FAQ

Designation Requirement FAQs

Q: I want to take the CSP exam, but I did not take an accredited program.
 

Please note that taking an accredited education program prepares you for the exam. If you have less than 6 years of sales experience, then you may need to take an accredited course to prepare you for the exam.

If you have 6 or more years of verified experience independently managing client accounts, then you are eligible for a pre-requisite education waiver and can directly attempt the exam. As you have not completed an accredited program, there are no guarantees that you will pass the exam. If you fail the exam, and want to re-take it, the re-exam fees of $349 will apply.


Q: What pre-requisite course can I take to get my 35 hours of professional development units so I am eligible for the CSP designation? 

You can take any of the CPSA courses that have been accredited for the CSP designation, or you can take one of the courses offered by one of our other accredited partners.

Q: What will you accept as evidence of meeting or exceeding sales targets for 2 years? 

We will accept a variety of documents such as sales awards, performance dashboards, performance reports or reference letters, provided they specifically mention that you met or exceeded sales targets for a period of at least 2 years.

Q: I don’t have 35 hours of recognized professional development, but I believe I have covered all sales skill areas part of my undergraduate degree/studies. 

You can submit a Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) application. 
We will review any courses, classes you have taken to see if what you covered is aligned with the competency framework. As outlined above, we will require a complete application to review these documents. The outcome may be that you are required to do some courses to make up any gaps, or your previous education may exempt you from the requirement to complete 35 hours of recognized professional development. We will accept the following as part of your PLAR application:

  • Course outlines;
  • Evidence of total hours of classroom time;
  • Classroom activities/assignments you completed as part of coursework;
  • Record of completion; 
  • Transcript/ certificate awarded.

Q: My reference letters are 10-12 years old, is this acceptable? 

References, professional development and evidence of meeting or exceeding targets should all be from the past 5 years, where possible.

Q: I was previously a Certified Sales Professional, but I let my designation lapse. Can I re-activate it? 

If you are a formerly-designated CSP who has been inactive for 1 year or less, you can simply renew your CPSA membership and your designation will be re-activated.

If you are a formerly-designated CSP who has been inactive for  more than 1 year but less than 3 years, you can apply to re-activate your certification by providing annual professional development documentation for that period, demonstrating ongoing learning and experience in key professional sales skill areas from the competency framework.

If you are a formerly-designated CSP who has been inactive for more than 3 years, then you will need to re-apply under whichever professional designation pathway matches your experience. You will have to pay the associated fees and submit all of the necessary documents.

Q: Will I get a refund if I apply for one of the professional designations and my application is denied? 

If you submit a designation application and withdraw your application prior to an assessment taking place, the CPSA Institute will refund you everything less the $99 Application fee, which is non-refundable.

If you submit a designation application, and after an assessment, your application is deemed unsuccessful, the CPSA Institute will retain your fees.

If you apply under the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) pathway, and after an assessment, your application is deemed unsuccessful, the CPSA Institute will retain your fees.

Q: Will you review my resume to see if I meet the requirements of the professional designation that I want to apply for? 

An application will be reviewed once payment and all required documents have been received. 

Designation Exam FAQs

Q: Is there I deadline that I have to complete my designation exam?

Once you have made payment for a designation package, the exam must be completed within 12 months. If you do not do the exam within 12 months, you will be required to purchase the package and re-submit your application package again before attempting the exam. 

Q: What if I have scheduled my designation exam, but I need to cancel it?

If you cancel your exam (written or oral portion) within 30 days of the scheduled date, then you have to pay $349 to reschedule your exam. If you cancel your exam 30 days prior to the scheduled date, you will not be charged any extra fees.

Q. I need some special accommodations during my exam, will CPSA do this?

CPSA will offer special accommodations on a case by case basis. You must advise CPSA that you need special accommodations before you take the exam. If you do not tell us, and you then have to re-take the exam in order to have the special accommodations put in place, you will be responsible for the cost of the exam re-take.

Q: What is the passing grade i need to achieve on my designation exam?

You must achieve at least 65% on the exam to pass. Please note that when your results are released, you will not receive your grade, instead you will receive a pass/unsuccessful result. The CPSA Institute does not release exam grades.

Q: How long does it take to receive my designation exam results?

CSA exam results are available immediately. Once you have completed the multiple choice exam, you will find out whether you passed or failed the exam.

CSP and CSL exam results take longer because they have a written exam and an oral exam. Your results will be released within 4-6 weeks of taking both components. 

Q: I passed my exam, when will I receive my designation certificate in the mail?

CPSA designation holders receive both a digital credential and a hard copy certificate. the digital credential is available immediately once your designation has been awarded. The hard copy certificate will be received in the mail approximately 6 weeks after you have been awarded the designation. 

Q: What happens if I fail my designation exam?

If you fail the designation exam, you can re-take it up to 3 times. Each exam re-take costs $349. After failing an exam, you will receive an exam report which will highlight the competency areas you need to focus on before re-attempting the exam.

General FAQs

Q: If I have a corporate membership subscription, who owns my academic records?

The individual is always the owner of their own academic records.If you have a corporate subscription and you change employers, you can sign up for individual membership and your academic records will be linked to your individual membership.

Q: What happens to my designation if my CPSA membership lapses?

