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Top 11 Policy Analyst Certifications

This article explores the best certifications available for policy analysts, including their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for a policy analyst are important in the job market because they demonstrate the analyst’s commitment to their profession, as well as their knowledge and competency. Certifications can also be used to demonstrate technical proficiency in certain areas, such as data analysis or project management. This can help an analyst stand out from other applicants and give them a competitive edge when applying for jobs. Additionally, certifications can provide opportunities for professional development and help an analyst stay up-to-date on current industry trends and best practices.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Policy Analysts and explain how they can help further a policy analyst's career.

What are Policy Analyst Certifications?

Policy analyst certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual's expertise in the field of policy analysis. This certification can be obtained through professional organizations, such as the International Association for Public Policy Analysis (IAPPA), or through academic programs at universities and colleges.

The purpose of policy analyst certification is to provide a standardized measure of competency in the area of policy analysis. It allows employers to evaluate job candidates on a more objective basis and helps to ensure that those who are hired possess the necessary skills and knowledge needed to perform their duties effectively. Furthermore, it provides assurance to employers that the individual has met certain educational standards with regard to policy analysis and is up-to-date on current trends in public policy development.

Having this certification can give individuals an edge over other job applicants when applying for positions in government agencies, research firms, non-profits, think tanks, and other related fields. Additionally, it can help individuals advance their careers by providing them with additional recognition from employers and peers alike. Furthermore, having this certification can open doors to new opportunities as it serves as evidence of one’s commitment to excellence in the field of policy analysis.

Pro Tip: Before pursuing a policy analyst certification, make sure you have the necessary qualifications and experience. Be sure to research the requirements for certification and any potential prerequisites that may be required, such as completing specific courses or obtaining additional certifications. Additionally, look into any potential costs associated with the certification process and ensure that you will be able to meet those costs before committing to pursue the certification.

Related: What does a Policy Analyst do?

Top 11 Policy Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Policy Analysts today.

1. Certified Public Policy Analyst (CPPA)

Certified Public Policy Analyst (CPPA) is a professional certification program that provides recognition for individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the field of public policy analysis. The CPPA certification is administered by the National Association for Public Policy Analysis (NAPPA).

The CPPA certification requires a minimum of two years of full-time professional experience in public policy analysis, as well as a passing score on the NAPPA Certified Public Policy Analyst Exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as policy formulation and implementation, economic analysis, research methods, and quantitative methods.

To obtain the CPPA certification, applicants must submit an application to NAPPA along with proof of their professional experience and a passing score on the exam. Once approved, applicants will receive their official certificate from NAPPA.

The cost for obtaining the CPPA certification varies depending on whether you are an individual or an organization. For individuals, there is a one-time fee of $495 USD to apply for the exam; if you are part of an organization, there is an additional fee of $295 USD per person.

2. Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)

Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) is a professional certification program offered by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and proficiency in government financial management. The CGFM certification is widely recognized as the standard for excellence in the field of public sector financial management.

To become certified, an individual must pass three examinations: Governmental Environment, Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting, and Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy. Each exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within two hours.

The cost to take the CGFM exams varies depending on whether you are an AGA member or non-member. For members, it costs $245 per exam, while non-members pay $345 per exam. In addition, there is an application fee of $75 for all applicants.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the CGFM program, depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying for the exams. Once you have passed all three exams and paid the application fee, your application will be reviewed by the AGA Certification Board before your certification is granted.

3. Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP)

Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP) is a certification program offered by the Institute of Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professionals (ICRCP). The program is designed to help individuals demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the field of regulatory and compliance. It is intended for professionals who are responsible for ensuring that organizations comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

The CRCP certification requires successful completion of a two-day examination that covers topics such as: legal principles; risk management; ethics; regulatory compliance; corporate governance; financial reporting; auditing; internal controls; data protection; privacy laws; information security management systems; anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing programs. Additionally, applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in the field of regulatory and compliance.

The cost of the CRCP certification program varies depending on location but typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. This includes the exam fee, study materials, and other associated costs.

In order to obtain the CRCP certification, applicants must first register with ICRCP and pay the applicable fees. Once registered, they will be provided with access to an online learning platform where they can review course material and practice exams prior to taking the actual exam. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their official certificate within four weeks.

4. Certified Risk and Insurance Professional (CRIP)

Certified Risk and Insurance Professional (CRIP) is a professional designation awarded by the Global Risk Management Institute (GRMI). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of risk management and insurance.

