Formal Certification Procedure
Level 2 HPR Certification
The procedures for Level 2 certification are documented below.
Level 2 certification requires that you hold a valid HPR Level 1 certification before applying. You can examine the HPR Level 2 Certification Procedures covered in this page for more information, as well as review the HPR Level 2 Study Guide. Please note that the NAR high power certification is only one consideration when purchasing and using high power rocket motors. Compliance with local and state laws as well as federal regulations (e.g., FAA FAR Part 101) is also required.
High Power certification is intended to provide a measure of the modeler's competence to avoid gross violations of good modeling practice and safe model operation. The program is not foolproof. A single demonstration of a modeler's skills does not guarantee consistent safe performance. The certification program does not replace competent range personnel (note that high power range safety officers will require high power certification per NFPA 1127) to provide assurance of safe models and operating practices.
- Minimum Requirements
The individual seeking Level 2 High Power certification must be a minimum
of 18 years old at the time of certification.
A copy of their drivers license or birth certificate can be used for proof of age.
Note: Other requirements may be imposed by state, or non-USA authorities. This document does not supersede any requirements imposed by the authorities having jurisdiction..
The individual must be a member in good standing of the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) at the time of certification. Evidence of NAR membership will be requested prior to the certification attempt. Acceptable evidence of membership includes the NAR membership card, a canceled check indicating payment of membership fees, or participation in a NAR event where membership status is verified and indicated on the event materials.
The individual must currently hold a HPR Level 1 certification, as identified on their Membership Card.
Motors used for certification attempts must be currently certified by the NAR, or by another organization (e.g., Tripoli) with a recognized certification program.
- Certification Teams
- The certification team consists of two individuals who are a
minimum of 18 years old and are members in good standing of the NAR.
The certification team members must be unrelated to the applicant.
Members of Tripoli, unless they are also members of the NAR, cannot
participate on a certification team.
- At least one of the team members must be already certified to a
level equal to the certification level being attempted, e.g., a team
member must be certified at Level 2 to judge another individual's
Level 2 certification attempt.
- Level 2 certifications may be administered by a single NAR Level 3
certified individual; the two certified individuals requirement is waived in
- Certification attempts must be witnessed in person by the certification team. Video recordings of a certification flight are not acceptable.
- The certification team consists of two individuals who are a minimum of 18 years old and are members in good standing of the NAR. The certification team members must be unrelated to the applicant. Members of Tripoli, unless they are also members of the NAR, cannot participate on a certification team.
- Certification Process and Documentation
- Certification may be accomplished at any launch where sufficient
individuals meeting the requirements of paragraph 2 are available.
- FAA regulations requiring notification or waivers must be complied
with and the launch site must have a FAA waiver for high power models
(greater than 3.3 pounds launch weight and/or 4.4 ounces of
propellant) in effect at the time of launch. All conditions and
restrictions imposed by the FAA must be satisfied and followed.
- The individual must provide proof of previous Level 1 certification. Proof of
previous certification includes the high power certification card or a NAR membership
card showing the Level 1 certification level.
- The flyer is required to take and pass a HPR Level 2 Written Exam prior
to their Level 2 certification flight attempt. The individual must demonstrate
their knowledge of regulations and laws pertaining to high power rocketry. Questions
concerning basic rocket technical knowledge, e.g., center of pressure and center of
gravity relationships, will also be included.
- The examination will contain 37 questions in the multiple choice format.
- The questions will come from a 97 question pool of questions, which should be used as a HPR Level 2 Written Exam Study Guide.
- The passing grade is 88% ; this means you must have at least 32 or more correct answers out of the 37 questions in the exam.
- The test may be taken only once in a 30-day period.
- The test must be completed prior to the flight attempt. The flight attempt should be made as soon as reasonably and safely possible after successful test completion. The written test will not have to be repeated if the initial flight attempt(s) fail, or if a successful flight is completed within one year of taking the written test. Tests should be retained by the individual until the completion of their certification flight. Once completed, the exam is returned with the application form to NAR Headquarters.
- NAR HPR Level 2 Written Exams are available from:
PO Box 407
Marion, IA 52302
- Master Exams and Key Sheets are provided by NAR Headquarters to each
section for distribution to their certification team members or to a
section officer (e.g., advisor, president). It is the responsibility of
the section to make copies of these exams on an as-needed basis for their
A soft copy of the exams can be requested by Section Leaders/Certification Teams by contacting the Chairman of High Power Services at the NAR. This allows the Sections to print the exams and study guides on an as needed basis.
Exams can also be provided by NAR Headquarters to the individual on a case by case basis to be evaluated when the test is requested. The tests are sealed to prevent accidental disclosure of the questions. The tests should remain sealed until taken. Send and email to NAR Headquarters when requesting individual tests and allow one week minimum prior to a certification attempt to receive the test in the mail.
