There are three criteria for the certification of payroll professionals. An applicant must meet any one of these criteria before he can be allowed to take the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) Examination.
The American Payroll Association (APA) has decided to expand the criteria for eligibility of those who work in the payroll industry, with the specific inclusion of “related experience.” The latter phrase pertains particularly to experience in the fields of payroll systems and payroll taxation.
The first criterion requires experience in the practice of payroll for a period of 3 to 5 years. The practice of payroll includes:
* Payroll production
* Payroll administration, and/or
* Payroll education or consulting
The second criterion requires that the applicant be employed in the practice of payroll at least 24 months immediately preceding the application and that he has successfully completed the courses offered by the APA.
The third criterion on the other hand requires that the payroll professional has been employed in the practice of payroll for at least 18 months while successfully taking certain required courses by the APA.
The CCP exam may be taken at more than 200 testing centers all over the United States and Canada. The examination is usually administered during fall and spring. The exam is taken electronically for 4 hours. There are 190 multiple-choice questions, but 25 items are pretest questions. The latter are not graded and are included in the exam only for statistics.
The examination fee is $355 for all candidates. It is advised to make a reservation because the exam is only offered twice a year and a testing center can only take in a number of applicants. Walk-in applicants are not allowed.