Computer-Based Testing FAQs
When can I apply for the exam and when can I take the exam?
Scheduling takes place beginning five weeks prior to the chosen examination dates (chosen as part of the application process) and is handled by PSI, the computer testing group. At that time, approved candidates* will receive a Scheduling Authorization which will provide all scheduling links and instructions. Scheduling is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that PSI is unable to answer questions about the CESP™ process and scheduling until July 3rd, including exam locations.
If the Scheduling Authorization has not been received at least one week prior to the beginning of the testing period, or if the name on the Scheduling Authorization does not exactly match the name on the candidate’s current driver’s license, passport, or US military ID, then candidates should contact the CESP director at email@example.com.
*Approved candidates are those who meet the eligibility requirements, complete the applicant application, and pay the required fees by the application deadline
The testing windows are the dates during which the exams are administered. The application deadline dates are the dates during which candidates can register for the exam.
|Testing Window||Application Window|
|August 6-12, 2018||July 2-July 30, 2018|
|October 1-7, 2018||August 27-September 24, 2018|
|December 3-9, 2018||October 29-November 26, 2018|
|February 4-10, 2019||December 31st, 2018-January 28th, 2019|
|April 1-7, 2019||February 25-March 25, 2019|
|June 3-9, 2019||April 29-May 27th, 2019|
|August 5-11, 2019||July 1-29, 2019|
|October 7-13, 2019||September 2-30, 2019|
|December 2-8, 2019||October 28-November 25, 2019|
Where will I take the exam?
How do I schedule my exam with PSI?
Appointment times are first come, first-served! As a result, it is important to request testing date, time, and location as soon as possible following receipt of the PTC Scheduling Authorization.
PSI will respond with a confirmation email. While every effort will be made to accommodate first choices of date / time / location, it is not always possible to do so. Therefore, it is imperative the PSI-generated confirmation email be reviewed carefully for scheduled date / time / location. Contact PSI at 800-733-9267 if this email confirmation is not received within 24-hours of appointment scheduling or if a change to the requested testing date / time / location is impossible to accommodate.
What is it like to go to a testing center?
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my exam?
To change an exam date, time or location (based on seat availability) once within the same exam window, candidates must reschedule online at least 48 hours before the scheduled exam date or by calling PSI at 800-733-9267. Candidates who wish to change their appointment within two days of the examination will not be refunded their examination fee and will be required to pay the entire examination fee for any future examinations through the CESP per the application windows. You cannot change your exam appointment within two days of the scheduled examination. Failure to take the exam as scheduled will result in forfeiture of the full exam fee. PSI does not have the authority to authorize refunds or transfers to another testing period.
Note: A voicemail or email message is not an acceptable form of cancellation. Please use the telephone system and speak to a Customer Service Representative.
Missed Appointment or Late Cancellation
Your registration will be invalid, you will not be able to take the examination as scheduled, and you will forfeit your examination fee if you:
- Do not reschedule your appointment 48 hours before the scheduled examination date;
- Do not appear for your examination appointment;
- Appear after examination start time;
- Do not present proper identification and letter of authorization when you arrive for the examination.
What can I expect on the day of the exam?
- While at an examination site, you are considered to be a professional and shall be treated as such. In turn, you must conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. While at the site, you shall not use words or take actions that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or that would denigrate the staff or other candidates.
- NO conversing or other form of communication among candidates is permitted once you enter the examination area.
- All electronic devices used to record, transmit, receive, or play back audio, photographic text, or video content, including but not limited to: cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, Bluetooth devices, wearable technology such as smart watches, MP3 players, pagers, cameras and voice recorders will be allowed in the examination center. No personal items are to enter the testing center. All such items should be left in a locked vehicle or in a Testing Center locker, should such be available. It is STRONGLY recommended such items remain safely at home. APSE/ESPCC and are NOT RESPONSIBLE for any personal possession losses occurring at the Testing Center, in a vehicle parked at the Testing Center or on the grounds of the Testing Center.
- No papers, books, or reference materials may be taken into or removed from the examination room.
- Person(s) accompanying an examination candidate may not wait in the examination center, inside the building or on the building’s property. This applies to guests of any nature, including drivers, children, friends, family, colleagues or instructors.
- No smoking, eating, or drinking is allowed in the examination center.
