How do I earn the Certified Plan Sponsor Professional (CPSP)TM credential?
To be eligible for the CPSP, a candidate must have at least 2 years of experience in a plan sponsor role, pass the CPSP credential exam and ascribe to the PSCA Professional Code of Conduct.
Do I need to complete coursework to take the exam or earn the credential?
No. However, PSCA offers an online preparatory course to help candidates prepare for the CPSP credential exam. The online prep course is available at no additional charge for PSCA plan sponsor members, through our Education Partners, or via CPFA- or QPFC-credentialed advisors. Though the education program is not required before taking the credential exam, it is highly recommended.
What is the learning experience like?
Work at your own pace using the self-study program with online materials, recordings of live sessions and a practice exam (enrollment code required), or join a 9-week Virtual Classroom with online materials, weekly live sessions and quizzes, a forum and a practice exam. Fill out this form to get on the wait list for a future Virtual Classroom session (only available to plan sponsors. Service providers may not participate in a Virtual Classroom).
What content does the exam cover?
The CPSP Credential exam covers:
- plan types and considerations for plan design
- intro to plan operations
- behavioral finance and employee engagement
- your fiduciary duties
- investment concepts
- vendor management
- advanced concepts in plan operations
- testing and compliance
What is the exam's format and how long do I have to take it?
The CPSP credential exam is a 70-question online open note exam. Candidates have 2.5 hours to complete the exam.
Are there costs associated with the education, exam and credential application?
The Certified Plan Sponsor Professional education program and credential exam are complimentary to all PSCA members through the generous support of our CPSP education partners. Plan sponsor individuals who are not members of PSCA may also receive an enrollment code directly from a CPFA- or QPFC-credentialed advisor to grant them access to the education program and exam.
How do I register for the education and the credential exam?
If you are a plan sponsor member, go to the CPSP – for Plan Sponsors page for information and a link to the program or login to get started. You'll get an enrollment code and be directed to a link to the learning system. From there you can create your login to the learning system, complete your profile and you’ll then have access the program materials. If you are not a member, contact PSCA for an enrollment code.
What happens if I do not pass the exam?
Candidates have two free attempts to pass the exam. Anyone who fails the second attempt can purchase additional attempts for $290 each.
How do I maintain my credential?
CPSP credential holders must complete 24 hours of Continuing Professional Education (“CPE”) each credential period. A credential period is 2 complete calendar years. Each CPE Period begins January 1 of each even-numbered year and ends December 31 of the subsequent odd-numbered year. Initial credential holders who earn the CPSP in an odd-numbered year will be exempt from year-end CPE requirements. Initial credential holders that earn the CPSP in an even-numbered year will need to earn the required CPE prior to the end of the CPE cycle.
CPSP credential holders are required to pay a $175 annual credential maintenance fee beginning January 1 following the year the CPSP Credential is earned. Credentials earned in December are deemed to be earned the in the following calendar year for purposes of this rule.
Do I have to take the credential exam? Can I just review the education program?
Qualified plan sponsor candidates may complete the education program but are encouraged to sit for the credential exam to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.
Does the CPSP education program offer any CE for other credentials or programs?
The CPSP education program is approved for ASPPA, SHRM and HRCI CE credit. Contact PSCA for the applicable number of credits. Upon completion of the CPSP Education Program, you will receive a digital certificate of completion that will include the codes you need to file for CE credit.
How do I get an enrollment code?
Access to the CPSP education program credentialing exam is complimentary to all PSCA members through the generous support of our CPSP education partners. If you are a member, login to get startedand you'll get a code. Not a member? Join PSCA or contact PSCA. You may also receive an enrollment code directly from a CPSP education partner, as well as a NAPA Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) or Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) credentialed advisor.
Please note, to access the CPSP program through Ascensus, plan sponsors are required to have their plan administered by Ascensus. Please contact your financial adviser for more details.
I am an advisor – how do I review the CPSP education program before sharing it with my plan sponsor clients?
Please note, only plan sponsors and other employer-based benefits professionals who meet the program requirements as articulated in the CPSP Candidate Handbook are eligible to take the exam and to earn a CPSP credential. Advisors and other service providers can view a demo to see the learner experience:
Here’s how. Choose among:
- Self — to see only the self-study program
- Virtual — to see only the Virtual Classroom program
- All — to see both the self-study and Virtual Classroom programs
Are there programs available to support the CPSP continuing education requirements?
Yes. You can earn CE by watching PSCA webcasts, which are held throughout the year and by attending PSCA's National Conference (which on a standalone basis would generally fulfill the requirements).
I am a service provider, how do I get my clients involved in the CPSP program?
You can encourage them to use the self-study version of the program. Send them a flyer and contact PSCA yourself for an enrollment code to give them or have them contact PSCA directly for the code. Or, sponsor a Virtual Classroom! By sponsoring you get to participate in live sessions and the forum.