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Back to School: CPSM – What you need to know to get started

December 13, 2011

CPSM study groups will begin January 19th. Please consider joining us!

Special thanks to CBT Architects for hosting our first session.

By now, you’ve read all about the six domains of professional practice and what you’ll be expected to study within each one. So, the next question is “Are you ready to get started?”

First, you need to know if you’re eligible. You must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree plus four years of experience in marketing or business development for firms providing professional services, or
  • Possess an associate’s degree plus six years work experience in marketing or business development for firms providing professional services, or
  • Without a degree, have eight years of experience in marketing or business development for firms providing professional services

In addition, all candidates must pledge to abide by the CPSM Code of Ethics

You’ll need to apply:

  1. Complete the CPSM Application Form and application fee online.
  2. Send a copy of your college transcript, or a notarized photocopy of your degree (when applicable), to the SMPS National Certification Department.
  3. Await acceptance of your application. (Please allow up to four weeks for the Certification Department to process your application and verify eligibility.) You will receive written confirmation of your acceptance to the program.
  4. Determine the date, time, location, and format (online or paper) of your examination, working with the Certification Department. (If taking the exam online, any current CPSM can administer the exam for you).
  5. Complete and return to SMPS National Headquarters your CPSM Examination Registration Form and fee.

How much will it cost?

There are a couple of SMPS Boston need-based scholarships available for the exam portion of the test (e.g. if your employer won’t pay for it, or you are a freelancer, etc). Study materials will be the test takers’ responsibility. A list of recommended reading is available for purchase and can be accessed here. Please note, reimbursement is made once the exam is passed.

SMPS Member               Nonmember

Application Fee:           $245                            $350

Paper Exam Fee:          $300                            $440

Online Exam Fee:         $275                            $415

Recertification Fee*:    $225                            $375

*Required once every three years

When will you find out if you passed?

Generally speaking, you will hear if you passed the exam within a month or so of taking it. This is a Pass/Fail exam and your final score is weighted by the number of questions within each domain. A passing grade is 75 or above. The exam consists of 150 questions with four multiple choice answers.

What do you need to do to recertify?

Recertification occurs once every three years. In order to qualify, you must file a recertification application here  and you must submit paperwork showing you completed at least 50 continuing education credits throughout the three-year period. One continuing education unit (CEU) is awarded for each contact hour of instruction. A contact hour is defined as one hour of interaction between a learner and an instructor. For purposes of calculating CEUs, breaks, meals, and social/networking time cannot be included in the contact time. CEU’s can be accumulated for attending educational events, presenting on a topic of your expertise at an educational event, by writing an original paper or article on a relevant marketing subject, or by answering questions in the Marketer magazine (for a total of 15 credits only). CEUs may be submitted for attending programs offered by SMPS as well as other related industry organizations.

Please join us for the 2012 CPSM Exam Study Sessions staring January 19th. For more information, please contact

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