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CAP Recertification
Maintaining CAP Credential through Recertification

 

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The administrative profession is constantly evolving. As an CAP holder, it is important to keep abreast of emerging trends, technology advancements, and current office and personnel management methods.

Recertification is an assessment that validates your commitment to the profession, lifelong education, and professional development.

To maintain CAP credentials, individuals are required to engage in professional development activities that directly relate to the current CAP Body of Knowledge (BOK).

Recertification dates are either May 31 or November 30. The May date is for the spring designees who, in their history, took the exam before June 1 and November is for fall designees who took their exam after June 1. For instance, if you acquired your CAP in March 2014, your recertification deadline is now May 31, 2019.

In 2018, we are moving from a five-year to a three-year recertification cycle. This will not affect current CAP designees until it is time for their current five-year cycle to end, then they will have a three-year cycle. Using the above example, upon recertification by May 31, 2019 the new recertification date will be May 31, 2022.

Beginning with the Spring 2018 CAP testing, all going forward will be required to recertify every three-years We are not changing the recommended number of professional development points. It will remain at an average of 12 points per year, making the requirement 36 points every three-years.

Recertification Qualifying Activity Categories

Recertification points can be earned in three categories:

  • Professional Development
  • Industry-Specific Professional Development
  • Leadership


It is not necessary to earn points in every category, but it is mandatory to have at least 20 of the 36 points in the Professional Development category. Points in the categories of Industry-Specific Professional Development and Leadership are optional and limited to 15 points per category.

For detailed information please download the 2018 CAP Certification Handbook.

Tracking Your Points

As soon as you certify or recertify, start a spreadsheet (or something similar) to track points as earned. We encourage you to set a goal of 10-12 points each year, rather than wait and struggle to gain points at the end of your three-year cycle. Think of your recertification activities as your professional development portfolio that can be used during performance evaluations and job interviews.

A sample recertification spreadsheet is available to help you track your points.

In addition to your spreadsheet of points earned, start a file of your supporting documentation. For all professional development, your supporting documentation must verify attendance and include:

  • The subject and/or description of education
  • Date of completion
  • Length of education


For leadership positions, attain a letter from the organization that includes:

  • The position held
  • Primary duties of the position
  • Length of term served


When you have earned at least 36 points and are due to recertify, you will submit an application, fee, and your spreadsheet of points earned within your three-year cycle.

Recertification Fees
IAAP Member Non Member Late Fee*
$100 $250 $100

* Late fee required in the 120-day grace period after recertification deadline date.

Download the recertification application form here

Access past IAAP event recertification forms here

Recertification FAQs

Recertification dates are either May 31 or November 30. The May date is for the spring designees who in their history took the exam before June 1 and November is for fall designees who took their exam after June 1. For instance, if you acquired your CAP in March 2014, your recertification deadline is now and will remain May 31, 2019.

In 2018, we will be moving from a five-year to a three-year recertification cycle. This will not affect current CAP designees until it is time for their current five-year cycle to end, then they will have a three-year cycle. Using the above example, upon recertification by May 31, 2019 the new recertification date will be May 31, 2022.

Beginning with the Spring 2018 CAP testing, all going forward will be required to recertify every three-years. We are not changing the recommended number of professional development points. It will remain at an average of 12 points per year, making the requirement 36 points every three-years.

You can submit your recertification application six-month prior to your due date, once 36 points are earned, and your date will remain the same, either May 31 or November 30. However, additional points over the required 36 do not carry over to your next cycle and new activities do not qualify until after your recertification date has passed.

Individuals who have missed their recertification due date are given a 120-day grace period in which they can submit a late application. No special permission is necessary if applying within the grace period. The grace period is not extra time to accumulate points; it is additional time to submit the information. All points submitted must be earned within the original three-year cycle. Individuals are required to pay the recertification fee, plus a late fee when applying for recertification during the grace period. If the application is approved, recertification will be backdated to the month/year originally due.

This appeal is only for

  1. Individuals who experienced extenuating circumstances which prevented them from earning points or applying for recertification within their three-year cycle.

