Rules and Regulations
Policy changes will be going in effect beginning with the 2022A (June - July 2022) CTP testing window.
By submitting a CTP examination application, candidates agree to familiarize themselves with and abide by the policies that govern the CTP testing process, as stated below.
- AFP Standards of Ethical Conduct
- OFAC Compliance Policy
- Scheduling Your Examination Appointment
- Changes to Testing Date
- Exam Day at the test center
- Special Testing Accommodations/ADA
- Identification Requirements
- Computer-Based Testing
- Examination Tutorial
- Reporting Testing Center Irregularities
- Testing Time
- Exit Survey
- Grounds for Dismissal
- Candidate Misconduct
- Score Validity Review
- Exam Results
- Reviewing Testing Results
- "No-show" Penalty Fee
- CTP Exam Scoring Summary
- Congratulatory Notices
- Upon Receiving Your CTP Certification
- CTP Recertification
AFP Standards of Ethical Conduct
By submitting a CTP application, candidates agree to read and abide by the AFP Standards for Ethical Conduct.
OFAC Compliance Policy
The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") prohibits U.S. companies from engaging in unlicensed transactions with individuals who live in countries that are subject to certain sanctions. If you reside in Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Syria or Sudan, AFP cannot conduct business with you. AFP also cannot do business with Specially Designated Nationals ("SDNs") regardless of their location. If you attempt to register for a program despite U.S. sanctions that prohibit AFP from doing business with you, we are legally required to cancel your registration and we cannot refund your payment. See the OFAC website for details and updates on current sanctions programs.
Pearson Vue must also comply with OFAC policies, regardless of the location of the testing centers. Candidates who present an ID from a sanctioned country will be denied entry to the testing site.
Once registered, the candidate must either schedule an appointment and take the exam, or, if it is a medical or personal emergency that meets the requirements, request that the registration be deferred to the next testing window.
Failure to schedule an appointment during your approved testing window will result in forfeiting your exam fee and you will be required to complete a re-registration form and pay the $250 re-registration fee in order to register again to take the exam.
Carefully check your ATT. Your name, as it appears on your identification, MUST match the name the test center has on file. If any information is incorrect, contact AFP prior to making your appointment to test.
Appointments to test can be made by calling Pearson VUE's registration center at (866) 837-8287 or online at www.pearsonvue.com/AFP. You may make an appointment to test at any of Pearson VUE's 5,000+ testing centers for any available date and time during your approved testing window. For the best availablity, candidates should make their appointment immediately after receiving their ATT, as test center seats can fill quickly.
Changes Within the Same Testing Window and Appointment Cancellations
If you are submitting a cancellation or deferral request to AFP, you must also cancel your appointment with the testing center. Contact Pearson VUE at 866.837.8287 at least one full business day (24 hours) prior to your scheduled appointment to cancel your exam appointment (Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days). A "no-show" penalty of $90 will be assessed to candidates who do not cancel exam appointments.
You may reschedule your appointment within the same testing window to a new date or change your test location. However, you must call Pearson VUE at 866.837.8287 at least one full business day (24 hours) prior to your scheduled appointment (Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days). Leaving a message on an answering machine is NOT an acceptable method of canceling or rescheduling your appointment to test.
If you miss your appointment, cancel too late, or arrive too late (30 minutes past your scheduled exam appointment), you will be considered a "no-show" candidate. In this event, you will not be allowed to reschedule your exam within the current testing window, you will forfeit your examination fee, and you must remit the $340 re-registration and "no-show" fee for another testing window.
Cancellations and Requests for Refunds
Forms are available on the FORMS PAGE. Candidates who submit a cancellation request form to AFP by the appropriate deadline will be refunded a portion of the new applicant fee. The application fee ($186) and non-member differential fee ($395) are non-transferable and nonrefundable. Re-examination candidates who submit a cancellation request form to AFP by the appropriate deadline will receive a refund of the re-examination fee, minus a $100 processing fee and any “no-show” penalty fees that were previously assessed.
