What You Need to Know About the Certification Program
We've put together this Certification Program FAQ to give you what you need to know to get started on the road to certification. For further information about the certification program, call 800.344.2148 or contact Kristie Haley, education manager, at khaley@AwardsPersonalization.org.
Why should I enroll in the Awards and Personalization Association’s Certification Program?
Enroll in the Awards and Personalization Association Certification Program to display your commitment to professional advancement, prove your passion for the industry, and affirm your value to current and future customers. With our association’s valuable educational seminars and webinars, you’re increasing your practical skills—why shouldn’t you have something to show for it? Your Certified Recognition Specialist or Certified Recognition Master credentials make you stand out from the crowd in a competitive field by proving your professional knowledge.
How do I enroll in the Certification Program?
Complete the certification enrollment form and return it with payment of the one-time enrollment fee ($125 for Awards and Personalization Association members; $270 for non-members). Once you receive confirmation of your enrollment, you can begin tracking your continuing education units (CEUs). You even can receive credit for courses you took up to one year before enrollment!
Who can enroll in the Certification Program?
Industry retailers, suppliers, and employees are eligible to join our certification program. Association membership is not required, though nonmembers pay higher fees for enrollment and educational offerings.
How do I achieve the status of Certified Recognition Specialist?
Enrollees in Awards and Personalization Association’s certification program can earn CRS status by earning 7.0 CEUs. Of these 7.0 CEUs:
A minimum of .45 CEUs must be from each of the three major categories (Technical, Business Operations, and Marketing).
- Up to 1.0 CEUs may be earned from outside classes toward CRS
- Up to 2.5 CEUs through Awards and Personalization Association Home Study Video tapes
- Up to 1.0 may be earned by giving seminars or writing articles. To qualify for CEU credit, written articles must be at least 1200 words in length, and must be published in Insights or another industry publication.
How do I achieve the status of Certified Recognition Master?
Enrollees in Awards and Personalization Association’s certification program can earn CRM status by earning 17.0 CEUs and writing a 1200 word CRM paper.
Of the 10 additional CEUs above those earned for CRS:
- A minimum of .45 CEUs must be from each of the three major categories (Technical, Business Operations, and Marketing).
- Up to 1.5 CEUs (additional beyond CRS) may be earned from outside classes toward CRM
- Up to 2.5 CEUs (additional beyond CRS) may be earned through Awards and Personalization Association Home Study Video tapes
- Up to 1.5 CEUs (additional beyond CRS) may be earned through giving seminars or writing articles. To qualify for CEU credit, written articles must be at least 1200 words in length, and must be published in Insights or another industry publication.
How do I receive credit for seminars I take at the Awards & Personalization Expos?
You must complete a Seminar Evaluation/CEU Reporting Form that is provided at the seminar. You must attend the entire seminar to get credit for the course.
What do I need to get Awards and Personalization Association CEU credit for a class I took at my local community college or other outside source?
You need to submit:
- a brief description of the course and/or a copy of the course outline
- information about the actual number of classroom hours required
- proof of your enrollment
- documentation that you completed the class
Note that we accept credit for outside seminars on the basis of expertise of the speaker, relevance to the awards and personalization industry, and adherence to Awards and Personalization Association’s antitrust and non-product promotion policies. Please don’t just send us a fax or a note saying that you have attended a seminar. We need to have paper backup, including the course description and proof of enrollment.
May I get credit for courses I take at another organization’s trade show?
The other organization must offer CEU credits itself in order for the units to be transferable. To offer CEU credits an organization must meet a strict set of guidelines that obligates them to ensure certain characteristics: length of seminars, evaluation process and maintenance of records. This is not saying that other seminars may not have value for you and your business – they certainly may. It just indicates the rules under which we must operate to continue granting CEUs.
May I get credit for Awards and Personalization Association courses I took before I enrolled in the Awards and Personalization Association certification program?
You may receive credit for courses you took up to one year prior to enrolling in the Awards and Personalization Association certification program. To receive credit for these courses, fax or mail copies of the yellow receipts from the Awards and Personalization Association Seminar Evaluation & CEU Reporting forms that you filled out for each of these courses. Remember, you can get credit only if you submit a copy of the receipt from the Seminar Evaluation & CEU Reporting form. Fax all material to the attention of the Education Department at Awards and Personalization Association headquarters at 847.375.6480.
Why don’t I get CEU credit for attending panel discussions?
The certification program is structured so that CEU credit is awarded only for presentations that the speaker(s) prepared in advance, the content of which can potentially be pre-approved. Panels are spontaneous discussions that are not planned in the same way. This does not mean that the information provided by a panel discussion is not useful, only that we can not award credit due to the more open-ended nature of that type of seminar. The brochure will always state whether or not CEU credit is granted for each seminar.