Fundamentals Exam

People applying for Certified Professional Soil Scientist accreditation are required to have a tertiary qualification as well as at least four courses in soil science at undergraduate or postgraduate level. 

Applicants who hold a tertiary qualification but lack the four courses may use a successful result in the Fundamentals Exam to satisfy the academic requirements.

The Fundamentals Exam (jointly developed / owned by Soil Science Australia and the Soil Science Society of America) consists of 150 multiple choice questions on the topics listed in the Performance Objectives. Soil Science Australia considers the Performance Objectives to contain the minimum professional competencies required by soil scientists working on environmental and agricultural problems in Australia.

The cost, location and date(s) on which the exam is offered is set each year. As a guide, the cost is approximately US$200 and registration is via the Soil Science Society of America website. The registration portal is open only after the exam dates are set; these dates are listed on this web page. Late registrations are not accepted and refunds are not provided except in exceptional circumstances.

Contact the CPSS adminstrator for more information. 

Fundamentals Exam 2018

If you are considering applying for CPSS accreditation but DO NOT have a formal academic background in soil science, you are invited to sit the Soil Science Fundamentals Examination to demonstrate your academic credentials.

How to register

Visit the Soil Science Fundamentals Examination page for more information and follow the instructions.  Please note the registration portal is now open until 23 November.


The 2018 Fundamentals Exam will be held on Wednesday 5 December at locations dependent on where enrolments occur. 

At present, the locations are listed by capital cities but the actual venues may be outside the cities depending on what can be organised. If you are unsure where to enrol, please contact the CPSS Administrator, Dr Cam Grant for advice.

You should base your preparative studies for the exam on the Performance Objectives.