FAQ

Q: I’m already a CSP. What do the new CSP designation requirements mean for me? 

Your CSP designation will continue to be valid, as long as you maintain your designation under the new requirements.

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.


  1. You can apply under the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) if you think that the courses you have done are aligned to the professional sales skill areas from the competency framework. There is an extra fee for the PLAR pathway OR

  2. 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: 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.

If the timing of the courses doesn’t suit, or if you have already taken courses aligned with the professional sales skill areas from the competency framework, then you may apply under the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) pathway.

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: 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. 

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 3 years or less, 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: I’m a current CSP with Distinction, can I apply for the new CSL designation? 

Yes. For a limited time (until October 31, 2018), current CSPs with distinction, or with more than 10 years of experience in sales leadership or sales education, may apply for an exemption from the CSL exam.

All other CSL requirements apply

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: 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
Description
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