In order to obtain the CRIP designation, individuals must complete an online course that covers topics such as insurance principles, risk management principles, legal aspects of risk management, claims handling, and financial analysis. The course takes approximately 40 hours to complete.

In addition to completing the online course, candidates must also pass an exam administered by GRMI. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. Candidates must also have at least three years of experience in the field of risk management or insurance in order to qualify for the CRIP designation.

The cost for obtaining the CRIP designation varies depending on where you take the course and whether or not you are a member of GRMI. Generally speaking, it will cost between $400-$600 USD for non-members and $300-$500 USD for members.

5. Certified in Healthcare Policy and Law (CHPL)

Certified in Healthcare Policy and Law (CHPL) is a professional certification program that provides healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand, interpret, and apply federal and state laws, regulations, and policies as they relate to the healthcare industry. The CHPL certification is designed for individuals who work in or around the healthcare industry, such as physicians, nurses, administrators, health policy analysts, attorneys, consultants, lobbyists, etc. It is also beneficial for those who are interested in pursuing a career in health policy or law.

The CHPL certification program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as healthcare law and regulation; public policy; legal ethics; patient rights; privacy and security; reimbursement systems; health insurance coverage; medical malpractice; fraud and abuse; managed care organizations; and more. The exam is administered by a third-party testing agency.

It typically takes approximately six months to complete the CHPL certification program. During this time period, students must complete the online coursework at their own pace and pass the exam with a score of 80% or higher in order to receive their certification.

The cost of the CHPL certification program varies depending on which provider you choose to take it through. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 USD for the entire program.

6. Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO)

Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) is a professional credential that demonstrates expertise in public finance and related fields. The CPFO credential is offered by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). It recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in public finance, including budgeting, accounting, financial reporting, auditing, debt management, investments, risk management, and other areas of public finance.

The CPFO credential requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge in these areas through a combination of education and experience. Applicants must have at least five years of professional experience in public finance and must pass an exam that covers topics such as budgeting, accounting principles, financial analysis techniques, debt management strategies, and other related topics.

It typically takes approximately six months to complete the requirements for the CPFO credential. This includes completing the application process; studying for the exam; taking the exam; and submitting documentation of your education and experience.

The cost to obtain the CPFO credential varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of GFOA. The cost for members is $395 while non-members pay $595.

7. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is a professional certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and experience required to practice business analysis.

The CBAP certification requires applicants to have a minimum of 7,500 hours of business analysis experience over the past 10 years. In addition, applicants must also complete 35 hours of professional development activities in the last 4 years.

To obtain the CBAP certification, applicants must pass an exam administered by IIBA. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and must be completed within 4 hours.

The cost for obtaining the CBAP certification is $325 for IIBA members and $450 for non-members.

8. Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is a professional body for public finance professionals in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1885 and is the only professional accountancy body dedicated to public services. It sets standards, provides qualifications, and offers guidance on best practice for public sector organisations.

It takes 3-4 years to become a CIPFA qualified accountant, depending on your prior experience. To get the qualification you must complete a CIPFA Professional Qualification which includes studying for exams and completing practical experience in the workplace. You can study for the qualification either full time or part time and can access online learning resources as well as face-to-face tuition.

The cost of becoming CIPFA qualified varies depending on your route but typically it will cost between £6,000 - £10,000 including exam fees, course materials and practical experience costs.

9. Project Management Professional in Government (PMPG)

Project Management Professional in Government (PMPG) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in project management within the government sector. It is designed to provide government officials with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully manage projects and deliver results on time and within budget.

To become PMPG certified, an individual must first meet the eligibility requirements set forth by PMI, which include having a minimum of five years of professional project management experience, as well as 7500 hours of leading projects and 35 contact hours of project management education. Once these requirements are met, applicants must pass the PMPG exam, which consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as project scope, scheduling, cost estimating, risk management, quality control, communication management, and more.

The PMPG certification process typically takes several months to complete. Applicants should plan to spend at least two months studying for the exam and preparing their application materials before taking the test. After passing the exam, applicants will be awarded their PMPG certification from PMI.

The cost for obtaining a PMPG certification varies depending on your country or region. In most cases it costs around $200-$400 USD for all associated fees including registration fees, exam fees and membership dues.

