Soils Special Inspector

ICC Soils Online Training Course

Plan Reading Training That Actually Works

Passing the ECP Soils Plans Exam is the hardest part of getting certified as an ICC Soils Special Inspector. To teach people how to read plans, we created a 4-step process that's been very effective.

Watch the video and read the paragraphs below to learn more.

1. 3 Digital Plans with Teaching Notes

We took 3 plan sets and added our best teaching notes right on them. The notes explain confusing details and point you to the important sections of the plans.

The first set of plans are civil plans while the rest of the plans are grading plans.

Also, all the plans are digital. You'll be prepared for the ECP Soils Plans Exam because it now uses digital plans instead of physical plans.

2. Audio Teaching

We provide audio teaching that matches the teaching notes in the plan sets. Listening to the audio clips is like having a senior inspector sitting right there with you teaching you how to read plans.

3. Online Practice Test

This course includes an online practice test that looks similar to the ECP Soils Plans Exam. Therefore, you can get used to the way the ICC exam is presented on the computer. For example, you can flag questions in the practice test, which is useful for managing your time when you take the real test. You'll even see a test timer so you can get used to the time pressure.

Also, our users have told us that our practice test questions are a good representation of the ICC test.

After you finish the practice exam, we show you the correct answer to each question and we explain the thought process for each answer. This means you'll understand why you got certain questions wrong and you'll be ready for those type of questions when you take the ICC exam.

4. Personal Coaching

Within the course, there is a message button on the bottom right of the screen. If you have any questions, you can click the button and write us a message. We will respond within 24-48 hours.

You'll Also Learn About the Code

As you can see, we spent a lot of time and effort with the plan reading training. That doesn't mean we forgot about the code. We also teach our students how to pass the ECC Soils Codes Exam.

11 Modules About the Code

The course has 11 modules to prepare you for the ICC test. These modules cover the subjects you need to learn to pass the exam.

  1. Intro to Soils
  2. Soils Classification
  3. Soil Sampling
  4. Lab: The Proctor
  5. Lab: Gradation & Atterberg Limits
  6. Proctor Corr., Moisture, Sand Cone
  7. Soil Density: Nuke Gauge I
  8. Soil Density: Nuke Gauge II
  9. Site Prep, Fill Observation/Testing
  10. IBC: Shallow Foundations
  11. Grading Plans/Surveying

You'll learn about soil mechanics, engineering load path, density relationships, and sieve analysis. Also, we'll get you ready for the laboratory and the field by teaching you the common lab tests and field tests.

How to Remember the Material

Research from education psychologists shows that taking quizzes frequently is one of the best ways to learn. Therefore, at the end of each module, you'll take a quiz. These quizzes are very important for letting you know if you understood the material. If you did well on the quiz, you can move on to the next module. But if you struggled, we advise you to review the module again.

When you're done with all the code modules, you can take a timed practice test that looks like the ECC Soils Codes Exam.

Student Reviews

In 2011, we created one of the first online special inspector courses. We learned a lot since then about what works and what doesn't for online special inspection training.

But don’t take our word for it. Here are some great reviews from students who got certified because of SI Certs.

Newly Certified – Passed First Try

Jeff B.

I found the plans reading section to be invaluable to my preparation. As someone who has had quite a bit of experience reading transportation plans but a relatively little amount of experience reading plans for vertical construction, practicing these sections with the included practice plans sets, drilling down, again and again, from general to specific information, allowed me to walk into the test with the mindset that although the answers may be difficult to find, they were in fact somewhere in those plans.

If I continued to follow the methodology that I had learned and practiced in the modules, I would eventually find my way to the answer. I never panicked, but just kept trudging along having confidence in the process I learned. Of particular value to me were the explanations to the plans section practice test in the answer key; they detailed, step-by-step, the process I should have followed whenever I missed a question.

Another great trick was the suggestion that should the schedules not all be provided on a dedicated "schedule" page (and they most assuredly will not be), that I use the provided white board and dry erase marker to create an index of the schedules peppered throughout the plans — it was a real lifesaver.

