Education Information

HPBExpo 2021 Education

The 2021 HPBExpo Education Program is developed by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF). More than 30 sessions designed to help industry professionals increase sales, improve business efficiency, and strengthen technical abilities. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) abound for those seeking to renew NFI or CSIA Certifications. Starting Wednesday, March 3rd, the day before exhibits open, and concluding Friday, March 5th, the Education Program consists of sessions in the CEU categories listed below, except for Manufacturer Specific Training.


Technical seminars focus on subjects and skills necessary to successfully install and service hearth products. From simple practical tools for everyday use to advanced troubleshooting techniques, sessions in this track provide important “how-to” and troubleshooting information by some of the industry’s leading experts. Owners, managers and service technicians will learn the technical skills needed, whether they have been in the industry for 20 months or 20 years.
Learn how to make the workplace a safe and healthy environment before an accident happens. Owners and employees benefit from understanding how to create a safe working environment and the importance of finding a balanced approach to protecting employees and businesses from undue liability can also be found in sessions labeled with this icon.
The Elective track contains a variety of classes designed for owners, managers, sales personnel and anyone in your organization that interacts with customers.
  • Business Management seminars designed to provide practical concepts from the functional areas of business (e.g., marketing, finance and capital resources).
  • Sales skills, promotion ideas and marketing strategies for small and large business operations. Robust sales revenues usually go hand-in-hand with a well-developed and implemented marketing plan.
  • Outdoor Living is an exciting segment of the industry that continues to expand. Sessions include barbecue and patio topics and general outdoor room topics.
Manufacturer Specific Training
Back by popular demand! Several industry manufacturers will have two-hour sessions to go over the sales, marketing and technical information you need to know. Each session will be listed on the HPBExpo web site and the Show Program Guide. Please note:
  • An Education Passport is no longer required to attend the manufacturer training sessions.
Some manufacturers will limit attendance to their dealers only.

Education General Information

To attend education sessions, you must purchase a Three-Day Passport or a Single Session Ticket. The Three-Day Passport covers all general sessions in the program and a Single Session Ticket covers one specific course of interest in the program. To purchase, select option when registering to attend HPBExpo 2021. Three-Day Passports and Single Session Tickets can also be purchased on site in Nashville.


Education FeesMemberNon-member
Single Session Ticket
(Covers ONE specific session in the program.)
Three-Day Passport
(Covers all general sessions in the program.)

Questions? Call HPBEF at (703) 524-8030 or email


NFI Certification

The National Fireplace Institute® (NFI) is the professional certification division of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF). NFI’s objective is to increase public safety by establishing meaningful credentials for professionals involved in planning and installing residential hearth appliances and venting systems.

Benefits of becoming certified include:

  • Increased employee confidence and retention – fewer complaints and callbacks.
  • A competitive edge over your competition – more customers = more profit!
  • A chance to lower insurance premiums.
  • Respect from building and code officials.
  • Possible recognition by state/local government.

All NFI Exam packages now include access to the online version of the review class. You can access the online review any time prior to Expo to better prepare for the exam. Once you have registered, you will receive an email on how to access the online review (please allow 3 business days to receive access information). Then, once onsite in New Orleans, take the live review class that will be presented by one of the industry’s top instructors to answer any last minute questions you may have before taking the exam.


How to Participate in the NFI Certification Program at HPBExpo

There were significant changes to the NFI exam process that were introduced at HPBExpo 2019. Call the NFI office at 703-524-8030 if you have any questions or email To register for NFI exams, go to: and select HPBExpo for the exam location during checkout.

An NFI Certification package allows the individual access to any one of the scheduled review courses and exams: review courses are offered Wednesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 4th.

Online exams are now available at HPBExpo! You can take the exam when it is convenient for you.

  • Exams are available Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • There are 10 computers available for each time slot.  Register early to get your preferred day and time.
  • Exams are graded as soon as the exam is submitted.
  • For complete details, contact the NFI Office at (703) 524-8030.

Participants are not required to register for a specific day for review courses. Be sure to register well in advance of HPBExpo to allow study time before attending the review course and taking the exam. Upon registration, the study manual will be sent to the participant via USPS Priority Mail.


Four NFI Certifications Available – Gas, Woodburning, Pellet and Hearth Design Specialist

NFI Certified Gas Specialist

This certification is for professionals who install or plan gas hearth appliance systems. It covers the installation knowledge specific to gas appliances and venting, including regulations and instructions, fuel delivery, appliance requirements, venting and ventilation, and troubleshooting. All major gas hearth appliances (fireplaces, gas log sets, inserts and freestanding stoves) and venting methods (conventional Type B vent, direct vent, liner systems and unvented) are covered. Be sure to study from the Sixth Edition Gas Reference Manual.

NFI Certified Woodburning Specialist

This certification covers solid fuel factory-built fireplaces and all types of wood stoves, including freestanding, inserts and manufactured high-efficiency fireplaces. In addition to core knowledge pertaining to woodburning appliances, installation and planning knowledge includes solid-fuel appliance regulations and instructions, appliances, venting and ventilation, and troubleshooting. Be sure to study from the Sixth Edition Woodburning Reference Manual.

NFI Certified Pellet Specialist

For professionals who plan and install pellet hearth systems, this certification covers the different approaches to pellet appliance fuel delivery, heat transfer and venting systems. Planning, installation and troubleshooting knowledge covered includes such subjects as appliance components, electrical requirements, vent configurations and assembly, and common causes and solutions for pellet-system problems. Be sure to study from the Sixth Edition Pellet Reference Manual.

NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialist

Many of the major product and installation decisions are made during the sales process. This new certification is designed so sales personnel have the technical knowledge they need to guide their customers through the decision making process. Topics include the basic theory of combustion, draft, product choices, safety considerations, applicable codes & standards, venting and the basic principles of woodburning, gas and pellet appliances. Be sure to study from the First Edition Hearth Design Specialist Reference Manual.

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