- During the check-in process, all candidates will be asked if they possess any prohibited items. Candidates may also be asked to empty their pockets and turn them out for the proctor to ensure they are empty. The proctor may also ask candidates to lift up the ends of their sleeves and bottoms of their pant legs to ensure that notes or recording devices are not being hidden there.
- Proctors will also carefully inspect eyeglass frames, tie tacks, or any other apparel that could be used to harbor a recording device. Proctors will ask to inspect any such items in candidates’ pockets.
- If prohibited items are found during check-in, candidates shall return these items to their vehicle. PSI will not be responsible for the security of any personal belongings or prohibited items.
- Any candidates possessing prohibited items in the examination room shall immediately have his or her test results invalidated, and PSI shall notify the examination sponsor of the occurrence.
- Any candidates seen giving or receiving assistance on an examination, found with unauthorized materials, or who violates any security regulations will be asked to surrender all examination materials and to leave the examination center. All such instances will be reported to the examination sponsor.
- Copying or communicating examination content is in violation of a candidate’s contract with PSI and the ESPCC, and federal and state law. Either may result in the disqualification of examination results and may lead to legal action.
- Once candidates have been seated and the examination begins, they may leave the examination room only to use the restroom, and only after obtaining permission from the proctor. Candidate will not receive extra time to complete the examination.
Violation of any of the rules listed above may lead to forfeiture of fees, dismissal from the examination center, and or/cancellation of completed test responses.
Required Identification at the Examination Site
Candidates need to provide one (1) valid form of non-expired, government issued identification, bearing photo and signature. The ID must be in the official language where the testing center is located.
Your first and last name and suffix (Jr., II, Sr.,) on your current, unexpired, government issued ID must match the first and last name and suffix on your CESP application. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately if it does not.
When will I get my results after taking the exam at a testing center?
What is professional certification?
The Employment Support Professional Certification Council (ESPCC) developed the Certified Employment Suppcaort Professional™ (CESP™) certification program to set a standard of knowledge and distinguish employment support professionals who have shown they have the skill and competence to perform the requirements of the job.
According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), the trade association for the professional certification industry, certification is the voluntary process by which a non-governmental entity grants a time–limited recognition and use of a credential to an individual after verifying that he or she has met predetermined and standardized criteria. It is the vehicle that a profession or occupation uses to differentiate among its members, using standards, sometimes developed through a consensus-driven process, based on existing legal and psychometric requirements.
In simpler terms, a certifying agency, The ESPCC grants a credential to an individual who has demonstrated, by passing an exam, they have the knowledge and skill required to perform the job of an employment support professional.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule?
Requests for refunds or rescheduling must be made in writing to email@example.com. No refunds of fees are available once a candidate has taken the exam.
Cancellation request made more than 14 days before testing date: Full refund minus $40 nonrefundable application processing fee
Cancellation request made less than 14 days before testing date: No refund
Reschedule request made more than 14 days before testing date: Your registration will be moved to the new date requested, as long as the exam is not full
Reschedule request made less than 14 days before testing date: No changes can be made to your registration
What is the CESP™ examination fee?
|Exam Fee||$199 USD|
|Application Processing Fee (nonrefundable)||$40 USD (included in exam fee)|
|Retest Fee||Full exam fee|
You are able to pay by credit/debit through the online application or by mailing in a check. Please note that your application will not be reviewed until payment has been received. Exam seats are limited and are filled on a first come, first served basis. Your seat will not be guaranteed until registration is complete. Registration is not complete until your application is approved.
Fees are non-transferrable from one candidate to another.
How do I apply for the exam?
Please note that a candidate is limited to sitting for the exam two times in a 12-month period. This 12-month period begins at the time of their first testing. Candidates who have failed the exam and are seeking to sit for the exam a second time must wait until the next testing window to apply and sit for the exam. This delay supports healthy retesting patterns without undue inconvenience, while also supporting exam security.
When is the next exam in my area?
Exams are added to the schedule frequently. If you do not see an exam in your area at this time one may be added to the schedule in the future. Please check back if you are looking for an exam in a particular area.
When will I find out my score?
How do I interpret my score report?
How do I locate or access my certificate?
Is there training for the CESP™ examination?
There is not a training program for the CESP™ exam. The CESP™ exam tests the ability to apply the practical knowledge required to work in supported employment settings to fictional scenarios. Any training program that enhances knowledge and experience that can generate positive employment outcomes will be beneficial for any candidate, although not necessary.
The ESPCC does not recommend or endorse any programs created with the intention to aid in exam preparation.
