Aim & Purpose
The National Institute of Steel Detailing has created the Individual Detailer Certification Program (I.D.C.) in response to the steel industry's need to determine the skill level of individuals performing steel detailing services. Industry professionals are in search of talented detailers who have the knowledge and capability to produce quality shop drawings within the framework of various codes, specifications and contract documents. The IDC program has been established to examine and evaluate an individual's detailing knowledge and issue a certificate attesting to that level of knowledge. It is the intention of the NISD to eventually establish this program as an industry-wide professional standard of practice in conjunction with its Quality Procedures Certification Program for companies.
The I.D.C. Program offers worldwide certification in 2 disciplines: Bridge and Structural/Miscellaneous.
Individuals may apply to be certified in one or both disciplines. In order to apply, eligible applicants must meet the following requirements in either of these two classifications:
- Senior Detailer [Class I] - This classification is for applicants who have a minimum of 10 years detailing along with some checking experience. These applicants are required to submit detailed experience history and a letter of recommendation along with their application. The letter of recommendation may be from a steel fabricator or an IDC Certified Senior Detailer.
- Detailer [Class II] - This classification is for applicants who have a minimum of 5 years detailing experience, or who have 3 years detailing experience and have satisfactorily completed a training program. These applicants are required to submit detailed experience history and a letter of recommendation along with their application. The letter of recommendation may be from a steel fabricator or an IDC Certified Senior Detailer or a NISD National Director.
Individuals may apply to take both the Bridge and the Structural/Miscellaneous test; however, separate applications must be submitted for each discipline.
Application and Acceptance Information
The I.D.C. test fees are as follows: Cost for NISD North American Members - $300 total fee per discipline + proctor fee (if applicable). A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required for processing the application. The remaining test fee of $200 is due 10 days prior to the candidate's test date or entrance to the exam will be denied. There is an additional fee of $50 for NISD Members Overseas - Total $350 + proctor fee (if applicable). Cost for Non-Members in North America - $500 + proctor fee per discipline (if applicable). A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required for processing the application. The remaining test fee of $300 is due 10 days prior to the candidate's test date or entrance to the exam will be denied. There is an additional fee of $50 for Non-Members Overseas - Total $550 + proctor fee (if applicable). For an IDC application form click here
Each candidate must complete and submit an application. The following information is required.
- Specify discipline [Bridge and/or Structural/Miscellaneous]
- Specify category [Senior Detailer - Class I or Detailer - Class II]
- Attach a resume of experience history
- Attach a letter of recommendation
- Enclose a deposit of $100 or $200 as required
The NISD's I.D.C. Program Administrator will review all applications to determine if all requirements have been satisfied for the applicant to proceed with testing. If the application is not accepted, he/she will receive notification stating the reason and what steps should be taken to complete processing.
When a candidate's application is accepted, he/she will receive written notification and a sample test.
Test sites are located at various major cities throughout the United States and Canada. Please note that some overnight travel might be required. For candidates located outside the continental United States and Canada, other arrangements will be made. Applicants who are ready to take the test may contact their local public library to see if they proctor tests; many do. While the test usually takes 4 (four) to 6 (six) hours to complete, please make sure that a full 8 (eight-hour) day can be allocated. Then contact the IDC Program Administrator with the pertinent information. Arrangements will be confirmed and finalized through the NISD.
To assist candidates in preparing for the certification test, the NISD has prepared a study guide for the Bridge discipline. The AISC 14th Edition Steel Construction Manual (click here
), and the AISC 3rd Edition Detailing for Steel Construction Manual (click here
), Hot-Dip Galvanizing (NISD Publication - click here
), Paint and Fireproofing (NISD Publication - click here
), 2nd Edition Detailing Guide for Erector's Safety & Efficiency (click here
), Joist and Deck (Vulcraft Catalogs), BIM (www.bimforum.org/lod) and the Uniform Building Code are needed for the Structural/Miscellaneous discipline. Sample test questions will be sent to the candidate upon acceptance of application.
Questions will relate to reference materials published by others such as AISC, AASHTO, OSHA, etc.
