Why is NWSA being Established?
The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) is a national certification organization devoted to offering national certification programs in alignment with the certification industry’s most rigorous accreditation requirements NWSA will standardize the certification process and provide a greater degree of confidence to the industry that an employee who is trained in Massachusetts and an employee trained in California (at the same level of technician category), are qualified to perform the scope of work required of them. Technicians, regardless of their training pathway, will be required to take a standardized NWSA computer-based test (CBT) and field-based practical examination to achieve certification. An NWSA certification card will be a source of pride for industry technicians and will ultimately raise the bar on safety and quality.

How much will it cost to take an NWSA Examination?
The CBT application fee is $174.00 and the field-based practical examination application fee is $100.00. The CBT exam must be taken at a testing center, selected from the website link here (choose National Wireless Safety Alliance as the "Sponsor"). The candidate will know if they pass the computerized test at the end of the exam. The practical examination must be administered by an independent practical examiner at an NWSA approved test site. The examiners and test sites are listed here. Additional fees may be charged by a practical examiner or by a practical examination site host.

How will the NWSA Process Work?
The examination process begins by meeting the basic minimum prerequisite requirements for certification which include a current OSHA 10-hour Training Construction Card and a current First Aid and CPR certification card. If these minimum prerequisites are met, candidates can access the official applications for the TTT-1 & TTT-2 CBT and practical examinations on the NWSA website. The website also contains the domain topics that will be covered by the CBTs, as well as, the referenced sources that were used to develop the examinations.

The TTT-1 & TTT-2 CBT will cover the following domain areas:

  • Job Logistics
  • Climbing
  • Hoisting Equipment and Rigging
  • Structures
  • Appurtenance Installation and Maintenance
  • Equipment/Special Operations

Are NWSA Certification Programs Accredited?
Not yet. The NWSA will apply in the future to have its certification programs accredited through the ANSI/ISO 17024 process, which is the highest level of accreditation available in the marketplace for bodies operating certification of personnel.

Is the NWSA a Training Organization?
No, NWSA does NOT train. Many believe that NWSA is conducting training or standardizing training, they are NOT. The NWSA is an individual technician certification organization. The training pathway that takes place prior to taking the standardized NWSA certification exams can occur from within a company’s internal training program, a private training company, an educational institution or apprenticeship program.

Who is involved with NWSA?
The National Wireless Safety Alliance, (NWSA), a 501 c-6 non-profit organization was established as a by-product of the Wireless Industry Safety Task Force. The Wireless Industry Safety Task Force was a collaborative effort by a diverse group of industry stakeholders representing wireless carriers, tower owners/vertical realtors, OEM’s, turn-key/construction management firms, contractor companies, public safety entities, tower climbers and industry associations.

Who will benefit from NWSA?
The NWSA certification examinations are aimed at developing a safer, more knowledgeable industry workforce through the organization’s individual technician certification process. The philosophy is that if the technician’s knowledge and skills are improved, the skills of the workforce, as a whole, will rise within the industry. It is widely believed that individual tower technician’s knowledge and skills will be like a rising tide that raises all boats. This approach has also proven to be successful in the crane industry.

How were the NWSA exams created?
NWSA has entered into a professional contract with NCCCO for certification program development and administration services. A key component of the partnership involves NCCCO's professional consulting assistance in further developing NWSA's various technician certification programs in alignment with the certification industry’s most rigorous accreditation requirements. Additionally, the NWSA-NCCCO partnership also includes a co-branding agreement to offer CCO Signalperson and Rigger certification programs to the communications tower industry workforce.

Who is NCCCO?
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) was formed in January 1995 as a non-profit organization that provides ANSI accredited certification offerings to workers who utilize cranes in the construction trades and other general industries. NCCCO has a successful track record of providing national certification services for more than 20 years. The mission of NCCCO is to develop effective performance standards for those who work in and around cranes; provide fair, valid, and reliable assessments of their knowledge and skill; and act as an authoritative industry resource of related information.

National Commission Certification of Crane Operators logo

What is the governance structure of NWSA?
A Board of Governors representing a broad cross-section of industry stakeholders has been selected to provide oversight for the organization. The Board of Governors are tasked with the duty of making policy and overseeing the activities of the NWSA committees. View the NWSA Board of Governors roster listing.

NWSA Committees, (Appeals, Communications, Ethics and Discipline, Exam Management) consist of experienced industry subject matter experts and volunteers and have been tasked with administering the various committee functions of the NWSA.

What technician certification programs will be available through NWSA?
NWSA plans to offer a variety of certifications based on defined categories of technicians and workers within the industry

  • In November of 2015, the NWSA formally launched the co-branded NCCCO-NWSA Signal Person and Rigger certification programs.
  • In January of 2017, the Telecommunications Tower Technician I (TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2) certification programs were launched.
  • Other certification programs the NWSA is considering developing include: Climber Certification, Antenna & Line Foreman, Tower (Stacking) Foreman, Structural Modifications Foreman, DAS Systems Technician and Small Cell Systems Technician.

Where will NWSA Examinations Be Offered?
The CBT must be taken at an official PSI testing center. There are over 450PSI testing centers nationwide. To view a listing of PSI testing centers, click here (choose National Wireless Safety Alliance as the "Sponsor"). Upon concluding the computer-based written examination, the candidate will receive immediate notification on how they performed on the test. The field-based practical examination must be administered by a practical examiner at an official NWSA test site. The examiners and test sites are listed here.

How can I contact a representative from NWSA with questions about the certification process?
NWSA representatives are available Monday – Friday during normal business hours to assist you with your questions pertaining to the organization’s certification process. To contact a NWSA representative, please call (703) 459-9211 or email nwsa@nws-a.org.

Duane MacEntee Executive Director 703-459-9211 Duane.MacEntee@nws-a.org
Shelly Trego Executive Administrator 605-880-0437 Shelly.Trego@nws-a.org