Top 10 Program Coordinator Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top program coordinator certifications available, including the requirements, benefits, and costs associated with each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are important for program coordinators in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and experience in the specific areas of expertise required to be successful. Certifications provide employers with assurance that the individual has been through an extensive training process and is competent in their field. Additionally, certifications can help program coordinators stand out from other applicants as they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and continued learning. Lastly, certifications can often lead to higher salaries or more promotions as employers recognize the value of having an employee with specialized credentials.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Program Coordinators and explains how they can help to advance a program coordinator's career.

What are Program Coordinator Certifications?

Program coordinator certification is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to develop, implement, and manage high-quality programs. Program coordinators are responsible for ensuring that program activities are properly organized and coordinated in order to meet organizational goals. This certification provides an opportunity for program coordinators to demonstrate their expertise in the field by meeting industry standards.

The certification process involves completing educational requirements, such as courses or seminars on program coordination and management topics, as well as demonstrating experience in the field. Once certified, program coordinators may be eligible for increased pay or promotion opportunities within their organization. The credential also serves as recognition of professional competence and can help open up new job opportunities outside of the organization.

Having a program coordinator certification demonstrates knowledge of best practices in the field and commitment to professional development. It can also provide assurance to employers that they are hiring qualified professionals with the necessary skills to effectively manage programs. Additionally, it can give confidence to organizations hiring external consultants or vendors that they are getting someone with the appropriate skill set for their project needs.

Pro Tip: When looking for a program coordinator certification, make sure to research the accreditation of the program and ensure that it meets your professional needs. Additionally, check to see if there are any prerequisites or continuing education requirements associated with the certification.

Related: What does a Program Coordinator do?

Top 10 Program Coordinator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Program Coordinators today.

1. Certified Program Coordinator (CPC)

Certified Program Coordinator (CPC) is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the field of program coordination. This certification is offered by the International Association of Program Coordinators (IAPC), and it is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in program coordination.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an exam, and demonstrate their understanding of program coordination principles. The process typically takes between 6-12 months to complete.

The first step to becoming certified is to apply for the CPC exam through IAPC's website. Applicants must submit proof of education, including transcripts or diplomas from accredited institutions, as well as evidence of at least two years of relevant work experience in program coordination. Once approved, applicants can then register for the exam online.

The cost for taking the CPC exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of IAPC. For members, the cost is $500 USD; for non-members, it is $750 USD. In addition to this fee, there may be additional costs associated with study materials or other resources needed to prepare for the exam.

2. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)

Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) is a professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is one of the most widely recognized and respected credentials in project management. The PMP certification demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge, experience, and skills to successfully manage projects.

The PMP certification process typically takes around 3-6 months to complete. To be eligible for the PMP exam, an individual must have at least three years of project management experience and 35 hours of project management education. Additionally, individuals must pass a 200-question multiple-choice exam.

To get the PMP certification, individuals must first apply for it through the PMI website. Once approved, they can register for the exam with Prometric or Pearson VUE testing centers. The fee for taking the exam varies depending on whether you are a member of PMI or not; it costs $405 for members and $555 for non-members.

Once an individual passes the exam, they will receive their official PMP credential in 4 to 6 weeks. They will also be required to maintain their credential by earning 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years.

3. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is a certification program designed to teach individuals the principles, practices, and tools of Scrum. The CSM certification is the most widely recognized and respected certification for those working in the Agile software development field.

The CSM certification requires a two-day course taught by an accredited Scrum Alliance instructor. During this course, participants learn the basics of Scrum, how to be an effective ScrumMaster, and how to apply the principles and practices of Scrum in their projects. At the end of the course, participants must pass a multiple-choice exam in order to receive their certification.

In order to get your CSM certification, you must first attend an approved two-day Certified ScrumMaster training class with an accredited instructor. After completing the class, you will need to pass a multiple-choice exam with at least 24 out of 35 questions correct in order to receive your certification.

The cost for attending a Certified ScrumMaster training class varies depending on location and instructor but typically ranges from $1,000 - $2,000 USD.

4. Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM)

Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to help project managers gain the skills and knowledge needed to successfully manage agile projects. The CAPM certification provides recognition of an individual’s knowledge, experience, and competency in leading and directing agile projects.

It typically takes about two months to prepare for the CAPM exam. To be eligible for the exam, you must have at least 1,500 hours of project management experience or 23 hours of formal project management education. You can also take a PMI-approved course to fulfill the educational requirements.

To get your CAPM certification, you need to pass an exam that consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. The cost of the exam is $225 for PMI members and $300 for non-members.

5. Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). The CPLP credential recognizes individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to design, develop, facilitate, and measure learning and performance initiatives.

To become certified, an individual must pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as instructional design, training delivery methods, adult learning principles, evaluation techniques, organizational development strategies, and more. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes about four hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the CPLP certification exam, applicants must meet certain requirements including having at least three years of experience in the field of talent development or a related field; having a bachelor’s degree or higher; and completing at least 60 hours of ATD-approved continuing education credits within the past three years.

The cost of the CPLP certification exam is $695 for ATD members or $895 for non-members. After passing the exam, there is an additional fee of $50 for ATD members or $100 for non-members to receive their official certificate.

6. Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP)

Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have mastered the core principles of change management. It is administered by the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP).

The CCMP certification requires a comprehensive understanding of change management concepts and principles, as well as the ability to apply them in real-world scenarios. To be eligible for the CCMP certification, candidates must have at least five years of professional experience in managing change initiatives, including at least three years in a leadership role. Candidates must also successfully complete an ACMP-approved training course and pass an exam.