The NISD's Individual Detailer Certification Exam is moderately difficult; however a competent detailer will be able to pass. This is not a test of memory but a test of ability. The exam's emphasis is based on a candidate's knowledge of the various techniques, codes, and specifications involved in detailing. There are both true/false and multiple-choice questions. Also the person tested is expected to pick the proper answers from questions based on statements and from information supplied in a series of illustrations involving detailing situations. The types of problems on the test are those that a detailer encounters in everyday work experience. Computer/CAD knowledge is not required and candidates are not expected to demonstrate manual drafting skills. It is an open book exam in which each candidate is permitted to have personal resources on hand, in order to locate pertinent information.
Candidates will receive a reminder prior to taking the test. It will restate the time, date and location of the exam. A list of suggested reference materials, equipment needed for the test, and test rules will be included. The remaining test fee is due no later than 10 days prior to the test date.
Candidates are asked to arrive at the test site one-half hour prior to the start of the exam. Candidates must provide their social security number or SIN number and picture identification. Under no circumstances may anyone other than the applicant take the test. Reference materials, equipment, pencils, and other such paraphernalia should be brought to the site by the candidate for use in taking the test. If during the course of the examination a candidate discovers that he/she is in need of additional testing materials (e.g. calculator batteries), the candidate is permitted to call and have someone deliver the extra supplies. Such material must first be given to the proctor. The delivery person may not view the testing materials, nor discuss the exam with applicant.
The examination period will last 8 (eight) hours, with time off for lunch. Additional rest breaks may be taken at the candidate's discretion, however all testing materials must be left in the examination room. The start and finish times for the exam are not flexible. Proctors will be monitoring all examination sessions, cannot answer any questions relevant to the test and are only responsible for proctoring the online examination.
The NISD's Program Administrator will grade all tests. The following minimum scores are required to pass either the Bridge or Structural/Miscellaneous test.
- Senior Detailer - Class I = 87%
- Detailer - Class II = 73%
Candidates who have successfully passed either test will receive a congratulatory letter, and be awarded a certificate recognizing them as a Certified Senior Detailer or Certified Detailer.
Candidates who have not qualified as Senior Detailer - Class I will receive a letter; however if their score qualifies, they will be certified at the Detailer-Class II classification. If the applicant wishes to acquire Senior Detailer Class I status, then he/she will be allowed to retest up to 5 categories within 3 months of original examination date. The fee for any retests will be $150.
Candidates who did not pass the exam at the Detailer-Class II classification will receive a letter. The names and test results of those who failed will be sealed. If the candidate wishes to retake the test, he/she will be allowed to retest up to 5 categories within 3 months of original examination date. The fee for any retests will be $150.
Re-certification is required for all Certified Detailers every three (3) years. Re-certification applies only to the current classification held. Those detailers who wish to upgrade their classification must retest. Re-certification will consist of the following requirements:
Application fee - $100 for NISD North American Members, $200 for Non-Members in North America, $150 for NISD Members Oversea and $250 for Non-Members Oversea. Using new study materials provided by the NISD. The Program Administrator will notify each Detailer two months prior to their certification expiration date. A two (2) month grace period is permitted after the re-certification is due. If a detailer is not re-certified by the end of the grace period, he/she must reapply and be retested before certification will be granted. For the IDC re-certification application form click here
All candidates' test scores will be kept confidential in the NISD Administrative Office. The detailer's name will be listed in the back of the Membership Directory under IDC Certification.
"The Individual Detailer Certification Program certifies steel detailers in two categories - detailer and senior detailer - for two disciplines - bridge detailing and structural/ miscellaneous detailing. These certifications are based upon the applicant's demonstrated experience, capability, and understanding of sound detailing practices. The program does not certify job-specific compliance with individual practices, standards, or specifications. The National Institute of Steel Detailing and the program's developers, sponsors, administrators, instructors, and proctors make no representation that a certified detailer will satisfy particular safety, performance, or other standards on any individual engagement, and fully disclaim any responsibility for the actions or performance of certified detailers. The information contained above is a general description of the individual detailer program and does not constitute or formulate a business relationship between the National Institute of Steel Detailing and any third party who might employ or engage a certified detailer."
More information on the program is available by contacting the program administrator at email@example.com
. For an IDC application form click here