Certification Frequently Asked Questions

All designations and examinations offered by WorldatWork adhere to the rigorous standards of the certification field. Current practices and applicability drive certification program design. Using emerging developments in the field and feedback from past participants, WorldatWork refines the programs in response to the changes and challenges that affect each professional area.

You can earn designations by passing the required examinations for each certification. While it is not necessary, most candidates take the corresponding certification preparation course offered by WorldatWork.

Types of Certifications Offered

Gain confidence, skills, and credibility with prestigious WorldatWork Society designations. Start today and get the extra edge you need to advance your career and enable you to play a key role in your organization's success.

Core Competency Designations Advanced and Specialty Designations

Requires passing score on curriculum-based exams.

Requires passing score on a competency-based exam.

General Questions

Q: What's the best path for me if I'm ready to get certified? And is WorldatWork membership required to pursue certification?

A: Contact WorldatWork Customer Experience Team at 877-951-9191 (United States and Canada) or 480-951-9191 (other countries) to speak with an adviser who can help you map out your path to certification based on your individual needs and goals.

WorldatWork membership is not required to pursue certification. However, members do receive exclusive discounts on certification prep courses and exams.

Q: Am I required to take a certification prep course or can I simply take the exam?

A: You are not required to take a certification prep course, but many customers find value in learning from experienced instructors and in-depth course materials. You can take either the certification prep course with exam or simply the exam.

Q: Do I need to take the exams in a specific order?

A: No. There is no specific order to take the exams. However, we recommend taking the Total Rewards Management (T1/GR1) course first to establish a good foundation.

Q: Where do I take my certification exam?

A: For ease and convenience, WorldatWork provides online, proctored exams so you can take your exam from your home or the location that works best for you.

For more detailed information about scheduling your WorldatWork certification exam, as well as extension options, visit the exam information webpage.

Q: After I buy the exam, how long do I have to take the test and can I purchase an extension if needed?

A: Your exam authorization expires 120 days from the date of purchase. A 30-day exam extension is available for a fee, if purchased before your 120-day authorization expires.

Q: What is the minimum passing score?

A: The minimum passing score for all certification exams is 75%.

Q: May I retake a failed exam?

Yes. You may take as many retakes as needed. Please contact Customer Experience Team for pricing of retakes.

Although you may immediately schedule a retake, we recommend you first look over your score report to help identify any areas where you may need additional study and/or experience before retesting. We are happy to advise you on classes to take to prepare you for the retake. WorldatWork has a variety of educational offerings, such as courses, webinars and quality publications, to assist you.

Please contact WorldatWork Customer Experience Team at 877-951-9191 (United States and Canada) or 480-951-9191 (other countries) to speak with an adviser to discuss retake options and prices.

Q: Do the exams I've passed ever expire?

A: If you have not yet achieved your designation, all certification exams expire eight years from the day you passed them. Log in to My Profile then scroll to My Certifications and click on View Certification Status for complete exam information.

Special Note: No expired exams in 2020. WorldatWork has reinstated expired exams. Find out what that means to you. Contact: certification@worldatwork.org. Offer expires 12/31/2020.

If you have achieved your designation and remain current through our recertification process, the exams you passed will never expire.

Q: When I've completed one certification, can those credits be applied to another certification?

A: Yes. You can apply the exam credits from your certification toward the corresponding exam requirements for any future certifications.

Q: Where can I check my certification status?

A: Log in to My Profile then scroll to My Certifications and click on View Certification Status to view exams passed, when you passed them and what exams you have yet to take.

Q: How do I apply related exams I've passed when pursuing a second designation, if my first designation has expired?

A: Once you complete the remaining exams required for your second certification, that will serve as the credits needed to recertify your first certification.

Advanced and Specialty Designations

Q: How do the advanced (ACCP) and specialty (CECP, CSCP) designations differ from other WorldatWork Society designations?

A: The advanced and specialty certifications combine knowledge and skills based on experience in the field and the industry standard body of knowledge that is required for individual and business success.

The ACCP, CECP, and CSCP designations are achieved by passing one comprehensive competency-based exam. Prerequisite for ACCP: A CCP or GRP designation under current requirements must be acquired prior to ACCP testing.

The CCP, GRP, and CBP certifications require passing multiple specific curriculum-based exams.

Q: Do I need experience in the field before I take a competency-based exam?

A: Experience in the field is recommended. You should review the comprehensive body of knowledge for your respective focus area. The body of knowledge represents the complete set of knowledge and skills required for professionals working in the field.

View the body of knowledge for: ACCP | CECP | CSCP

Q: How can I test my readiness for a competency-based exam?

A: WorldatWork offers practice exams to help you get familiar with the types of questions asked in all knowledge areas within an exam. Practice exams offer an easy way to test your readiness by assessing your strengths and weaknesses, and help identify knowledge gaps where you may need additional study or experience.

Get practice exam for: ACCP | CECP | CSCP

Q: How many questions are there on a competency-based exam?

A: There are 110-160 questions on the competency-based exams.

Q: I earned my CCP/GRP before the exam requirements changed in 2015, and now I want to pursue an ACCP. Do I need to take the additional exams?

A: Yes. If you would like to acquire the Advanced Certified Compensation Professional (ACCP) designation and earned a CCP or GRP prior to 2015, you must pass the Business Acumen for Compensation Professionals (C8) exam. In addition, CCP Canada and GRP designation holders must pass the International Financial Reporting Standards for Compensation Professionals (T7) exam.

Q: If I earned my ACCP, does that renew my other certifications?

A: Yes. Any time a new certification is achieved, it will reset the recertification date for all previously earned certifications.


Q: Does my certification expire?

A: All WorldatWork Society designations require 12 recertification credits every three years. When requested, WorldatWork will respond appropriately to specific inquiries by employers regarding an individual's certification status.

Q: How do I keep my designation(s) current?

A: Begin by starting the Recertification Application form. This form will collect all your recertification credits. You can earn credits through a variety of activities. Visit the Recertification page to learn more.

Q:To recertify, do I need to earn 12 recertification credits for each of my designations?

A: No. You need a total of 12 recertification credits. If you’ve earned two or more designations, you only need to complete the recertification credits for one to keep them all current.

Q: How do I know when my certification expires?

A: Once earned, the designations remain part of your transcript record. The status of your certification and expiration can be found on My Profile under Certification Status.

Certifications that are not maintained by filing an application every three years are considered out of date until the Recertification Application has been filed and approved.

Q: When should I submit the Recertification Application form?

A: You may complete the Recertification Application form any time after you earn a designation. We recommend that you complete the form right away to allow credits earned through WorldatWork recertification activities to be automatically added to your recertification status.

Once you meet the requirements for recertification, your designation will be renewed automatically on your renewal date. You must complete the application form in order to be recertified.

Q: What happens after I complete my 12 recertification credits?

A: After we receive and approve your fulfilled recertification application, you will receive a new certificate that indicates you are current for an additional three years. At the end of your current designation period, you’ll be eligible to begin accruing credit toward your next recertification.

Q: When is my Recertification Application form closed?

A: When you reach 12 recertification credits, your recertification application will close within 30 days of your original designation expiration, renewing your certification for another three years.

Q: Can I still recertify if my recertification date has expired?

A: Yes. You can enter your credits by going back three years from the date on the recertification application. Once you obtain the 12 credits needed, select the “Submit” button to send your application to our certification team for review and approval.

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Other Countries


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