The online modules were easy to navigate and understand and what was particularly useful to me was that I was able to access them using my phone or company issued iPad - allowing me to turn down-time in the truck into productive study time for the exam.

Jeff B.
Mt. Pleasant, SC

There Were Three Key Aspects of the Course That Were Most Valuable.

Mark Y.

Your course helped me organize my studies and gave me the confidence I needed going into the exam. There were three key aspects of the course that were most valuable to me.

First, organizing the exam components into clear and concise study modules that I could tackle at my own pace. The quizzes at the end of each module let me know if I was ready to move onto the next module.

Second, the full set of plans was a great study aid which helped with that portion of the exam.

And third, the timed practice exam with alternating questions each time you take it was most valuable because it helped me understand the pace I needed to set for the exam. When I went for the exam, I was ready thanks to your course.

Mark Y.
Holmdel, NJ

Overall I Found the Course to Be Very Beneficial

Mitch Q.

Overall I found the course to be very beneficial in combining independent study with the provided narrative, commentary, figures…etc. The figures provided are very beneficial in transforming the large amount of technically written text into a very easy to understand image.

Also, the controlled progression through modules was very wise. The practice questions at the end of each module and practice test at the end I think provide the most confidence for taking the test. After taking the test I found the study questions to be representative of what can be encountered on the exam. I do agree as stated on the website that this is not a “Cheater Course”.

Overall I found the course to be very well organized and would say it would be beneficial to anyone preparing for the test.

Mitch Q.
Pocatello, ID

Answers to Your Questions

Are you recognized by ICC?

ICC Preferred Education Provider

Yes, we are an ICC Preferred Education Provider.

How many CEUs can I earn with this course?

This is a 30-hour course so you get 3.0 CEUs when you successfully complete it.

How much does the course cost?


How long do I have access to the course?

90 days.

How many digital plan sets are included?

3 (1 civil set of plans and 2 grading plans).

What does the course look like?

We understand that a text-only course is not very engaging so we use lots of audio and pictures to teach you the material. Our course looks like a magazine more than a book. One of our founders is skilled in web design and he made the course look great.

I get nervous when I take tests. How can you help me?

Being anxious on test day is common. There's a lot at stake because passing the exam means you can earn a higher salary.

At the end of the course, before you take the practice tests, we have module called "Test Taking Preparation". In this module, we give you valuable tips on what to do during the ICC exam.

We'll teach you how to use the notepad and how to organize your workspace. You'll learn tips about time management, pacing, and multiple-choice strategy.

Also, don't be afraid to ask us questions by clicking the chat button on the bottom right of the course.

We've found that being prepared is the best way to calm your nerves when taking the exam. We want you to be prepared as much as possible so if you're not sure about anything, leave us a question in the chat box and we'll reply within 24-48 hours with expert advice.

References Needed

These references are required for course study and for the test. Purchase of our courses do not include these references.

Geotechnical Testing, Observation, and Documenation
American Society of Civil Engineers 2008 Edition
IBC 2012 or IBC 2015
Internation Building Code 2012 Edition or 2015 Edition
Soils, Earthwork, and Foundations
Based 2012 IRC and IBC
(11) ASTM Standards
D2487, D2488, D75, D422, D1556, D4318, D4718, D6938, D4959, D698, D1557
Course Includes
90 Day Course Access
3 Interactive Training Plan Sets
Insightful Audio Instruction
Code & Plans Practice Tests
Detailed Charts & Illustrations
Buy Now - $449
P.S. - What Happens When You Click the "Buy Now" Button?

After you click the "Buy Now" button above, you'll go to a sign up page. On this page, enter your name, email, and password.

Next, click "Submit" and you'll go to the dashboard of the site.

Then, click "Purchase" on the Soils course. You'll see a form for your credit card information. Fill out the form and you'll have instant access to the course. Simply click the course and start learning.

What are you waiting for? Click the "Buy Now" button and take your career to the next level!