Please note that cancellations are intended for candidates who are no longer interested in taking the examination or will be putting off the examination for an unknown period of time. Once the cancellation form has been processed and the candidate has received a refund, they must re-submit the new applicant form and the appropriate fees, should they ever want to sit for the examination again. For candidates interested in moving their exam registration to the next testing window, please view the deferral or re-registration sections of this page.
Transfers were eliminated with the 2019A testing window when then re-registration fee was reduced. If you choose to not take the exam in the window for which you are registered you can submit the Re-registration form and fee when you are ready to test in a future window.
Forms are available on the FORMS PAGE. Under special circumstances (i.e., medical emergency, birth of a child, death of an immediate family member), AFP may allow a deferral from the current testing window to the next testing window with no additional fee. Special circumstances must either immediately precede or coincide with the administration of the exam. Events that can be anticipated are not considered eligible for a deferral. All such circumstances must include supporting documentation, such as a doctor’s note. A medical of personal emergency may apply to you or one of your immediate family members (spouse, child or parent). Approval of a deferral request is granted on a case-by-case basis. Deferrals are permitted only once per new application. Candidates must cancel their existing exam appointments in accordance with test center cancellation policies; otherwise they are subject to the "no-show" penalty fee of $90. Please see the Deferrals page for the full guidelines.
Absolutely no substitutions may be made for the CTP examination.
At the Test Center
To ensure that all candidates' results are earned under comparable conditions and represent fair and accurate measurement, it is necessary to maintain a standardized testing environment. The following policies, procedures and suggestions pertain to every CTP examination administration:
- Instructions by test center personnel are to be followed.
- An online calculator will be provided. You may toggle between a basic nonprogrammable, non-printing, four-function calculator with the percent and square root buttons and a scientific calculator. The scientific version of the online calculator will resemble and function most similarly to the TI-30XS calculator. No other calculator will be allowed in the testing room.
- Do not bring books or other reference material into the examination room. The TA will not permit anyone found possessing such materials to continue the test.
- Visitors are not permitted at the test center.
- You may not bring scratch paper into the examination with you. White boards with pens will be provided to you by the TA at the test center. Raise your hand and the TA will provide you with additional boards. You may request as many as you will need, however, you may not keep more than four white boards at your desk at once. Please note that the testing clock cannot be paused and your testing time will continue to count down while you are away from your work station.
- If you wish to leave the room during the test, you must secure the administrator's permission. If you leave the testing area for any reason, please note that you will be electronically fingerprinted upon leaving and again before re-entering. Please note that the testing clock cannot be paused and your testing time will continue to count down while you are away from your work station.
- Bring a jacket or sweater for air-conditioned rooms.
- On rare occasions, technical problems may require rescheduling of a candidate's examination. In these situations, no additional fee will be assessed for rescheduling.
Note: If you encounter a problem at the test center, please contact the administrator for assistance and request that an Incident Report be filed. If an Incident Report is not filed through the administrator we are then limited in our ability to authenticate issues and remedy for future testing. After leaving the test center, please contact the Certification Specialist at [email protected] to provide the Incident Report number and a description of what occurred.
Special Testing Accommodations
Candidates with documented visual, physical, hearing or learning disabilities, which would prevent them from taking an examination under standard conditions, may request special testing accommodations and arrangements.
AFP and Pearson VUE require written documentation of the disability from the candidate's doctor or from another qualified medical professional who has treated the candidate for the disability. The documentation should include a description of the disability, treatment dates and recommended accommodations. This written documentation must accompany the registration form when submitted to AFP. Candidates using the online application should submit their documentation to [email protected] within one week of submitting their application. There is no extra fee for making these arrangements.
In considering a request from an applicant for special accommodations, AFP and Pearson VUE are guided by a sense of fairness. Special accommodations are granted to give an approved candidate the opportunity to be examined in an equivalent manner with other candidates, but not to provide an advantage over other candidates.
Before you are allowed to test, you will be required to provide one form of identification. The primary form of identification must include your photograph, signature, and expiration date. Your name, as it appears on your identification, must match both the name the test center has on file for you and the name that appears on your ATT.
- Primary forms of identification include: valid passport, valid driver's license with photo, or a photo-bearing employee ID card.
