View Full Version : Exam Dates & Locations

07-25-2007, 07:25 AM
I'm just curious. Why are there only 3 Exam Dates for the entire year?
I'd love to become a Certified Photographer, but if I'm going to have to buy a plane ticket just to take the exam then it seems easier just to forget about it and put it off until they have an exam in my area. Is this a common concern for people?:confused:

07-25-2007, 12:17 PM
You should check with your state liaison. Though, I emailed mine and have not received a response.


07-25-2007, 01:47 PM
Hi Ben;

There are a lot more than 3 exam dates ... throughout the country. I agree that you should contact the certification liaison for your state for a list of days and locations where he or she gives it.

I can't speak for other states, and liaisons. I give the exam 4 times a year, here in Pennsylvania, at our state photog. assn. meetings. (Feb., April, June, and Oct.) A photographer does not need to be a state member to take the exam with me.

07-25-2007, 01:51 PM
Hi Ben;

Here is the list of Liaisons. In case a location, in a neighboring state, is close enough I'm posting the entire list.

07-25-2007, 05:27 PM
Wow, thanks! This is very helpful. I didn't read anything about there being more than those three tests on the Certification Exam section of the PPA website. Maybe they should add something about it to that page.

Thanks again :D

07-25-2007, 05:42 PM
Of a bigger concern to me than the number of dates and locations for testing is that they will start doing but a single image submission per year as of 2008. Not sure what the motivation for this is, but it seems destined to create as many problems as it solves.

07-26-2007, 03:26 PM
Personally, I think they do a poor job in the Pacific Northwest. Like you, it seems like the only way to take it is to fly to California, or elsewhere. I wanted to take the exam before a big ad campaign this fall, and I volunteered to drive the 4-5 hours where the closest liaison is, but no go. I would have to wait until next year.


07-26-2007, 03:45 PM
For those of you in the Pacific Northwest ... I suggest that you find some certified photographers willing to serve as C.P.P. liaisons. Have them contact PPA to offer to serve in that capacity. The ideal person would be a C.P.P. who needs merits. You get two service merits a year for serving as liaison. So, someone short on "other" merits for Craftsman or Master might welcome serving as Liaison. If those in place are not making it easy enough to take the exam add more liaisons.

07-26-2007, 05:18 PM
That's a good idea, Craig. Something to look into.
How about since you do such a great job out there, you move out here!


07-26-2007, 05:33 PM
Hi Jim;

I don't know if I'm an exception giving it 4 times a year or not. If your state association wants to pay to fly me out and put me up in a hotel for one of the state meetings I'll come out there to give it. ;)

The other alternative is to come to one of our PPAofPa meetings to take it from me here. Karen Linsely did that from Lake Tahoe. I've had others travel here from neighboring states as well. I will be giving it on Sunday September 30th.

07-27-2007, 01:48 PM
Of a bigger concern to me than the number of dates and locations for testing is that they will start doing but a single image submission per year as of 2008. Not sure what the motivation for this is, but it seems destined to create as many problems as it solves.

The correct info is this. As of 2008, there will be one judging of actual prints. But, there will be 4 dates that they will judge on-line submissions.

07-27-2007, 01:55 PM
Hi group;

The other day I suggested finding more liaisons, for states with problems finding somewhere to take the exam. I spoke to PPA this morning and there is no limit to how many liaisons are in a state. So I again will suggest that anyone who has had a problem finding a day and time to take the exam look for Certified Photographers to serve as liaisons. Maybe there are certified photographers on here who would like to do this. (and get two service merits per year also)

The only other forseeable problem I can see is where to hold the exam. Our state has 4 meetings a year so I give it on the Sunday of the meeting. If your state has less meetings that could be a factor in how often it is given. We are not allowed to give it in our studios.

07-27-2007, 01:55 PM
Oh. That makes much more sense. Thanks.

07-27-2007, 01:57 PM
Hi Mark;

I noticed that was post # 2,499 for you. Don't forget that bells and whistles go off when you post # 2,500. :p