Membership is required to maintain your designation. If your membership lapses, then your designation will also lapse and you can no longer use the designation letters after your name.

Digital Credential FAQs

Q: What is a digital credential?

CPSA understands that communicating your credentials in an ever-expanding online marketplace can be challenging. That’s why we have digital credentials that can be shared across your social media networks.This digital credential image contains verified metadata that describes your qualifications and the process required to earn them, so people who see the credential will know you deserve it.

Q: How will I know that I have received a digital credential?

All CPSA members, students, and professional designation holders are awarded the corresponding digital credential. You will receive an email from institute@badges.cpsa.com notifying you that a digital credential has been issued to you.

Q: Where can I share my digital credential?

Once you follow the email and log in to accept your badge, you can follow the easy instructions to share your credential, on your LinkedIn profile, your LinkedIn newsfeed, Facebook, and Twitter.

Q: What’s to keep someone else from copying my digital credential and using it?

While badges are simply digital image files, they are uniquely linked to data hosted on our badge management platform. This link to verified data makes them more reliable and secure than a paper-based certificate. It also eliminates the possibility of anyone claiming your credential and your associated identity.

 
Maintaining Designation FAQs

Q: I’ve already earned my CSA, what PDU activities might also be pre-requisite education requirement for next level designation? 

You can take any of the CPSA courses that have been accredited for the CSP designation, or you can take one of the courses offered by one of our other accredited partners.

Q: How do I maintain my professional designation? 

CSA - Maintain professional membership with CPSA and complete 20 Professional Development Units (PDUs) annually

CSP - Maintain professional membership with CPSA and complete 30 Professional Development Units (PDUs) annually

CSL - Maintain professional membership with CPSA and complete 30 Professional Development Units (PDUs) annually

Q: What activities count towards PDUs to maintain my designation? 

See below

Activity Description PDU Value
Formal Training & Development CSA CSP CSL
Instructor-led Programs (in-person) Offered by a post-secondary institution or private training company. Formally enrolled course work or training aligned to sales competencies and/or your industry and area of specialization. 1 PDU/ hour 1 PDU/ hour 1 PDU/ hour
Instructor-led Programs (online) Virtual instructor-led training with an assessment element (assignment, presentation, discussion board postings or quiz with feedback provided). 1 PDU/ hour 1 PDU/ hour 1 PDU/ hour
In-house Training Programs Training session within your organization aligned to sales competencies and/or your industry and area of specialization. Applies for facilitation by your organization or from an outside trainer. 1 PDU/ hour 1 PDU/ hour 1 PDU/ hour
Independent Online Program Virtual training or e-learning coursework without an instructor, but with some form of assessment (e.g. online quiz). 1 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
1 PDU/ hour
7.5 MAX
1 PDU/ hour
7.5 MAX
In-formal Training & Development CSA CSP CSL
Conference Attending an event relevant to sales professionals, aligned to sales competencies and/or your industry and area of specialization. Does not include an assessment component. Time is counted for educational session portions only. 1 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
1 PDU/ hour
15 MAX
1 PDU/ hour
15 MAX
Industry Networking Events Activities with a professional association or local chapter that do not clearly fit within one of the other categories. 1 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
1 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
1 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
Independent Study (documented) Reading online articles, watching videos, or listening to audio content aligned with the sales competencies and/or your industry and area of specialization with documentation to support activity. 0.5 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
0.5 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
0.5 PDU/ hour
5 MAX
Independent Study (undocumented) Reading articles, books, magazines, watching videos, or listening to audio content aligned with the sales competencies and/or your industry and area of specialization without documentation to support activity. N/A 0.5 PDU/ article
5 MAX
0.5 PDU/ article
5 MAX
Applied Learning CSA CSP CSL
Authorship For each document of a professional nature that requires original thought and/or substantial research. N/A 5 PDU/ article
5 MAX
5 PDU/ article
5 MAX
Build a Sales Course or Program Course or training program aligned with sales competencies and/or your industry or area of specialization. The course must be offered as part of an accredited program. Credit will be granted for the first time the course is developed. N/A 10 PDU/ course 
10 MAX
5 PDU/ course 
5 MAX
Deliver a Sales Course or Program Facilitation of a course, workshop or seminar aligned with sales competencies and/or your industry or area of specialization. Credit will be granted for the first time the course is facilitated. N/A 1.5 PDU/ course 
20 MAX
1.5 PDU/ course 
20 MAX
Teaching Related Activities Serving as an examiner, assessor, or program evaluator. N/A N/A 1 PDU/ activity 
20 MAX
Volunteer or Industry-related Board Activity Volunteering on sales or industry related committees, boards, or volunteering to support on-site at industry events. N/A 1 PDU/ activity 
10 MAX
1 PDU/ activity 
10 MAX
Mentoring Acting as a mentor outside normal job duties (i.e. not direct reports.) under a formal agreement to develop specific skills. N/A 1 PDU/ hour
10 MAX
1 PDU/ hour
10 MAX

 

Any other questions? Send us an email to institute@cpsa.com

Certification
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CSAs demonstrate a solid foundation for success in sales roles. Begin your journey to becoming a designated professional.

"Our entire Management & Sales Team are starting to really benefit from the training."

Ray, CSP Since 2000

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