Winning the Business

New Practitioner Certification Exam Coming Online Soon

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Beginning in 2019, APMP will launch a new objective testing exam (OTE) for the Practitioner Level certification. The exam replaces the 33-question essay assessment, which has served us well for a dozen years.

I’m sure you have lots of questions. Rest assured, we are here to support our members through the transition. Here are the important details:

  • The OTE will be released on January 22, 2019. For six months following the new OTE Practitioner release date, members may choose to pursue Practitioner Level certification through the legacy assessment method (33 question essay) or by taking the new Practitioner exam.
  • If you’ve started pursuing Practitioner Level certification through the assessment model, you have until July 22, 2019, to complete the assessment. That’s about nine full months from now.
  • Beginning July 22, 2019, the OTE will be the only route to achieve Practitioner Level certification.
  • The Practitioner OTE will be a multiple-choice exam based on a scenario provided. Members will use their industry knowledge and professional experience to match the correct answer to the scenario situation.
  • The exam will take about 2.5 hours to complete. It can be completed online with a proctor, through APMP’s approved training organizations, or during a regional certification day associated with chapter symposia or at Bid and Proposal Con. This is not a paper-based exam; it is only an online exam.
  • Just as it was before, the Practitioner Level certification is designed for professionals with 3-to-7 years of experience. The only requirements for taking the new Practitioner OTE is that you must have passed Foundation and you must have at last three full years as a bid and proposal professional.
  • Don’t worry, individuals who achieved Practitioner Level certification through the legacy assessment method will still maintain their credential; no action is needed on their part.

The exam will be challenging. But it will also be more commensurate to accurately measuring your experience and knowledge of APMP industry best practices–the work you do every day. The new exam will rigorously test the experiences and thought processes behind being a successful bid and proposal manager.

It will also be a lot less arduous to complete than the 33-question legacy exam.  In turn, we hope more people will pursue the credential–which we know can advance their careers. Many employers reward ongoing professional development and achievement, and this credential signals a distinct level of competency and experience in the field.

If you have additional questions about the OTE or the transition, email me. We want our members to pursue continuing education, training and certifications that advance the profession–and we’re here to support that professional development.


Rick Harris, CF APMP, is the Executive Director of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. During his tenure, the association has nearly tripled in size and now serves bid and proposal professionals around the world. He can be reached at rick.harris@apmp.org.

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