A Surveyor's Guide to the FEMA NFIP Elevation Certificate

Randall W. Whitesides, P.E.

Course Outline

This three hour online course discusses the elevation certification (EC) requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program. This web-based training module is designed to help Surveyors, Engineers, and Architects complete the FEMA elevation certification correctly. This certification can only be effected by professionals who are authorized by law to do so.

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be familiar with:

Course Content

In this course, you will be directed to the website of The National Flood Insurance Program and the tutorial entitled The Surveyor's Guide to the Elevation Certificate at http://training.nfipstat.com/ecsurveyor/.

The Surveyor's Guide requires the following components installed on your PC:
- Macromedia Flash 5 Plug-In
- Windows Media Player
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- 200MHZ processor or better
- Sound Card & Speakers
- 56 K / or better Internet Connection

At the site, you will be given the option to begin the "guide" with or without introductory instructions; beginning with the instructions is recommended. After reviewing the introduction, you then click on three section tabs to move around the site. Clicking on the "Elevation Certificate" tab will allow you to view and download an electronic copy of the EC along with instructions in how to complete it. Clicking on the "Surveyor Video" tab opens a video that briefly describes the process you should follow to establish a building's elevation points. Clicking on the "Bldg. Diagrams & Photos" tab will display a series of eight sample building diagrams and representative photos. This section of the course is designed to show you where to take the necessary elevation measurements for each building diagram.

Navigation tools at the bottom of each page on the site provide information on how to move around and within the on-line course and how to use each section most effectively. One of the navigation buttons provides download options for the EC as well as presented building diagrams and photographs. One navigation tool allows you to E-mail your questions or comments directly to EC specialists at FEMA.

Special Note: PLEASE BE ADVISED. FEMA revised the Elevation Certificate (EC) effective March 16, 2009. The FEMA NFIP web-based training module linked in this course has not been updated by FEMA to reflect these revisions. However, since the new EC will be phased-in on a voluntary basis until March 31, 2010, you may still wish to continue with this course to obtain PDH credit. Although the old version of the form is no longer available for distribution, existing copies may be used until March 31, 2010. Elevations certified on or after April 1, 2010, must be submitted on the new form.

The revised form and instructions for completing it are available at:



Additional Resources

If you have questions about completing the Elevation Certificate, contact the FEMA regional office covering your state. Contact information for each FEMA regional office is accessible at: http://www.fema.gov/fema/statedr.shtm.



Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.