The training course typically takes around 20 hours to complete and can be completed online or in person. The cost of the training course varies depending on the provider and can range from $1,000-$2,500 USD. The exam fee is an additional $400 USD and must be paid directly to ACMP upon registration.

Once certified, CCMPs are required to complete 30 continuing education credits every three years to maintain their certification status.

7. Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in the field of Six Sigma. It is the highest level of Six Sigma certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). This certification is highly sought after by employers looking to hire individuals with expertise in process improvement, problem solving, and data analysis.

The CSSBB program consists of two parts: a course and an exam. The course covers topics such as Lean Six Sigma principles, project management, statistical analysis, and problem-solving techniques. The exam tests your knowledge on these topics through multiple choice questions.

To become a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, you must complete both the course and the exam. Depending on your experience level, it can take anywhere from 4 months to 1 year to complete both components.

The cost of obtaining a CSSBB certification varies depending on the provider offering the course and exam. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $2,000-$4,000 for both components combined.

8. Certified Process Improvement Professional (CPIP)

Certified Process Improvement Professional (CPIP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of process improvement professionals. The CPIP certification is issued by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), an international organization dedicated to quality assurance and improvement.

The CPIP certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of process improvement techniques and tools, as well as their ability to apply them in real-world situations. To become certified, applicants must pass a two-part exam that covers topics such as process analysis, design, implementation, measurement, and control.

The CPIP certification typically takes about six months to complete. Prospective candidates should first review the requirements for the exam and then create a study plan that will help them prepare for the test. After completing their studies, they can register for the exam online through ASQ’s website or via mail.

The cost of taking the CPIP exam varies depending on whether you are an ASQ member or not. For non-members, it costs $450; for members it costs $400.

9. Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)

Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in quality improvement techniques and processes.

The CQIA certification requires passing an exam, which consists of 125 multiple-choice questions, and must be completed within three hours. The exam covers topics such as quality management principles, process improvement tools and techniques, problem solving methods, and statistical analysis.

To obtain the CQIA certification, you must first apply for the exam through ASQ’s website. You will then need to pay an application fee of $245 USD before taking the exam. After successfully completing the exam, you will be awarded a certificate from ASQ that is valid for three years. To maintain your certification status, you must earn 30 recertification points every three years by participating in activities related to quality improvement.

10. ITIL Foundation Certification

ITIL Foundation Certification is a globally recognized qualification in IT service management. It provides an understanding of the core concepts and processes within the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. The certification is designed to help individuals gain a comprehensive understanding of the ITIL framework and how it can be used to improve the quality of IT services.

The certification process typically takes between two and four weeks to complete. The first step is to attend an accredited training course, which covers all aspects of the ITIL framework. After completing the course, candidates must then pass an exam in order to become certified.

Candidates can choose from a variety of different training courses depending on their budget and availability. Most courses are offered online, though there are also classroom-based courses available for those who prefer a more traditional learning environment.

The cost of ITIL Foundation Certification varies depending on the type of course taken and other factors such as location and duration. Generally speaking, however, most courses cost between $500 and $2,000 USD per person.

Once certified, individuals will have access to exclusive resources such as webinars, forums, and discounts on future certifications or training materials. They will also be able to demonstrate their knowledge of IT service management best practices to employers or clients, potentially increasing their job prospects or earning potential in the field.

Do You Really Need a Program Coordinator Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not need a program coordinator certificate in order to work as a program coordinator. However, having one can be beneficial and can make it easier to find employment in the field.

Program coordinators are responsible for managing projects, coordinating events, and overseeing budgets. Having a certificate can demonstrate to employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill these tasks. A program coordinator certificate can also provide evidence of your commitment to the field, which may give you an edge over other candidates who don't have one.

In addition, having a certificate may open up opportunities for advancement within the organization or even allow you to switch industries or organizations more easily. It could also give you access to professional networks or resources that could be beneficial in your career development as a program coordinator.

Ultimately, whether or not you decide to pursue a program coordinator certificate is up to you. It could be beneficial for some people depending on their specific situation and goals.

Related: Program Coordinator Resume Examples

FAQs About Program Coordinator Certifications

1. What is a Program Coordinator Certification?

A Program Coordinator Certification is a professional credential that recognizes an individual's knowledge and expertise in implementing and managing program initiatives, activities, and services. The certification demonstrates the holder's ability to effectively manage projects, coordinate resources, facilitate communication among stakeholders, and ensure successful outcomes.

2. What are the requirements for becoming certified?

In order to become certified as a Program Coordinator, applicants must have at least three years of experience in program coordination or related fields. Additionally, they must complete a comprehensive certification course with an approved provider and pass an examination administered by the certifying organization.

3. How long does it take to get certified?

The exact duration of the certification process will vary depending on the certifying organization and the applicant's prior experience in program coordination or related fields. Generally speaking, candidates can expect to complete the process within 6-12 months after enrolling in a certification course with an approved provider.

4. How much does it cost to become certified?

The cost of obtaining a Program Coordinator Certification will also depend on the certifying organization and applicable fees associated with their courses or examinations. In general, applicants should expect to pay anywhere from $200-$1000 for their certification process.

5. Is there continuing education required for maintaining my certification?

Yes, most certifying organizations require that holders of their Program Coordinator Certifications maintain their credentials through ongoing professional development opportunities such as workshops, seminars, conferences, and other approved activities.