Fundamentals of Payroll
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APA certification is a valuable, objective credential that verifies a specified level of knowledge, skills, and abilities in the payroll profession. Certification helps individuals demonstrate their payroll expertise, secure promotions, advance their careers, and enhance their standing within the profession. APA offers two levels of certification -- the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP).

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

The CPP is a certification credential for those with some experience in payroll.

 Overview information

 Content outline

 Download handbook

CPP Exam will be administered:
Sep 13 - Oct 11, 2008

Mar 28 - Apr 25, 2009

Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC)

The FPC is a certification credential for payroll beginners and service and support professionals.

Overview information 
Content outline

Download handbook


FPC Exam will be administered:
Sep 13 - Oct 11, 2008

Mar 28 - Apr 25, 2009


Exam Reservations

To register for the CPP/FPC Exam, please go to www.pearsonvue.com


If you are sitting for the exam during our 101/201 course, please contact the Certification Department at 210-226-4600 for exam registration assistance.


Approved Provider Program

Effective September 1, 2006, APA has instituted an Approved Provider program for organizations that present payroll education.

Approved Providers: 2008 :: 2006-07

Approved Chapter Meetings: 2008 :: 2006-07

Put an End to Your Studying Struggles

APA's Web-based Knowledge Assessment Calculator (KAC) assesses your current knowledge so you can learn exactly what areas you need to focus on when preparing for payroll certification.

Assess your payroll knowledge.

Training Resources

The candidate for certification is advised to consult a variety of sources to prepare for either of the certification exams. The exam handbooks contain a list of suggested references.

The candidate can obtain study materials from the APA and attend APA preparation courses. APA courses are also approved to achieve recertification.

Request a transcript of APA's National programs attended.

Training and resources are available in a variety of formats including books, training courses, Web-based training, Webcasts and Audio Seminars.


Download this article today that appeared in Forbes magazine to show your boss how important it is to have FPCs and CPPs on staff.


For both the CPP and FPC certification exams given during the Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 testing windows, exam questions should be answered based on Federal laws and regulations in effect as of 1/1/2008.


Mid-year changes are NOT reflected on the exams. For example, on July 24, 2008 the federal minimum wage increased from $5.85 per hour (which was effective January 1, 2008) to $6.55 per hour - the CPP and FPC exams may test the $5.85 per hour minimum wage not the $6.55 per hour minimum wage. And on July 1, 2008 the standard business mileage rate increased from $0.505 per mile (which was effective January 1, 2008) to $0.585 per mile - the CPP and FPC exams may test the $0.505 per mile mileage rate not the $0.585 per hour mileage rate.

Recertification is required after 5 years for CPP and 3 years for FPC. Recertification may be achieved through accumulating recertification credit hours ((RCH) or by successfully retesting. For CPP 120 RCH are required; for FPC, 60.
CPP Recertification File Folder
FPC Recertification File Folder
Many APA Local Chapters conduct study groups for CPP and FPC exam preparation. Consult the study group list for a group in your area.
During the testing window, taking Payroll 101 or 201 at either of APA's Learning Centers in San Antonio and Las Vegas, avail the student the opportunity to take the exam on Friday afternoon. (Separate registration for testing is required.)
APA's certification programs bring college credit through the ACE College Credit By Examination Program. Details.
Have a question about APA's Certification programs? The most common questions are answered on the FAQ page.

APA's Certification Department


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