Updating the Soils Inspector Certification Exam by Loras Klostermann, P.E.


Loras Klostermann, P.E.

In addition to authoring and providing the International Building Code (IBC), the International Code Council (ICC) makes up the tests used by all special inspection specialties to certify the inspectors are uniquely qualified to perform those inspections required by the building code.  Most of our local communities have adopted the IBC and are beginning to require the special inspectors be certified.  Separate committees that each have 5 to 7 members maintain each of the numerous certification tests administered by ICC.

Schemmer's own Loras Klostermann has been involved with the Soils Inspector Certification test since 2008, when the test was first developed.  Committee members canvassed their peers at that time to find what should be required of the test in order to provide a suitable scope for the test to determine that test applicants who pass the exam are qualified, but also provide a test is not too hard and not too easy.  The first exams were administered in February of 2009.  Loras is the only committee member from the central United States, the other members are all from the east and west coasts.

Since that time, Loras has been asked to continue to assist on this certification committee and was named Committee Chairman last year.  They are currently updating the test to provide more questions and to evaluate the questions in light of changing testing methods and changes to the IBC.  All of the exam questions need to be directly referenced to suitable sources that have been found acceptable to the Committee, including chapter, section, and page number of the selected reference. In addition to updating the test, the Committee also reviews complaints by test applicants.  When a test question is challenged, the Committee will review the challenge and provide a suitable response to the applicant making the challenge.  Based on our review of the facts presented the Committee will change a test question, change the answers to the question, retire the question from use on future tests, or find that the challenge is unfounded.