    OR

  2. Individuals who did earn the points within the three years but are beyond the 120-day grace period.

The individual must submit an appeal before applying for recertification. Examples that may be cited in the appeal include, but are not limited to, serious personal illness, serious illness of a family member, tragic event, long-term unemployment, or military deployment. If the appeal is accepted, the individual may be given additional time to earn points or to submit their application past the 120-day grace period. Even if the appeal is successful, the payment of any recertification fee or late fee will be required.

Appeals may be sent to certification@iaap-hq.org, using the CAP Program Certification Appeal Form and should include the circumstances, documentation, and your plan for gaining the required points. All appeals will be reviewed by the Certification Advisory Board, whose decision is final.

CAP Appeals Form

Most training programs qualify for recertification points if the topic falls under one of the Domains in the CAP Body of Knowledge.

CAP Exam Domains

  1. Organizational Communication
  2. Business Writing and Document Production
  3. Technology and Information Distribution
  4. Office and Records Management
  5. Event and Project Management
  6. Human Resources
  7. Financial Functions

In today’s information rich world, there are many ways to obtain quality professional development and continued education. IAAP offers many opportunities, such as conferences (Summit), workshops (local LAN sponsored events and webinars), online learning (learn@IAAP), and self-study (Crisp 50-minute books and Options Technology Modules). However, CAP designees are not required or even expected to earn all their points through IAAP. Each CAP designee should develop their personalized professional development plan based on their individual professional career path and goals.

Here are some sources for quality professional development options, outside of IAAP:

  • Colleges and University courses both credit and noncredit
  • Lynda.com
  • Ed2go.com
  • HigherEd.org (list free and low-cost education aligned to the CAP Body of Knowledge)

All training programs must align with one of the CAP Domains.

When applying for recertification, designees only recertify the CAP designation, not the specialty certificates.

The CAP Program offers one certification, the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). Other credentials such as Organizational Management (OM) or Technology Applications (TA) are certificates for CAP designees. These specialty certificates are stacked credentials, only available to CAP designees, to further enhance professional skills and to allow for specialization in specific content areas. Certificates do not require recertification. As long as the CAP certification remains active through the recertification process, the specialty remains active.

We're very sorry this happened. You now enter an expired status and the CAP credentials are revoked for failing to comply with the mandatory recertification requirements. To become certified again, a new application and taking the current exam is required.

CAP holders who retire from the profession prior to their recertification due date and have been recertified at least once time will have the following options:

  1. Maintain active CAP certification by obtaining the required amount of Recertification Qualification Activities. This option requires no notification to the CAP Program. Designees will continue in the regular recertification process, including application, fees, and tracking spreadsheet.
  2. Transition to CAP (Ret.) - which is not an active certification but will allow previous CAP holders to use the classification indicating they were CAP certified and are now retired from the workforce, thus are not maintaining the credential. A one-time fee is assessed at the time of application for the CAP (Ret.) classification.
Retired Status Fees
IAAP Member Non Member
$175 $285

Click here for the CAP (Ret.) Application Form

If the certified individual originally earned the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) rating and then transitioned to CAP, those individuals may keep the CPS rating.

Persons who are granted Retired Status, CAP (Ret.) must be fully retired from serving as an administrative professional or any advanced work in business management. This includes part-time or full-time or as an employee consultant or independent contractor. The individual must remain fully retired and must notify the CAP Program of any change in employment circumstances that would render the individual ineligible for Retired Status and require a reactivation.

Individuals who obtain Retired Status have the following options to reactivate their CAP:

1. If the application for CAP reactivation is within two years of the last date of being a CAP in good standing, the individual may submit a Reactivation Application and an Administrative Reactivation Fee. Such individuals are exempt from meeting the requirement for earning the Recertification Qualifying Activity points required in recertification, but will be required to meet all requirements on subsequent recertification.

2. If more than two years has passed since the last date of being a CAP in good standing the individual must meet eligibility requirements, submit a qualifying application and fees, and achieve a passing examination score.

Individuals who return to the workforce from Retired Status must notify the CAP Program and they will be returned to Active Status. They are required to pay the Administrative Reactivation Fee and all future recertification will require payment of the recertification fee.

Individuals who return to employment from Retired Status that fail to follow the process to reactivate their CAP may notify the CAP Program of this change in employment status and request removal from CAP status which shall be granted.

Download the CAP Reactivation Application here.