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DPOR of Virginia - Application & Test Prep Info

Application Requirements - What you Need to Test Backflow Preventers in Virginia

Backflow Testers in Virginia must hold either a local license or a state license. The local licenses are mostly in the areas around Norfolk, but some others do exist. If you currently hold a local license, that will usually work as qualification for the exam and you won't need to submit any experience hours or vocational training courses. If not, you will need either 4 years of experience and a 40-hour vocational training course approved by DPOR, or 7 years of experience and a 16-hour vocational training course approved by DPOR. 

Experience is submitted in this Experience Verification form which is filled out by the applicant and verified by the employer. The hours accepted are in "Water Distribution Systems" where most mechanical trades (Plumbing, Sprinkler, Irrigation, Hydronic HVAC, etc.) are acceptable to them but it is up to DPOR to accept or reject your time. 

Vocational Training Courses must be done at one time, i.e. if you need 40 hours it means you need a 40-hour course, not two 20-hour courses or a 32-hour and 8-hour. The course has to be registered with DPOR at least 30 days in advance and be located in the state of Virginai (in most cases). We have our schedule of upcoming courses posted online here. Once finished the course, you will receive a transcript with the course information, your information, et.c, that is signed by us.

The Transcript and Experience Verification Form, along with any payments or other items, such as a criminal reporting form, etc., are submitted via standard mail or can be delivered in person. The application is downloadable here. Once approved, you will be given a login code with PSI to schedule for your exam.

What do I bring to the exam?

Similar to all other trade license exams, this exam is done through PSI. You will go to a test center where you answer multiple choice questions on a computer, and the test is open book, meaning you are allowed to use specific text books which are examined on entry. They cannot have notes written in them, but are allowed to be highlighted or reproduced stapled or 3-ring bound). You do not have to bring the books, but the questions are based on the books so it would make sense to bring all of them for your reference (all of the following are links to where you can buy or download the texts):

Virginia Board for Contractors, Individual License and Certification Regulations

2015 International Plumbing Code (other years usually acceptable)

One of the following:

TREEO - Backflow Prevention Theory and Practice, 2004

USC Manual of Cross-Connection Control, 2009, 10th edition

ASSE 5000 - Cross-Connection Control Professional Qualifications

The full PSI Exams Candidate Information Bulletin is downloadable here - but note this includes all tradesmen exams so you have to weed out the information specific to Backflow Prevention Device Worker.

What is on the exam?

The PSI Exams Candidate Information Bulletin also outlines what subject the questions are pulled from. The BPAT exam includes 40 questions and are multiple choice, and you are given 150 minutes to complete. One glaring item that we stress to our students is that 10 out of the 40 questions are based on the DPOR Rules and Regulations packet, so only 75% of the exam actually pertains to backflow prevention testing (all tradesmen exams include these 10 questions, but since BPAT is only 40 questions instead of the normal 100, they are weighted much more heavily). Below is the outline provided by PSI:

A. Standards of Practice (3 Items)

B. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)

C. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)

D. Definitions (1 Item)

E. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)

F. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)

G. Testing/Troubleshooting (16 Items)

H. Assemblies/Devices (4 Items)

I. General Subject Knowledge (6 Items)

J. Maintenance and Repair (2 Items)

K. Laws and Rules (1 Item)

L. Safety (1 Item)

The full PSI Exams Candidate Information Bulletin is downloadable here - but note this includes all tradesmen exams so you have to weed out the information specific to Backflow Prevention Device Worker. 

How should I prepare for the exam?

We do not recommend just showing up with the books and "winging it" - you should definitely have your book choices made and thoroughly review all of the texts before going to the exam. It is multiple choice and open book, so many of the questions will be super specific and complex to the point that you cannot answer it without finding the applicable section in the text. This is especially true for the 10 DPOR Rules and Regulations questions so this 50 some page manual should be reviewed in its entirety. Learn how to use the indexes and tables of contents, assess what chapter the question is from and then skim the chapter for that item. A good game plan would be to take a practice test if you have one, and then re-take it a few times. 

Nerves are also Important! Just because you haven't taken a test in 10 years, or you failed this same test in the past, should not effect your approach. If you have all of the required texts and you are familiar with the subjects, just take a breath and do the best you can.

How can Kruger's Training Academy help me prepare for the exam?

We are glad you asked!

First - If you want all of the application requirements, the DPOR book, a practice test with answers, and a few other things (sorry we cannot provide the code or text) emailed to you and printed out and mailed to you FOR FREE - fill out our DPOR test materials request form here and we will send it out at our earliest convenience.  

Second - We have 8-hour DPOR Test Prep courses avaiable in Richmond, Manassas, Roanoke, and Newport News. Theses are $200 and are on Fridays. I have more information on theses courses, as well as the full 40 and 16 hour vocational credit courses, posted online on our Virginia Page.