What are the eligibility requirements to sit for the CESP™ examination?
Candidates for CESP™ certification must meet all eligibility requirements in effect at the time of their application for certification.
Applicants for certification must meet all of the following requirements before they take the exam:
- Education Requirement: High school diploma, GED or equivalent;
- Experience Requirement: Each applicant must meet one of the following requirements:1 year of employment support professional (ESP) work experience, which may include up to a maximum of 3 months of internship or practicum time; or 9 months of ESP work experience with training component; and
- Code of Conduct: Each applicant must agree to and sign the Code of Conduct included in the application
Work Experience Definition: A minimum of 20 hours per week of paid Employment Support Professional (ESP) related work is required. Examples of paid ESP related work are:
- Work directly related to providing and/or supporting community-based employment services.
- Employment as a direct employment services professional, provision of direct employment services as an agency/company employee, and/or managerial or supervisory work in employment services.
- Experience in school-to-work transition environments providing ESP service.
- Work completed as part of an internship, practicum, or other on-the-job training may be counted to the limits noted in the training definition.
*Note* Work related to residential and/or non-employment day services, segregated employment services will not be accepted.
Training: An internship or practicum of at least 2 months in length and/or successful completion of an intensive training course that includes at least 32 hours of ESP related course work. The content for acceptable training courses must be directly related to the CESP™ content outline. Acceptable training content is related to supported and customized employment as well as training relevant to providing employment and community based supports to people with disabilities. Examples of acceptable training content includes: specialized training to work with specific disability groups (i.e. autism or mental illness), training on small businesses development, American with Disabilities Act (ADA) training, benefits counseling, and strategies for job development. Training related to segregated employment services or services that are not widely considered to be best practices will not be accepted.
If you have questions around your eligibility, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you submit your application and are deemed ineligible to sit for the exam based on the requirements, you will be refunded your application fee minus a nonrefundable $40 application processing fee.
How do I request an accommodation for the exam?
ESPCC will provide reasonable accommodations* for test candidates with disabilities that are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Candidates requesting accommodations must submit the Request for Accommodations Form at least 2 weeks prior to the exam date. ESPCC reserves the right to review any request for accommodations and have requests considered by its own experts to ensure an appropriate level of accommodations and protect the integrity of the examination and certification.
How are certification and training programs different?
Professional certification is different than a training or educational program. Training programs offer a certificate of attendance when an individual completes the coursework, but they do not give a credential. The ESPCC used a nationally recognized process to define the roles and responsibilities of the employment support professional and awards a credential after the individual passes an exam to demonstrate their competence.
Training programs focus on providing information and education to enable students to master the curriculum of a specific career field. Certification programs provide the third party, objective testing to validate that individuals take the national exam are competent to pass an examination on nationally accepted professional competency standards.
Training programs typically offer a certificate of attendance or certificate of completion when an individual completes the coursework, but they do not give a credential. Training programs may require individuals to pass an exam on the training content but the exam is not based on national standardized competencies and is not administered by an independent professional organization as is required of nationally accredited certification programs. A training certificate demonstrates that at a single point in time the individual completed a course. It does not necessarily show that they have the skills and knowledge to perform all of the requirements of a particular job as demonstrated by nationally accredited certification examinations.
The ESPCC recognizes that there are many valuable training programs that will prepare professionals to pass the ESPCC examination, however we do not endorse specific training programs.
How was the CESP™ exam developed?
In January 2011, The ESPCC launched a role delineation study (RDS) as the first step towards developing a national certification program.
A representative panel of nine subject matter experts (SMEs) developed the RDS to correspond to the job content elements that are related to effective entry-level ESP performance. Established reference materials from the profession were used to identify 80 content elements grouped into content domains, sequenced in the order in which they are most typically performed.
Following a systematic and scientific process, the survey was created and then sent to employment professionals around the country. Upon completion of the study, the data was collected and analyzed. Means and standard deviations were computed for each of the content items. Combining the criticality and frequency means for each of the six content domains resulted in the basis for the exam content outline. The content outline was reviewed, revised (primarily by combining two of the domains for better balance), and finalized by a group of SMEs.
Following the approval of the content outline a diverse group of exam question writers were recruited and trained to submit questions for the exam. Questions were subsequently reviewed by additional SMEs before being assembled into an exam for a final quality check and review.
