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Page Title: Training
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Certification

Q

How can I speed-up the processing of my certification application?

A

Delays in processing applications result when individuals do not include required documentation. The application form instructions carefully spell-out the materials that must accompany each application. When this documentation is lacking, delays ensue while a letter requesting the missing information is mailed to you and the certification staff await your reply.

Some type of information is missing on 38% of the applications. Of these, the occurrence rates for the missing types of corroboration material were: table of organization (23%); position description (22%); resume (18%); and, education documentation (16%).

You can avoid processing delays by double checking that ALL information requested on the application form has been filled-in AND that ALL necessary documentation has been included before your application is submitted.



Q

When will the CCP examinations be given near me?

A

Examination sites are located in whichever cities ACA's Winter Conference and Summer Congress of Correction are held, plus additional areas, as a need is identified. A testing site can be set-up near you if you: 1) identify at least 20 candidates who are willing to take their exam at the same place and time; and 2) if personnel at that location are willing to allow individuals from other jurisdictions to also participate. The certification staff will, then, arrange to have a proctor go to the location you have specified and administer the examinations. You cannot take an exam by mail or over the internet.



Q

How will I know how I did on my exam?

A

Within 10 days to two weeks after the examination date, you will receive either a Certification Certificate indicating that you passed, or a letter stating that you were unsuccessful. A specific grade is NOT given.

Receiving the Certification Certificate means that you earned a grade between 75 and 89 on your exam; if you scored 90 or above, the certificate will indicate your achievement was at the HONORS level, which is earned by 3% - 5% of those taking an exam. The overall success rate on CCP examinations is between 75% to 80%. If you were unsuccessful, your letter will specify those sections on the examination in which you scored 75 or above and the areas in which you did not. This will help to focus your attention when preparing for a re-examination. That letter will also explain how to apply for a re-exam.



Q

Do I qualify if I worked in military corrections for 22 years?

A

There are two situations in which length/type of correctional experience comes into play: (1) time-in-current-position; and, (2) meeting educational criteria. In the first instance, the answer to the question depends upon the level of certification you are applying for. For CCO (Officer) you need a minimum of one year in a position in this work group; for the other three levels- CCE, CCM, and CCS (Executive, Manager, Supervisor) you need two years in your position in order to qualify. Secondly, if a person does not meet the educational requirements for certification at a specific level, time spent working full time in the corrections field may be substituted. In both instances, appropriate documentation is required.



Q

How does the Certification Program apply to central office personnel?

A

Central office (and regional office) personnel can participate in the Certification Program. However, the great variations among the titles that DOCs use make a specific answer difficult. [These variations are why it is most important to include a current Table of Organization with the applicant's position highlighted. It will avoid confusion and reduce the likelihood of delay in processing the application.]

Generally, for central/regional office personnel, the following levels apply: DOC system commissioners/directors and their assistants/associates/deputies are at the EXECUTIVE level; heads of sections are at the MANAGER level; other staff working within a section are at the SUPERVISOR level. To make the necessary "translations" from our facility-oriented literature to central office position language, refer to the following table:

Certify as: Facility personnel Headquarters staff
CCE Wardens, Superintendents, & Deputies Commissioners/Assistant Directors
CCM Dept. Heads, Unit Managers Section Chiefs, Program Administrators
CCS Caseworkers, Instructors, Lieutenants, Psychologists, etc. Classification Personnel, Legal Staff
CCO Privates, Corporals, Sergeants N/A




Q

Which of the Certified Corrections Professional levels should I apply for if I work in a prison's health services department?

A

There are two possibilities, and the choice between them depends on where your position is located on the facility's table of organization. If you are the Health Services' Department head, then apply at the CCM (Manager) level. If you are in a staff position (e.g., dentist, medical technician, nurse, physician, etc.), then apply at the CCS (Supervisor) level.



Q

Will the state pay my certification exam fee?