You will NOT be able to test without the proper identification. To register for another testing window, $380 is required.
There are some discrepancies that are acceptable and those are listed below:
- Single letter discrepancy: Harrington, Herrington
- Single letter transposition: Cohen, Cohne
- Single letter omission: Brooks, Brook
- Single letter addition: Stuart, Stuarte
- Incorrect letters in one version: Gibbs, Ginns
- Names reversed: Ann Lisa, Lisa Ann
- Middle initial missing: Anna J. Ford, Anna Ford
- One ID has middle name, one has initial: Yuka M. Lewis, Yuka Michiko Lewis
- Informal variation of first name: Michael Jones, Mike Jones
- Maiden name as middle name on one ID: Betsy K. Smith, Betsy Smith Johns (as middle name only)
- All appendages to names will be ignored: Jr., Sr., II, etc.
You do not need extensive computer experience to take the examination. On-site assistance includes:
- Online tutorials to guide you through the use of the testing center computer
- Computer workstations equipped with a mouse
- Fully trained test center administrators available during your exam for technical assistance (not related to exam content)
The benefits of computer-based testing are:
- Immediate score reporting
- Ability to mark questions as a reminder for later review
- Ability to track and display the time remaining on the exam
At the beginning of your examination, you will be immediately provided with a nondisclosure attachment and a brief tutorial.
You will be asked to read and accept the terms of a nondisclosure agreement. This states that all candidates agree not to disclose any content or test questions on the exam, including comments on various AFP Discussion lists.
Once you have accepted the nondisclosure agreement, you will then have the option to complete a 15 minute tutorial. This is designed to familiarize you with the computer and testing software. This time allotment is in addition to your three-and-one-half hours to take the exam.
With the examination tutorial, you learn how to select answers, move from one question to the next, and use testing features such as "Item Review," as well as how to use the mouse and keyboard and how to use the online calculator. The tutorial allows you to concentrate on how to operate the computer in order to complete the examination. You do not need to be concerned with which answers you select during the tutorial, as there is no penalty for incorrect answers. Once you exit from the tutorial, you may not return to it. You are strongly encouraged not to bypass the tutorial.
Reporting Test Center Irregularities
Should you experience a delay in taking your examination or any technical problems, please make sure that this irregularity is documented by the TA. This report is forwarded to Pearson VUE and to AFP. Test center problems cannot be addressed at a later date and time without a written report from the test center.
Your scheduled appointment time is four hours, of which you will have three-and-one-half hours to answer the 170 questions presented. The remaining 30 minutes is available for you to review an optional 15 minute tutorial (prior to the examination) and answer a brief computer-administered questionnaire (at the end of the examination).
During the examination, you will have the opportunity to review any questions on the examination. You can change answers, mark or skip questions. Should your time expire while taking the exam, all answers, regardless of how they are marked, will be calculated into your score. Once your allowed time has expired, or you exit the examination, you cannot see or review the questions again.
At the conclusion of the examination, you will be asked to complete a brief survey which will provide AFP and Pearson VUE with an evaluation of your testing experience. All comments are reviewed after the close of the testing window and, wherever possible or necessary, changes are implemented.
Please feel free to forward written comments via email or conventionally mail them to AFP within five business days of your exam to one of the following addresses:
4520 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814-3319
Grounds for Dismissal
Any candidate who does not have positive identification, who uses unauthorized aids, or who does not follow the testing procedures may be dismissed from the test center.
The following are examples of behaviors considered to be misconduct and will not be tolerated. Candidates who demonstrate misconduct will have their test scores canceled, will forfeit all fees paid and will not be permitted to take the exam in the future.
- Giving or receiving assistance of any kind to other examinees
- Using any unauthorized references or aids
- Attempting to take the examination for someone else
- Failing to follow testing regulations and/or the instructions of the test center administrator
- Creating a disturbance of any kind
- Copying, removing or attempting to remove examination questions and/or note boards from the testing room
- Tampering with the operation of the computer or attempting to use it for any function other than taking the examination
- Leaving the testing room without permission
- Using electronic communications equipment, such as a cellular phone
- Bringing in a calculator or smart phone
Score Validity Review
In the absence of observed misconduct, it should be noted that Pearson VUE and AFP routinely apply a post-test administrative review of the validity of the test scores.