Following each administration of the exam, question statistics are calculated and reviewed along with candidate feedback to identify any concerns or areas for improvement. Inappropriate questions are removed from grading. Following this quality assurance step exam grading is finalized and score reports are issued to candidates.
The ESPCC oversees a continual process of question writing, review and evaluation to ensure that exam content remains up-to-date, accurate, and consistent with the content outline.
Is the CESP™ Certification only for APSE members?
Who should be crendentialed?
What are the benefits of CESP™ certification?
What do CESP™ colleagues say about certification?
What if I do not pass the exam?
How do I update my contact information?
How do I maintain my CESP™ certification?
CESP™ certificants must renew their certification every 3 years by completing 36 CE credits and paying the recertification fee of $125.
What if my recertification lapses and I want to renew it?
Recertification is mandatory for all CESP™ certification holders. If certification is not renewed it will expire on the last day of the month 3 years after the certification was last earned. Individuals whose certification has expired or been suspended or revoked may not represent him/herself as a CESP™ certification holder and may not use the credential until he/she receives official notice that the recertification requirements have been satisfied or that certification status has been reinstated.
If certification has been expired for 30 days or less, an individual may reinstate his/her certification by meeting all of the recertification requirements, submitting a complete recertification application, and paying the recertification fee of $125. If the application is approved, the individual’s expiration date for the reinstated credential will be the same as if the certification had been renewed on time.
If certification has been expired for more than 30 days, an individual must reapply for certification, meet all eligibility requirements in effect at the time of re-application, and pass the examination.
How do I mail in a check to pay for my re-certification or exam fee?
The completed application, plus all required documentation and fees, must be submitted and will be processed online. If payment is made by check or money order, the online application must be completed first, followed by submission of the mailed payment. Your application will not be reviewed for eligibility until payment has been received.
All checks must be made payable to “APSE”. Checks made payable to “CESP Exam” will be returned. Check payments must be received before the registration deadline in the case of exams.
DO NOT SEND CASH. Mailed payments must specify current approved government-issued photo ID candidate name and requested examination/testing period on the face of the check or money order.
APSE: 414 Hungerford Dr, Suite 224, Rockville, MD 20850
Can my organization host a CESP™ Examination in my city/state? And what do we need to do to schedule one?
We are currently scheduling exams up to June 23, 2018. After this time, we will be moving toward computer-based testing using proctored testing sites through a third-party company, PSI. There are several hundred PSI-managed computer-based Testing Centers in the United States and Canada. Testing Centers are open Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays. Hours and days of availability vary at each Testing Center. To identify the closest Testing Center, PSI at 800-733-9267.
There is no fee to host an exam. Your organization will need to identify a space to hold the exam (generally a conference room/board room that can accommodate 15-50 people) as well as two volunteer proctors. The proctors do not need to be CESP™ certified. Please note that the proctors will not be paid and must be willing to participate in an hour-long phone training prior to the examination.
Exam Hosting Criteria:
The examination is offered annually at the APSE conference and at other sites across the United States as scheduled/hosted by state or regional organizations. To ensure that examination results for all candidates are earned under comparable conditions and represent fair and accurate measurement, all examination test sites must meet the following criteria:
- Examination rooms will be quiet and free of disruption
- Rooms will have adequate and comfortable ventilation, lighting and temperature
- All exam administrations will be monitored by trained and approved proctors as noted above
- Adequate seating space will be provided to reduce distractions and so that test takers cannot see each other’s work
- Entrances/exits will be monitored/controlled and working fire exits will be available
- A clock will be visible for all test takers
- The test site will be accessible in compliance with the ADA Candidates will have access to water and restroom facilities
- Exam locations are arranged on a state-by-state basis.
- Exams should be scheduled at least 6-8 weeks ahead of the proposed testing date. Alaska and Hawaii must schedule at least 10 weeks ahead of the proposed testing date.
Please contact APSE for more information on upcoming exam locations and dates or click here to learn about locations where the exam is currently being offered.
For more information about hosting an examination, please contact Kari Tietjen, CESP™ Director: email@example.com or 301-279-0060 to discuss
Interested in learning more about becoming CESP™certified? Register today for APSE’s Free Monthly CESP™Informational Webinar.
- Learn about certification, accreditation and their benefits
- Review the development of the CESP™ certification exam
- Review exam eligibility requirements
- Learn how to prepare for the exam
- Find out what to do before, during and after the exam
If you have additional questions, please email us or call 301-279-0060.