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APA Improves Recertification Program With Changes Starting in 2019

BY: APA Staff | 11/14/18

One of the most frequently asked questions the Certification Department receives is “Does this course qualify for Recertification Credit Hours (RCHs) so I can list it on my Recertification log?”

The answer to this question is about to become more clear. Starting in 2019, APA will no longer accept unapproved provider courses toward recertification, except for accredited college or university courses. This means that, for courses or classes taken after January 1, 2019, only courses offered by Approved Providers, APA Chapters, APA, and accredited colleges and universities will qualify for RCHs.

The APA’s Approved Provider program reviews payroll education courses, seminars, and conferences offered by third-party educational providers. This process requires the submission of payroll education programs to APA’s Certification Department for approval. Submitted courses must fit within the FPC and CPP knowledge, skills, and abilities—a list of exam content areas the courses must fall within to qualify for RCHs.

For unapproved providers, a third-party educational provider who has not gone through the process of submitting their courses to APA ahead of time for review, there is no relationship with the vendor to compel them to make any alterations to their content in order to align more closely with our knowledge, skills, and abilities requirements. Not having an established relationship with the issuing organization also takes away from the value that a course could provide for our certificants to stay up-to-date on their payroll continuing education for the FPC or CPP designation.

The review process for unapproved providers was always fraught with difficulty. APA always had to ask the certificant for official documentation from the vendor who was teaching the course. That official documentation had to include detailed curricula, course materials, details about duration of educational materials, and more. This placed an unnecessary burden on the student, since they then have to go back to the vendor and request an official course description, curricula, and an official agenda, which may not always be available.

Therefore, starting January 1, 2019, in an effort to improve our Recertification program by streamlining the process for FPC and CPP certificants seeking to maintain their status, and to protect the integrity of each designation, we will no longer accept unapproved provider courses completed after January 1, 2019 towards recertification. This change does not include official college or university courses.

This change is in the best interest of the designee since it removes the burden of approval on the student applying for recertification and helps APA assure that we provide FPC and CPP designees with quality educational content that fits the high standards of the American Payroll Association’s certifications.