08-02-2007, 05:45 AM
I just wanted to stop and take a moment to try to clear a few things up in regard to the exam and when and where it can be proctored. Before I do a big hello to my friend and fine Certification Liaison, Craig Flory who proctored my exam back in 1996 in Mars PA
By way of introduction I am the Certification Liaison for NJ and have the honor of serving on the PPA Certification Committee with many other fine folks who are committed to the Certification program. I have also been teaching a Certification Preparation Course for the last ten years and have had the pleasure to help many professional photographers reach their goal of becoming Certified. Many of whom have gone on to far greater accomplishments then I have yet attained.
At this point in time I could not be more upbeat and excited about many of the wonderful things we have planned for the Certification Program, kindly forgive me or not yet being abel to announce them all just yet. However I will mention two that have come out of meeting we had in Atlanta this past May.
The first one, by now I am sure you are all aware of, that would be the online certification image submission and judging. We began working on that last year at our annual meeting and thanks to a lot of hard work from the committee, PPA staff and our Board Liaison Ron Nichols it came to fruition this year and the August certification judging will be judged that way. While we are still fine tuning it, we had a dry run about six weeks ago to test its efficiency. So bear with us as we do some fine tuning to make it that much better.
As part of our Certification Committee duties we are asked to judge at times. Which is why I sometimes hesitate to browse the forum, I would prefer not to see and image I may be later asked to judge and have to recluse myself if I recognize that image from the Forum.
Those of us on the committee work very hard to help the program along and we are you! Most of us are single proprietors or Mom and Pop, just like the vast majority of our PPA members. We try hard to give everyone a fair shake and make things as painless as possible for candidate as well as CPP’s. To that end we came up with the online submission, it reduces cost for our Certified members and also for the program since all of the judges can stay home and judge, through the magic of the internet a conference call!
That is the reason we will now only judge prints once a year when our committee meets. Since all of the committee members will be present and abel to judge without any additional cost to the program. The savings realized here will be utilized elsewhere for the betterment of the program, and again forgive me for not being abel to share those improvements with everyone just yet.
So I hope that helps explain the print judging questions. The exam dates may me a bit more involved. By the way all matters related to the exam and the testing procedures are the exclusive responsibilities of the Professional Photographers Certification Commission. We on the Committee are responsible for promotion and administration of the program.
Some years back we discovered NOCA, the National Organization for Competency Assurance. There purpose is to set criteria for all certification programs in many industries, medical, aviation, etc.
When we first began our relations with them we noticed many flaws in our program, flaws that could hold the PPA liable in certain cases. We then began to get out Certification program in line with the guidelines set by NOCA.
By way of example the sanctioning body cannot be the educational body! For instance one might study law at Harvard, but take the bar exam given by the state of Massachusetts. So we began to change things to fit the NOCA criteria. That meant changing some of the ways we did things and how the exam was proctored.
In accordance with the NOCA guidelines we now have the sanctioning body, The Professional Photographers Certification Commission. they are in charge of all matters related to the exam and the print submission rules. So they are the the entity that Certifies you, freeing the PPA to educated you. That is separation and in accordance with the guidelines.
By the way the NOCA manual is very thick, dry and boring filed of legalese, us photographers all hate. So forgive me for not diving into detail here.
This brings us to the exam criteria. When we began all this back in 2000 we changed many of the criteria in place at that time. One of the rules we put in place was that the exam could only be proctored at PPA or PPA affiliate conventions and all day meetings. So that cut back on the opportunity to take the exam.
Now that we have adjusted and modified our program to fall within the NOCA guidelines we have taken a closer look at our options. Pending the approval of the Commission the exam can now be proctored at any PPA affiliate meeting. That is provided the candidates have a quite, well light area to take the exam in, and that the Liaison can be in attendance to proctor it.
Which brings me to my next point the exam can ONLY be proctored by the following, no exceptions! PERIOD. Any state Certification Liaison, any Certification Committee or Commission member, any PPA Board member ( not councilor) and any PPA staff. The exam can also be proctored at PPA headquarters anytime, just please let them know you are coming.
This is relatively new and I am sure many liaisons are just being made aware of this. Also remember we gladly volunteer to be Certification Liaisons and often times travel miles out of our way to fulfill our duties and do so with a smile on our face. We receive no finical compensation for our time and efforts. However we cannot always be available at all times, as many of us have families and of course a business to run. So please be courteous most Liaison will do their best to accommodate candidates.
Kindly bear in mind many of the state associations and guilds do not always have the resources required for separate space for the Liaison to proctor the exam. That to is sometimes another challenge, not to mention far too many folks who are misguidedly against Certification. Most of do our best and it can be a difficult juggling act at times. Trying to set up dates and have the proper space to proctor the exam.
I hope that helps everyone understand some of the nuances of the program and the reasons behind how we approach things. I also thank you for hanging in there and reading all of this. If I don’t respond on the Forum it is not because I am indifferent it is the image submission thing I mentioned earlier. You can always e mail me (adcphoto@comcast.net) I will respond, however I do quite a bit of teaching and traveling, next week I’ll be at The Long Island Photo Workshop ( August 6 to 10th) a great PPA affiliate school. When I teach I give as much of my time as I can to my students so it may take me a while to respond, but respond I will. Good health and God bless.

Your Pal, Al
PS It is late so forgive any grammar or spelling errors.

08-02-2007, 05:34 PM
Hi Al;

Wow, in the decades I've known you, that's the most I've ever heard you say, or type. ;)