Certified Water-Based Systems Professional (CWBSP)

Certified Water-Based Systems Professional logoThe NFPA Certified Water-Based Systems Professional (CWBSP) was created in 2018 after discussions with leaders in the field of water-based systems design who indicated a strong desire for a credential that will assess and verify demonstration of the knowledge and expertise necessary to be a water-based systems designer.

CWBSP was then developed in consultation with professionals from a wide variety of specialties. The CWBSP credential offers water-based systems design professionals the ability to demonstrate that they understand project development, new and existing systems design, and the ability to complete Hydraulic Calculations. Gain the recognition you deserve as an expert in your field with this specialist certification.

The goals of this program are to:

  • Recognize and provide evidence of competence in water-based systems design
  • Ensure proficiency in the use of NFPA codes and standards
  • Enhance professionalism
  • Ensure a uniform, fair process for certification that is accessible to everyone who is eligible
  • Facilitate success for those seeking certification
  • Promote professional development through continuous learning


NFPA is currently transitioning to a new Certification Management System to offer you an improved user experience and even greater control over your personal certification journey. Currently, only new applications and retest applications are being processed on this system. We have a separate interim process for recertifications. We apologize for any inconvenience. Updates will be posted here, so check back frequently. Thank you for your patience during this change.

How to apply                                       
  1. Download the candidate handbook (PDF), familiarize yourself with the program, and determine if you are eligible
  2. Ensure you are signed in to your NFPA.org profile. If you are not, you will not be able to access the application portal.
  3. Enter the application portal via the Apply now button below
  4. Once in the application portal, follow the prompts to complete the application, upload any required documentation, and pay.
  5. Upon completion of your application and processing of your payment, you will receive an email with your eligibility number, and instructions on how to schedule your exam.
How to retest

If you originally applied before 5/16/22, click the “retest” button below, and follow the directions on the downloadable PDF. If you originally applied on or after 5/18/22, sign in to your nfpa.org profile and complete the retest application in the new certification management system.

How to recertify

Download the 3-year recertification form (PDF), and follow the instructions.



Program fees
  • Initial Application/Exam - $399
  • Retest Exam – $199
  • Recertification - $180
Program benefits

  • Enhances professional credibility
  • Validates specialized knowledge
  • Increases customer and employer confidence
  • Provides peer recognition

Certification holders also receive an NFPA certificate that highlights their accomplishment.

Exam information

NFPA exams are available at hundreds of Prometric brick and mortar test centers around the world or in a remotely proctored environment that you can access on a personal or work computer through Prometric’s ProProctor application. To locate a test center near you, or for details on the remote proctored testing option visit www.prometric.com/nfpacert.

CWBSP materials
Reference materials

Body of knowledge
It is the candidate’s responsibility to obtain the reference materials needed for study purposes. NFPA codes are available for purchase by clicking on the related links.

As of 7/1/22, the content of the CWBSP exam will be based on following reference materials: NFPA 13 Handbook (2022), NFPA 13D (2022), NFPA 13R (2022), NFPA 14 (2019), NFPA 20 (2022), and NFPA 22 (2018). The exam will no longer align with previous editions.

Compliance with Applicable Laws; Use of Stamps and Seals

Every jurisdiction has its own legal and regulatory requirements governing the qualifications, designations, certifications and/or licensure required to design, layout, draw and/or stamp plans for water-based fire protection systems and the Certified Water-Based Systems Professional (CWBSP) credential alone does not establish the right to perform such work that is regulated by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Therefore, it is the certificant’s responsibility to contact the appropriate AHJ and be aware of any certification, designation, licensure or other requirements, restrictions or limitations applicable to the design, planning, installation and inspection of water-based fire protection systems.

The NFPA name, logo and/or CWBSP logo shall not be used in connection with a stamp, seal or other mark to indicate that plans, drawings or other related documents have been created, reviewed or approved by an NFPA certificant. If CWBSP certificants are required to provide information about credentials on plans, drawings or related documents, the certificant may provide his or her first and last name, name of the credential, the date the credential was earned, the CWBSP certification number and the certification expiration date.

Contact CWBSP


NFPA Admin & Support Services

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Avon, MA 02322