The NSS (Non-SPED-Student) PPD Level I Exam is designed for students of piping design who have passed their final exam at a recognized, accredited technical educational institution in the United States or Canada. Passing the exam provides the successful student with SPED PPD Level I Certification status.


The cost to write the NSS SPED exam is US$100 (non-refundable in the case of fail). In contrast to standard SPED PPD exams, no practice sessions are provided.


This NSS PPD Level I Exam's content is in part based upon the textbook, Process Plant Layout and Design by Ed Bausbacher and Roger Hunt, which is source material for the full SPED Piper BootCamp course.


Exam will be proctored by and at the student's educational institution.


SPED suggests reading the following document prior to proceeding with PPD Certification:


Recommended Practice for Assessing Piping Designer Baseline Skills and Competencies [PDF]


Before SPED can enroll you for the NSS PPD exam you must first...


Email the following to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


- Your updated resume (on company letterhead if available) and completed PPD Level I Application Evaluation Form


Download SPED PPD Level I Application Form (PDF)




Example NSS PPD Exam Questions

Sped Ppd L1 Exam Typical Questions




Level I – Basic PPD
The Candidate will demonstrate by test or by degree or certificate awarded the following skills:
1. The candidate will use generally accepted practices to route, support and assure pipe stays within an existing layout of process equipment arrangement.
2. The candidate identifies basic process equipment, pipe, valves, and fittings from either photographs, drawings or generally accepted 2D and 3D symbols and identifies their nozzles and other points of connection and attachment.
3. The candidate can trace out, sketch and correctly identify process lines on the Process Engineer’s P&ID and on a corresponding 2D or 3D representation (Piping Isometrics, Plans, Sections, Renderings) and verify their correctness.
4. The candidate identifies and lists the proper materials for a given piping specification.
5. The candidate identifies situations requiring the application of publicly available piping design standards, including ASME B31.3 and B31.1.
6. The candidate designs pipe appropriately to commonly available fabrication and erection methods.
7. The candidate designs pipe to accommodate reasonably foreseeable inspection and maintenance practices.
8. The candidate uses a Computer Aided Design (CAD) system to correctly represent a schematic and dimensioned piping drawings and backup electronic client appropriately.


After you complete the NSS PPD Level I exam, SPED reviews your test score, your application and references to determine certification. You will be notified about your certification status by email. If criteria for PPD Certification is met, a PDF of your PPD Certificate will be sent to you along with a SPED Membership ID card. An individual member account will be opened for you at


Your PPD certification must be maintained by renewing each year



Pdu Eligible Activities



Questions? Call 713-960-4478 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.