Once you have selected a credential, reviewed any requirements, and obtained any additional training or experience needed, you are ready to apply for and take the credentialing exam. Follow the credentialing boards’application procedures which often include:
- Submitting an application
- Submitting documentation of military training and experience
- Taking an exam
- Possibly paying application and exam fees
After you’ve earned the credential, make sure you are aware of any requirements to keep your credential active. Check with the AMCA regarding the following items:
- Is there a renewal period for the certification and if so, how long is it? Many certifying agencies require you to renew your certification after a period of time, for example, every three years.
- Are there renewal requirements? Credentialing agencies may require additional training or education, commonly called continuing education after you earn a credential to demonstrate up-to-date knowledge. Others may require that you take the certification exam again at the end of the renewal period. Renewal requirements, and costs, will vary by credentialing agency.
- The Army does not currently pay for certification fees; however, there are resources available to pay for some of the fees. The Army’s Tuition Assistance Program (TA) provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of a Soldier’s professional and personal development goals. Soldiers interested in using TA for credentialing fees or supplemental training can contact an Army Education Center and meet with an education counselor. The following site provides a listing of education centers worldwide – https://www.earmyu.com/public/public_goarmyed-education_centers.aspx
- Soldiers can receive a maximum of $4,500 per fiscal year for 100 percent of tuition costs, or up to $250 per semester hour, whichever is less. This rate is based on the uniform tuition assistance policy the Department of Defense implemented across the military services in October 1998. With regard to use of tuition assistance for certification purposes, tuition assistance is authorized for courses that lead to certification. The courses must be offered by accredited academic institutions, although the institution may contract with a learning network or courseware vendor to provide courses or training.
- If the Service Member participates in the Montgomery GI Bill, they can get reimbursed for exam fees (up to $2,000 per test). For more information and to find out whether you qualify for this benefit, please see the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Licensing and Certification Brochure http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/lc_brochure.pdf