CPP Process FAQs

  • Declaring your Candidacy is the first step on your CPP journey. The candidacy application fee is $200.
  • There is no fee to take the exam in person, but there is a $25 fee to take it online.
  • 3 rounds of image submissions are included with the above mentioned application fee. But should you require more than 3 rounds, there is a $100 fee to get up to three more rounds of submission chances.
  • To renew your certification (every three years) there is a $100 fee, UNLESS you attend Imaging USA three years in a row, then recertifying is free.

All CPPs and CPP Candidates are required to be PPA members. Remember there is no annual charge for Certification for PPA members. For more information about PPA Membership click here!

  1. Declare your candidacy. To do this, simply fill out the candidacy form. In this step, you will also need to pay the application $200 fee. Please note that your candidacy won't be officially declared until your payment is processed. Once confirmed, your candidacy will be valid for two years. Sign up using this form!
  2. Prepare for the exam. There are many resources provided to help you prepare for your CPP exam. Take advantage of all these by visiting the CPP Exam Resources section of our website. We suggest first downloading the CPP Test Specifications so you know what the exam covers. Then you can test your knowledge with the CPP Keywords, browse the suggested reading material, review the CPP Flashcards and take a Sample CPP Exam. You can also sign up for a CPP Prep Class which will definitely boost your confidence on the big day!
  3. Take the exam. Once you feel confident you are ready to take the exam simply go online and register for an exam in your area or online.
  4. The Technical Image Evaluation follows the exam. Each Image Evaluation will demonstrate three images. Please use the Technical Image Evaluation Guide and Sample Images to setup your evaluation. Make sure to reference the Equipment List for required and suggested equipment. You can submit your images as many times as needed within your TWO (2) year candidacy period. Should you not pass the technical image evaluation within your candidacy period you can reapply for candidacy, with the reduced cost of $100 and an additional year to do so.
  5. Celebrate. Once you get your certification, give yourself a break and celebrate! You'll deserve it

Once you've achieved the CPP designation, you will need to recertify every three years. CPPs eligible for recertification will receive three notices on the year they are due to recertify, two via email and one via mail.

To recertify, 15 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are required or re-examination, along with a payment of $100. The $100 recertification fee is waived if any of the following requirements are met:

  •     CPP has attended Imaging USA for the past three consecutive years
  •     CPP is an Elite or Elite Plus Member

The CEU system involved in the CPP recertification process is there to encourage CPPs to continue their journey in photography education and professional development. By participating in continuing education, CPPs help to raise the bar of our industry.

To learn how to how to earn credits or if you're not sure how many CEUs you have under your belt, please visit the recertification page.

If you can't meet these education requirements, you can also re-take the CPP Exam.

Unfortunately, if you are unable to reach the required 15 credits or re-take the exam within your recertification period, your certification will be cancelled. You will need to reapply as a candidate and complete the candidacy requirements to re-obtain your credential.

The Certification Committee follows the standards for certification established by the Institute of Credentialing Excellence. ICE sets the guidelines for creating the written test for certification, ensuring the questions are relevant to professional photography today. The Institute of Credentialing Excellence also provides support and information for maintaining the certification process to the certification Committee.

The Certification Committee meets on a regular basis to make sure the certification process always reflects the new advances in the photography industry.

The CPP designation is international, there are CPPs all over the world!

To see if there is a Certification Liaison in your country please view the CPP Liaison list. For those countries without a CPP Liaison CPP Candidates may register and take the exam online via remote proctor for a nominal fee of $25. For more information on taking the exam online please visit the Exam Registration section. Please note the CPP Exam is only offered in English and Spanish. Candidates must be able to read and answer questions written in one of those languages. To request a CPP exam in Spanish please contact cppmailbox@ppa.com.

All Technical Image Evaluation materials are submitted online. Your Technical Image Evaluation kit will be ordered online from BlickU. Please use the Ordering Guide to help you through the process. Please allow between 5-10 business days for kit delivery (pending location). For additional assistance for international candidates please email cppmailbox@ppa.com.

You will receive your CPP certificate in the mail approximately three weeks after the date that you received your passing email notification.

If your candidacy has expired and you have not successfully completed the exam requirement, you will be required to restart the process by re-declaring your candidacy. Please contact cppmailbox@ppa.com for assistance.

If you have successfully completed the exam requirement, but not the image submission requirement, please contact cppmailbox@ppa.com for next steps.

Certification Liaisons know the program inside and out. The liaison acts as a spokesperson for certification, assisting candidates and existing Certified Professional Photographers as an expert and source of information. Liaisons must maintain their certification and PPA Membership, and are entrusted with responsibilities from the committee to maintain the integrity of the program.

If you are a Certified Professional Photographer or a CPP candidate, you can contact a Certification Liaison in your area for assistance or answers.

List of Certification Liaisons