- The member attempting certification must build the rocket that they
wish to use for their certification attempt. The model may be either scratch
built or a kit and the rocket must be contructed in such a manner that it will
perform safely under the additional stress of an HPR motor. Teams attempting
to certify cannot use the same rocket, but rather are required to each build
their own model. In addition, the member must use an active recovery system
for their certification attempt, which usually includes parachute recovery;
details of these recovery methods are described in the
Definition of Active Recovery.
- The modeler must demonstrate his ability to build and fly a rocket
containing at least one J, K or L impulse class motor. Cluster or staged models
used for certification may not contain over 5120.00 Newton seconds total impulse.
In the case of a cluster or staged model, at least one of the individual motors
must be an J, K or L impulse motor. Combinations of smaller impulse motors that
add up to meet the impulse requirements do not qualify as the model does not contain
at least one J, K or L impulse motor. Single use, reloadable, or hybrid technology
motors are permitted. The modeler must assemble the reloadable motor, if used,
in the presence of a certification team member.
- The individual attempting certification must also complete a
NAR High Power Certification
prior to his certification attempt.
- The model will be subjected to a safety inspection prior to
flight. The safety inspection form is on the back of the NAR High
Power Certification Application. During the safety inspection the
modeler will be expected to provide oral answers to technical
questions related to the safety and construction of his model. The
questions may include (but not limited to) identification of the
model's center of gravity and center of pressure, methods used to
determine model stability, and interpretation of the rocket motor's
designation. The certification team will initial (or check) the
blocks indicating that model safety, motor certification, and the
existence of a FAA waiver (if required) in effect were verified prior
- The individual will fly his model. The flight must be witnessed
by the certification team members. Stability, deployment of the
recovery system, and safe recovery should be considered when
evaluating safety of the flight. Models experiencing a catastrophic
failure of the airframe, rocket motor, and/or recovery system (e.g.,
shock cord separation) will not be considered as having a safe
- The model must be returned to the certification team after flight.
and be inspected to verify engine retention and for evidence of
flight-induced damage. The certification team will initial the blocks
indicating that a safe flight was made and that the post-flight
inspection was satisfactory. In general, the guideline for acceptable
flight damage is that the model could be flown again without repair.
It is left to the judgement of the certification team to differentiate
between flight damage and "normal" maintenance to assure reliability
(e.g., shock cord replacement to prevent future flight problems).
"Zippering" of the body tube is another area of flight damage left to
certification team judgement for acceptability.
- The certification team will sign the certification sheet to
indicate that the certification attempt was successfully completed.
Both the certification sheet and the certification card must be
signed. The certification card and the certification sheet, as
well as the successfully passed written exam are normally returned to
the certifying individual after the flight. At
club launches or NAR sponsored activities (e.g., NARAM, NSL) the
certification sheets may be retained by the event sponsors to be sent
to NAR Headquarters as a group. In that event, only the certification
card is returned to the certifying individual.
- The certification sheet and written exam are returned to NAR Headquarters.
No fees are required. The certification sheet must be returned by the certified
individual or the event sponsors to NAR Headquarters to allow updating
the NAR database. A new NAR membership card will be issued showing
the certification level upon receipt of the certification
- The certification card is valid for one year after the
certification date or until the end of the NAR member's membership,
whichever comes first. The card is recognized as proof of the
certification level. The certification card should be destroyed upon
receipt of a new NAR membership card which shows the certification
- Falsification of data or statements by the certifying individual will result in revocation of the high power certification. Falsification of data or statements by the certification team, e.g., failure to secure a FAA waiver, can result in revocation of the team members' NAR memberships.
- Administrative items
- NAR members who are currently Tripoli Level 2 certified may
grandfather at the NAR Level 2 by completing the identification
portion of a NAR high power application and attaching proof of current Tripoli certification (e.g., photocopy of Tripoli
consumer confirmation card) to NAR headquarters with a request that
their certification level be updated.
- Tripoli certifications will be honored at NAR launches. A current
Tripoli Membership Card is required as evidence of Tripoli
high power certification at launches.
- NAR HPR certifications, once earned, are valid whenever NAR membership is current, and are reinstated upon request after membership lapses.
- NAR members who are currently Tripoli Level 2 certified may grandfather at the NAR Level 2 by completing the identification portion of a NAR high power application and attaching proof of current Tripoli certification (e.g., photocopy of Tripoli consumer confirmation card) to NAR headquarters with a request that their certification level be updated.
Revision of November 20, 2011
- Certification may be accomplished at any launch where sufficient individuals meeting the requirements of paragraph 2 are available.