10. International Association for Public Participation Certification Program (IAP2 CP)

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Certification Program (IAP2 CP) is a professional certification program that recognizes and promotes excellence in public participation. It provides practitioners with an internationally recognized qualification that demonstrates their knowledge and skills in the field of public participation. The program is designed to ensure that practitioners demonstrate a high level of competence in public engagement, and that they are committed to upholding the highest standards of practice.

The IAP2 CP consists of two parts: a self-assessment exam, and an online learning course. The self-assessment exam covers topics such as principles and best practices in public participation, project management, communication strategies, facilitation techniques, evaluation methods, and more. The online learning course provides an overview of the IAP2 Core Values Framework, which outlines the fundamental values that should be applied when engaging with stakeholders.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the IAP2 CP certification process. To get certified, applicants must first complete the self-assessment exam and submit it to IAP2 for review. Once approved by IAP2, applicants must then complete the online learning course within one year. Upon successful completion of both parts of the program, applicants will receive their certification from IAP2.

The cost of getting certified through IAP2 CP varies depending on whether you are an individual or part of an organization/institution. For individuals, the cost is $450 USD; for organizations/institutions it is $1125 USD (plus applicable taxes).

11. American Society for Public Administration Certification Program (ASPA-CP).

The American Society for Public Administration Certification Program (ASPA-CP) is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of public administration. This program is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of experienced public administrators. The ASPA-CP is open to all individuals who possess a master's degree or higher in public administration, public policy, or related fields from an accredited institution.

The ASPA-CP consists of two parts: a written exam and an oral exam. The written exam tests candidates on their knowledge of the principles and practices of public administration, including topics such as budgeting, personnel management, organizational theory, ethics, and research methods. The oral exam requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge in real-world situations.

In order to become certified through the ASPA-CP program, applicants must first submit an application form along with supporting documentation and fees. After submitting the application materials, applicants will be notified if they are eligible to take the exams. If approved by ASPA-CP staff, applicants will receive instructions on how to register for the exams. Once registered for the exams, applicants must pass both parts before being awarded certification status by ASPA-CP.

The cost for taking the ASPA-CP exams varies depending on whether you are a member or nonmember of ASPA. For members of ASPA, each part of the exam costs $150; for nonmembers it costs $200 per part. Additionally there is also a one-time fee of $50 for processing your application materials prior to taking the exams. It typically takes 6–8 weeks after registering for an exam date before you can receive your results from ASPA-CP staff.

Do You Really Need a Policy Analyst Certificate?

The answer to whether you need a policy analyst certificate depends largely on your career goals. If you are planning to work in the policy field, then having a policy analyst certificate could be beneficial. A certificate can help demonstrate that you have knowledge and skills in the area of policy analysis. It can also provide valuable networking opportunities and access to resources that can help you advance your career.

However, if you do not plan to pursue a policy-related profession, then a policy analyst certificate may not be necessary for your professional development. Some employers may require or prefer that candidates have such a certification, but many positions do not require it. Ultimately, it is important to assess your own needs and goals before deciding whether or not a policy analyst certificate is necessary for your particular situation.

Related: Policy Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Policy Analyst Certifications

Q1. What is a policy analyst certification?

A1. A policy analyst certification is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates expertise in the field of public policy analysis and research. The certification typically requires completion of a specialized course or program, passing an exam, and/or having relevant work experience in the field.

Q2. What are the benefits of obtaining a policy analyst certification?

A2. Obtaining a policy analyst certification can provide many benefits, such as increased job opportunities, higher earnings potential, and greater credibility among colleagues and employers. Additionally, it can help demonstrate expertise in the field to potential employers and clients.

Q3. How long does it take to get a policy analyst certification?

A3. The amount of time required to obtain a policy analyst certification depends on the specific requirements needed for each particular program or course, but generally it takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete all requirements depending on the level of the certification being sought after.

Q4. What qualifications do I need to become a certified policy analyst?

A4. Qualifications for becoming a certified policy analyst vary depending on the specific program or course you are pursuing; however, generally you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in public policy analysis or related field, along with relevant work experience in the field or completion of specialized courses related to public policy analysis and research.

Q5. Is there an exam required for becoming a certified policy analyst?

A5. Generally speaking, most programs require successful completion of an exam as part of their requirements for obtaining a policy analyst certification; however, some programs may have alternative methods such as completing certain courses or having sufficient work experience instead of taking an exam