To participate in the VITA/TCE programs, all volunteers must take the VITA/TCE Volunteer Standards of Conduct – Ethics training (Publication 4961) and pass the certification test. In addition, all tax preparers, Quality Reviewers, instructors, and Site Coordinators must complete the Intake/Interview and Quality Review training (Publication 5101). Volunteers preparing tax returns must pass at least the Basic certification test. Alternatively, you may certify at the Advanced level. A minimum score of 80% is required for any certification test.
Online testing is fast and efficient; you will know immediately if you passed and can print out the certification for your Site Coordinator. If you do not pass the test the first time, you may review the course material and try again. You are allowed two attempts to pass each certification level. A paper test option (Form 6744) may also be available. Talk with your instructor or Site Coordinator for more information on these options.
All designated reviewers and peer-to-peer reviewers are required to be certified at a minimum, at the Basic level or higher (based on the complexity of the return). It is strongly encouraged for volunteers to certify at the Advanced level. SPEC encourages the Quality Reviewers to be the most experienced volunteers in tax law application. Volunteer instructors must certify at Advanced or higher depending on the tax topics instructed.
If you do not pass the retest to receive certification, speak with your Site Coordinator about other ways in which you can contribute, such as greeter, client facilitator, communication specialist, or technical support, among others.