NAFI's Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator (CFEI) program is an international registry that recognizes qualified fire and explosion investigators. It provides the dual benefit of establishing a standard for evaluating the qualifications of those conducting fire, arson and explosion investigations, as well as creating a benchmark for investigators who wish to establish their professional credentials. It is the only Fire Investigator Certification based solely on the scientific principles of NFPA 921.

Administered by NAFI's National Certification Board, the CFEI is oldest and most widely held Fire Investigation Certification. In fact, more fire and explosion investigation professionals choose NAFI's CFEI program over all other fire investigation certifications.

The CFEI program is governed by the official guidelines published in the application packet. This webpage is designed to be a digest of those policies and procedures.

The CFEI Application Process

Obtaining the CFEI is a two-part process consisting of a credentials review followed by successful completion of the exam. The CFEI application is designed to provide that credentials review and is required of ALL applicants. This application is the ONLY mechanism for the Board to review your qualifications, and only information listed on the application will be considered. Applications deemed incomplete will be returned without review. Applicants failing to successfully pass the credential review will not be allowed to take the CFEI Exam.


The CFEI Exam Process

The CFEI exam is a written evaluation consisting of 100 randomly selected questions from a pool maintained by the National Certification Board. The primary reference source for exam questions is NFPA 921.

The exam uses a multiple choice/true-false format. The examination session is closed book and limited to two hours. No outside assistance or reference materials are allowed.

Applicants must attain a 75% or better in order to receive the CFEI designation.

The CFEI Exam is available through the following venues.

  • At NAFI-sponsored training programs held at various times throughout the year
  • By mail with a NAFI-approved proctor
  • Through pre-approved group testing sessions
  • At the NAFI Office in Bradenton, Florida

Exam Results

Exam results are recorded as pass/fail. We will notify you by e-mail of your results within four weeks. You may be able to see your results sooner by logging into your membership on  Sorry, but we cannot share test results over the phone.


Do's and Don'ts for CFEI Applicants

  • Do join NAFI online before submitting your CFEI application
  • Do complete the CFEI application in its entirety
  • Do complete the credits summary page
  • Do sign your application
  • Do keep a copy of your application for your records (just in case)
  • Don't forget your proctor forms (if applicable)
  • Don’t fax or email your application – originals are required
  • Don’t send in your application until you are ready to take the exam
  • Don't forget to include the application fee

Do's and Don'ts for Current CFEI's

  • Do pay your NAFI dues each year
  • Do proudly display the CFEI logo on your advertising and website
  • Do continue to pursue the latest in fire and explosion investigation training.
  • Don't forget to re-certify before your due date
  • Don't forget to keep us updated on your current address
  • Don't forget you can now serve as a proctor for other CFEI candidates (in accordance with Proctor Guidelines)

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