A

There are three ways to pay for your participation in the Certification Program: 1) by personal check; 2) by credit card; and, 3) by a purchase order. Thus, if your state DOC wanted to issue a P.O., it would certainly be acceptable. Currently, one DOC does offer this "perk", while another state DOC has agreed to purchase all the books on the selected reading lists, place them in the staff library, and make them available to anyone who wishes to use them for studying.



Q

Are there required courses for the examination?

A

There are no required courses; study guide material is sent to all qualified candidates. It lists study areas and books from which the examination questions were drawn. There is no requirement that any of these be bought or studied. The sole criterion (after qualifying), is passing the exam with a grade of 75 or above.



Q

Can you take another examination at a different level after successfully passing a certification examination at one level?

A

In order to qualify for a certification examination you need to meet an experience/educational criterion AND be in a position (for a minimum of one year-two years for CCE) at the level for which you are applying. Thus, you can take the examination at another (higher) level provided you meet these two criteria.



Q

Is the Certification Program applicable to community corrections or detention facilities?

A

At the first meeting of the Commission on Correctional Certification it was decided to expand the Certification Program's definitions so that they would be applicable to personnel in all areas related to the corrections field. (This had always been our intention "further down the road," but the commission made it happen sooner.) So, the answer is "yes," the Certification Program is applicable for personnel in positions other than those that specifically deal with incarcerated offenders.





Continuing Education Units (CEUs)


Q

What are CEUs?

A

These credits provide a way for correctional professionals to earn professional recognition for attending a qualified training program. Many correctional agencies consider CEUs when evaluating staff for promotions, pay increases or professional achievement.



Q

How do I earn CEUs from Sam Houston State University?

A

Students who successfully complete the following ACA training programs are eligible to receive CEUs provided by Sam Houston State University.

  • Self-instructional courses
  • Training workshops
  • ACA conferences
  • ACA Affiliates' conferences
The number of CEUs awarded is based on the number of training hours achieved. According to the national established by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training Units (IACET), one CEU=10 training hours.


Q

What is the cost of a CEU?

A

The cost for CEUs is $30 per course. To learn more about the CEUs, contact Student Services at 1-800-222-5646, ext. 0074, or by e-mail at daryas@aca.org.



Q

How can I receive contact hours for recertification?

A

Three years after passing their Certification Examination, Certified Corrections Professionals (CCPs) need to apply for recertification to maintain the validity of their credential. This requires completing and submitting an Application for Recertification that meets the national Commission on Correctional Certification�s recertification standards: i.e., each CCP must earn a specified number of Continuing Education Contact Hours: CCE (executive)-100 CEs, CCM (manager)-80 CEs, CCS (supervisor)-60 CEs, and CCO (officer)-10 CEs.

These contact hours can be earned in five categories:

  • Attending corrections-related training education courses
  • Participating in or attending corrections-related national, regional, state or local conferences
  • Publishing a book, book chapter, article on a corrections related topic
  • Participating in a formal, corrections related reading/study group
  • Engaging in other, similar Commission approved activities (e.g., giving training, being a accreditation auditor, membership on special, agency-initiated task force.
Final requirement is that the contact hours earned in any single category cannot exceed 50% of the required total.

Q

How can I receive CEUs for attending the ACA conferences?

A

Sam Houston State University has agreed to offer ACA CEUs for attending specific workshops and events at the ACA conferences. The CEU registration fee is $30.



Q

How do I receive Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits and nursing Continuing Education (CE) contact hours for attending the ACA conference?

A

The Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division and the American Correctional Association are joint sponsors for the Continuing Medical Education/Continuing Education (CME/CE) Program provided at ACA's Conferences.

The CME /CE Program is planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division is accredited by the ACCME to provide Continuing Medical Education (CME) for physicians and takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of the CME activity. Physicians participating in the program can earn Category 1 CME credit towards the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Other correctional health care personnel will receive a certificate acknowledging their attendance at the ACCME approved workshops/sessions

The Nova Southeastern University Baccalaureate Nursing Program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC) 61 Broadway, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10006, 800-669-1656 . Correctional nurses can earn 1 ½ CE contact hours for each 1 ½ hour workshop they attend.



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