Workforce Management Certification


What is the significance of the Certified Workforce Planning Professional (CWPP) program?

Pursuing certification shows an individual’s commitment to excellence. Achieving certification shows a mastery of complex skills from experience and preparation, and a dedication to results-driven performance. Through learning, assessments, and projects, this certification successfully reflects the individual’s broad business knowledge and rewards the certified individual with a pinnacle level of attainment in the industry. (Hear what certified individuals have to say about the CWPP program.)

Who is a good candidate for this certification?

Anyone in the workforce management field who has experience in all three areas (Planning and Strategy, Staffing and Scheduling, and Managing Daily Staffing and Service), as well as work experience in several different workforce management environments, would be a great candidate for this certification.  

What general categories of information do the tests cover?

Each of the three tests is based on a set of core competencies. Click here to download the competencies.

What is the makeup of the tests?

Each test is made up of 50 multiple choice questions. Some include complex nested choices, some have charts to analyze, and some require calculations. The tests have been thoroughly validated by a pilot group of workforce management professionals from a variety of industries, and have been certified by a psychometrician.

Is there a way to certify in just one workforce management area?

Since someone who is only involved in only one specific area of our profession may not be ready to tackle the complete workforce management certification, SWPP is pleased to offer Associate Certification in each of the three testing areas:

  • Planning and Strategy
  • Staffing and Scheduling
  • Managing Daily Staffing and Service

Associate Certification gives workforce management specialists the opportunity to participate in the certification process, and is achieved by passing the specific test in your area and completing a project in that area as well.

Are there any resources recommended to prepare for the tests?

No courses are mandatory for certification, but there are many resources available here, including articles, books, web seminar information, and a link to a free knowledge assessment. There is no requirement for any student to purchase any specific study materials or attend any training. Applicants with experience in the field may have gained their knowledge through a variety of sources and it is only important that the knowledge be demonstrated through the certification process.

How much does the certification cost?

The cost for CWPP certification for SWPP members is $250, while the cost for non-members is $350. The cost for Associate Certification for SWPP members is $100, while the cost for non-members is $150.

How do I take the tests?

Tests are taken on the web and must be proctored. Click here for proctor guidelines. Each test can be taken separately, or, if desired, all three tests may be taken at one time. Students receive test results upon completion of each test.

Where do I take the tests?

Tests can be taken at any location at any time as long as a proctor is available.  

How much time should I allot for test-taking?

The time limit for each test is two hours. You should allocate at least that much time, but it could take you a little less time.

What happens if I do not pass a test?

If you do not pass a test, you may take a re-test for a $50 fee. You must pay this fee for each re-test.

Is there a time limit for the certification process?

Testing and completion of the project must be done within two years of your registration for the program. The usual order of events is as follows: You may take the three tests in any order as you have time and are prepared. After successful completion of all three tests, you will select a project and begin work on it. When your project is complete, you will submit it to the SWPP Board of Advisors for review and present the project via conference call to a panel of certified reviewers. When your project has been approved, you will receive your Certified Workforce Planning Professional (CWPP) designation.

If I have passed my test(s) and am ready to begin my project, what is my first step?

When a candidate is ready to begin the project, he or she should contact Vicki Herrell ( and identify the project they have selected from the pre-approved list or submit a new project for approval. It is important to secure this approval before proceeding.

Do I have to do one of the sample projects on your website or can I create my own project?

If you aren’t interested in the sample projects that are pre-approved by the SWPP Board of Advisors, you may submit your own project to the Board. They will then review it to make sure that it is appropriate. With the Board’s approval, you can then proceed with your project.

What do I do with my project once it’s finished?

After you have completed your project, you will create materials to be used in a presentation to the SWPP Certification Review Panel. The panel is comprised of Certified Workforce Planning Professionals who have been through the process of presenting a project to a review board themselves. You will send your materials to SWPP Executive Director Vicki Herrell, and then present your project findings and your materials to the Review panel in a conference call. The project should be viewed in the same manner as a presentation the candidate would make to senior management.

Is there anyone I can ask questions of as I prepare to present my project?

Once the candidate has selected the project, a mentor will be assigned. The mentor (already certified) will answer questions and provide general guidance, and will review the project before it is presented to the Certification Review Panel.

How will my project be evaluated?

The review panel will evaluate each project using the following project criteria: accuracy, creativity, professionalism, presentation skills, demonstration of workforce management principles, and clarity of purpose. If your project does not meet the criteria during your original presentation, you may re-submit the project one more time. If it still does not meet the criteria, you must present a new project and pay the $50 re-test fee.

Is there a time limit to my project presentation?

Candidates have 20 minutes to present their projects to the Certification Review Panel and the Panel may use another 10 minutes for clarifying questions if necessary for a total of 30 minutes.

After successful completion of the certification process, what designation will I have and what is the proper way to use it?

With the successful completion of all three tests and the project, you will have the designation of Certified Workforce Planning Professional (CWPP). You may use this designation on your business cards or on any professional correspondence, e.g., John Smith, Certified Workforce Planning Professional (CWPP), or Jane Smith, CWPP.

Once certified, do I need to do anything to maintain my certification?

To maintain your certification, you must continue your workforce management education every year through seminars, conferences, and other educational opportunities. Click here for more information about continuing education requirements.