Online certification exam assesses skills remotely Email
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 05:00 AM

Landscape Industry CertifiedEarlier this year, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) introduced the new test format for the Landscape Industry Certified Technician (LICT) – Exterior. The test format changed from written and hands-on tests delivered by state associations to a centralized online test.

The online exam allows for more people across the country to access the test. Previously, only 15 states, including Colorado, were able to offer the test due to the resources needed to be able to stage the hands-on test event.

The online test evaluates the same skills as the previous written and hands-on tests. Landscape Technician Training Manuals, available through ALCC, are still the recommended study material.

As with the previous exam format, landscape professionals will choose a module to test in and enroll in the program. Modules/ practice areas are unchanged from previous test format:

  • Hardscape Installation
  • Softscape Installation
  • Irrigation
  • Turf Maintenance
  • Ornamental Maintenance

Once enrolled, certification candidates can choose a date and time they want to test and schedule it online. A breakdown of topic areas covered can be found on the NALP web site. The test will include a variety of question types including:

  • Multiple choice
  • True/False
  • Short answer
  • Matching
  • Heat map – identifying an area of concentration (for example, where to make a pruning cut on a tree)
  • Drag and drop – to order a sequence of activities to indicate how to complete a task or indicate where an element might be placed in a plant layout, as an example.

There are also videos included for some questions. The test candidate watches a video of someone completing a landscape task or skill and answers questions about what to do next.

The exam can be taken seven days a week; candidates choose from available dates and times during registration. To ensure security, the test is taken via remote proctoring, in which a proctor will observe a candidate testing remotely.

During this most recent time of social distancing to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, online learning and assessment have become more common as landscape companies operate in a more virtual world.

“Online testing allows the opportunity to offer employees a way to demonstrate their skills and commitment to professional development. Landscape companies can use certifications to verify that their employees are following industry-standard practices,” said Melissa Emdin, ALCC Programs and Education Director.

NALP is also developing a skills training workshop to emphasize the importance of hands-on technical skills. ALCC members are involved in the development of the workshop, as they understand the value of real-world demonstration of practical skills.

To learn more about the online LICT testing, and to register, visit the NALP web site,

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Colorado Green magazine. Read the full issue online.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
OSHA updates audit policies in light of COVID-19
Questions arise about face covering requirements for outdoor work in hot weather
Gross Reservoir expansion will help meet growing water demand
Anne Campbell is an emerging leader in Colorado's landscape industry