Inertial Profiler Certification Program (IPCP)

IPCP COVID-19 Response:
In support of the construction program, which is identified as an essential function, Caltrans and our partner UCPRC will abide by the schedule while implementing social distancing protocols.

For the traveling public, the quality of a road is gauged by how smooth it "rides". While this may be largely subjective, measurable roadway characteristics such as pavement roughness or road profile are strongly related to this perception of ride quality. Smooth road profiles have become a standard measure of pavement quality. Smooth roads are associated with lower road user costs, favorable user perceptions of quality and acceptability, longer pavement service lives, and lower life-cycle costs.

Caltrans has adopted the inertial profiler for determination of pavement smoothness for some of the smoothness specifications as identified in the Standard Specifications. This Inertial Profiler Certification Program is intended to capture the annual calibration verification in accordance with California Test 387.

Caltrans IA oversees and assists our partners from UCPRC in administering the practical exams at the testing site shown below.

IA verifies all certification and sign certs UCPRC issues on site.

Reciprocity Agreement

A reciprocity agreement between Caltrans and Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) for the Inertial Profiler Certification is currently in effect. If you currently hold a valid NDOT certification, please contact the Caltrans Inertial Profiler Certification Program (IPCP).

NDOT Profiler Certification will not be accepted at construction sites.


Operator Certification:

  • $500/operator/test for first time operators
  • $250/operator/test for each recertification

Equipment Certification: 

  • $1,000/profiler per test day

You must pay the certification test fee by cashier check or money order only (no personal check will be accepted), made payable to "The Regents of the University of California", on the day of testing. If you need to cancel a test, notify Caltrans by Thursday of the week prior to testing week, as all schedules are final by Friday of the week prior to testing. If a cancellation is not made by Thursday of the week prior to testing week, you will be required to make full payment of testing fees prior to rescheduling a subsequent test. If you cancel again after the Thursday prior to testing week of the rescheduled test, your payment will be forfeited.


To schedule an operator and/or equipment certification, complete the request form below and e-mail the completed form to

*The requested certification day will not be scheduled until a completed request form has been provided. A confirmation of your request will be sent by email. An additional email with specific certification information/instructions will be sent the Friday prior to the week of certification.


  • As there are limited slots in each certification session, the openings for written and field tests are filled on 'First Come First Served' basis.
  • Caltrans will only accommodate a maximum of four operators per vehicle on any given day. This is to allow time for operators to retake the practical exam if needed.
  • For FIRST TIME operators, the certification process will consist of operator written test, operator practical test, and equipment certification. Operator may use equipment already certified.
  • Operator must pass written exam prior to attempting the practical exam.
    • Operator has the option of taking the written exam on the same day of the practical or schedule written exam prior to attending the practical exam.
    • All written exams are subject to the Caltrans IA manual specifications on waiting periods for retaking exam.
  • For RETURNING OPERATORS, the certification process will consist of operator practical test and equipment certification.
  • RETURNING OPERATORS must be recertified in or prior to the month of expiration of their certification. If there is no scheduled date for certification in the month of expiration, certification test should be taken in the next available month. If the operator fails to take the test in the month of expiration or the next available month as stated above, the operator will no longer be considered as a RETURNING OPERATOR. Operator will be considered as a FIRST TIME OPERATOR and will have to follow the process for FIRST TIME OPERATOR.
  • Equipment certification may be done in conjunction with the operator certification or be performed by a certified operator. In the case that the equipment fails certification, operator has the option to try to resolve the issue and retry. If issue is not resolved, the agency may reschedule and pay corresponding fee.
  • If during operator certification the inertial profiler being used malfunctions and the issues are not resolved on the same day, the equipment will be decertified and the agency will be required to reschedule equipment certification and pay corresponding fees.
  • Schedule is generated in December of the year prior to certification and posted for the clients to request certification dates.

2023 Schedule**:

Week of Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
February 27 02/28 - full 03/01 - full  
April 3 04/04 - full 04/05 - full 04/06 - full
May 15 05/16 - full 05/17 - full    
June 12 06/13 - full 06/14 - full 06/15 - full
August 7 08/08 - full 08/09 - full 08/10 - full
September 11 09/12 - full 09/13 - full 09/14 - full
October 9   10/10 - full 10/11 - full 10/12 - full
October 16 10/17 - full 10/18 - full 10/19 - full

**Schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather and as conditions warrant

Certification Location

The operator written exam will be conducted prior to the practical examination. The written exam will be held at the Translab facility, 5900 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento CA 95819. For operators outside of the Sacramento region, the written exam may be scheduled at a separate, mutually agreed upon location as the schedule allows.

Equipment and operator certifications are conducted at the Department's Inertial Profiler Certification Site located in Sacramento at the Regional Transit Metro parking lot between the Roseville Road and Watt/I-80 Light Rail Stations. The site location and written instructions are shown below.

Directions from Westbound I-80:

  • Take Exit 93 for Light Rail Station / Longview Drive
  • Veer Left on the off-ramp towards the Light Rail Station
  • Take the first left turn under the freeway and into the light rail parking lot
  • Turn Left at the stop sign
  • Certification site is located approximately 1/4 mile down on the right

Directions from Eastbound I-80:

  • Take Exit 92 for Winters Street
  • Turn right onto Winters Street
  • Continue onto the roadway at the end of the cul-de-sac
  • Follow this road through the light rail parking lot
  • Certification site is located approximately 1/2 mile from the beginning of the parking lot on the right

Certified Inertial Profiler Lists

Program Links

IA Manual, Guidelines, and Forms