General Public and Consumers

A fireplace or stove can add beauty, warmth and value to your home and set the mood for memorable gatherings of family and friends. Choosing and installing a hearth system without adequate expertise is like playing with fire. That is why our industry is making quality training and credentials its mission.

Planning and installing fireplaces, stoves and their venting systems requires experience, technical knowledge and skill. Numerous decisions — from proper floor protection to appliance sizing and placement to venting system compatibility and height-should all be made with the expertise of a specialist.

Hearth professionals have a credible, nationally-recognized credentialing program through which they can validate their knowledge and advance in a career path. The National Fireplace Institute®, an independent, non-profit certification agency, has created these standards for certification in the hearth industry. Only those who pass a rigorous examination covering fundamentals of proper installation receive NFI Specialist Certification.

Thanks to these efforts, NFI is now recognized as the basis for licensure in several states, counties and local municipalities. Licensing is a local issue and many times NFI certification is required without any notice to the NFI office.

Industry Professionals

The National Fireplace Institute® is the professional certification division of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF), a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization for the hearth industry. NFI’s objective is to increase public safety by establishing meaningful credentials for professionals involved in planning and installing residential hearth appliances and venting systems.

NFI certifies planners and installers in four hearth product categories based on fuel type:

NFI also recognizes individuals who have successfully gained all three NFI Certifications as Master Hearth Professionals. These individuals have reached the highest level of certification in the hearth industry.

Continuing Education

NFI Certifications are valid for 3 years. New products and technology are constantly being introduced. Regardless of how long a person has been in the industry, it is important to keep up with the latest changes.  Keeping current is critical for every person in the industry. Some people prefer to renew their certification by taking the exam every three years.  NFI reviews and updates each exam on a regular basis to ensure that the information is correct and timely. Exams are offer at the industry trade show, HPBExpo, every year.  Exams are also offered at many regional events through HPBA Affiliates, various manufacturers or distributors, and through other independent organizations.  Finally, exams are offered at any of the 500+ PSI/LaserGrade test centers and online from the comfort of your own home or office. For a current list of exams being offered, please contact the NFI office at 703-524-8030.

Another option is to renew a certification by taking classes during the time you are certified. There are several options available for continuing education.  Course providers have the option of applying for Continuing Education Units( CEUs) for the class.  A person that holds one certification must earn a total of 24 CEUs over the three year period.  12 must be classified Technical, 4 must be Safety, Health & Liability (SHL) and 8 can be excess Technical or SHL, or simply be identified as Electives.  Once an application has been submitted, the CEU Committee evaluates the material and determines the number and type of CEU each course is awarded.

Continuing education classes are offered at HPBExpo and at various other industry events throughout the year.  There are also 270+ classes available online through HE@RTH Online Training. For more information about our online training program, go to the Online Training page.