pay $100 exam fee plus the $315 certification fee and get credit for two unused years ($120) of RSP 1 certification.

John Doe’s cost is $100 + $315 - $120 = $295

John Doe’s renewal date for the RSP certification (including Levels 1 and 2) would be 2022.