Exam Information

PHE Certificate Exam

Test overview

The PHE Certificate examination is "closed book," online, and administered by a proctor who remains in the room during the test. It consists of 150 multiple-choice and true-false questions and should be taken in one sitting of 3-hours or less. Once set, the applicant should send their exam date and proctor information to phe@entocert.org with at least 10 days' notice. Exams are scheduled weekly and instructions are sent to the proctor and applicant 7-10 days before their exam date, including the username and password to access the exam. The exam is rigorous by design. The Certification Board feels that applicants, regardless of how long they have been in the industry, should prepare for the exam with a minimum of 40 hours of self-study prior to attempting the exam. Please see the PHE resources page for more information on how to study for the PHE exam. 

General guidelines

The PHE Certificate examination is designed to recognize practicing pest management and vector control professionals who have a solid grasp of the practical aspects of applied entomology. The major categories of competency covered by the exam include these four areas:

  • Inspection and Identification (45% of the exam)
  • Monitoring (12% of the exam)
  • Selection and Implementation of Control Methods (28% of the exam)
  • Evaluation (15% of the exam)

Content Outline

The content outline is the four Domains broken into a series of Skills and Tasks. It is more detailed information on the types of materials covered in the examination.

After the Exam

The exam is scored immediately by the testing software and an unofficial score is sent to the applicant. A final score follows within a week. Passing score is 75%. Those who pass will be emailed instructions on claiming their Digital Certificate.

If an applicant does not earn a passing score the first time they take the exam, they can retake it no sooner 30 days and no more than 365 days later. To schedule a retake, the applicant need only email phe@entocert.org with their exam date and proctor. As with scheduling initial exams, please make sure to give ESA staff at least 10 days' notice. There is no fee to retake the PHE Certificate exam. 

As a reminder, PHE Certificate applications are valid until the applicant passes the exam.