If irregularities are found as a result of these reviews, the examinee will be contacted and notified of procedures to remove any score validity issues.
At the end of the examination you will receive a printed report of your results* that will include your name, title of your examination and whether you passed or failed. Your actual score is only provided if you failed, along with your performance diagnostics by knowledge domain. To ensure confidentiality, results will not be released by telephone, facsimile or any other electronic transmission, either by AFP or by Pearson VUE. Electronic score data files will be retained for a period of three years.
Information about your results will be released only with your written consent. However, AFP will release the names of new CTPs on a semi-annual basis.
If you want a duplicate score report, call Pearson VUE at 866.837.8287.
*The exception to this is the first testing window under a new body of knowledge, such as the June-July 2023 (2023A) testing window. Candidates taking the exam during these windows, which occur once every three years, will receive their results by mail 8-10 weeks after the close of the testing window.
Reviewing Test Results
The test questions are reviewed and approved by the AFP Certification committee, which shall be considered the final technical authority on the accuracy and interpretation of the test questions and answers. AFP policy states that candidates will not be allowed to review the test or individual test results. This policy results from the large number of candidates taking the examination and the need to keep the security of the examination intact.
However, Pearson VUE recognizes the extreme importance of test results to candidates and has a multi-step quality control procedure to help ensure that reported scores are accurate. Furthermore, candidates are encouraged to critique items in the exit survey at the time of the test. All comments are reviewed by Pearson VUE and AFP.
Unlike cases of individual candidate misconduct, occasionally testing irregularities occur that affect a group of test takers. Such problems include, without limitation, administrative errors, defective equipment or materials, improper access to test content and/or the unauthorized general availability of test content, as well as other disruptions of test administrations (e.g. natural disasters and other emergencies). When group testing irregularities occur, Pearson VUE will conduct an investigation and provide information to AFP. Based on this information, the AFP may direct Pearson VUE either not to score the test or to cancel the test score.
When it is appropriate to do so, AFP will arrange with Pearson VUE to give affected test takers the opportunity to take the test again as soon as possible, without charge.
Affected test takers will be notified of the reasons for the cancellation and their options for retaking the test. The appeal process does not apply to group testing irregularities.
Forms are available on the FORMS PAGE. A $250 fee applies to candidates who were not successful on their previous exam attempt or failed to take the exam during their approved testing window. Only candidates who are within three years or six testing windows of their original application qualify for this re-registration fee. Candidates wishing to retake the exam more than three years or six testing windows after their initial application must submit a new application and pay the new applicant fees. Candidates must cancel their existing exam appointment in accordance with test center cancellation policies; otherwise they are subject to the “no-show” penalty fee of $90.
"No-show" Penalty Fee
Forms are available on the FORMS PAGE. Fee applies to all candidates who fail to cancel an existing appointment with the Pearson VUE test center, regardless of whether they submit a written request to AFP to cancel or defer their exam registration. This fee also applies to candidates who miss their appointment, cancel too late or arrive late.
CTP Exam Scoring Summary
Each question is worth only one point. You are not penalized for wrong answers, so it is to your advantage to answer every question, even if you have to guess.
The exam is not graded on a curve. You are competing against a predetermined standard, not other examinees.
Your raw score, which is the number of questions you answer correctly, is converted through a statistical formula, to what is referred as a "scaled score." Scaled scoring allows for all examinees to be judged on a level playing field when taking different forms of the exam. Scaled scoring is commonly used by most certification organizations that offer multiple forms of an exam.
All exam forms meet the same test specifications:
- 33-37% of questions test knowledge of basic facts and terms
- 38-42% of questions test an understanding of concepts and principle
- 23-27% of questions test the higher thinking ability to apply concepts and principles to specific situations
- 10-15% of all of the above mentioned questions will require computation and higher math skills
The CTP exams are valid, sound and legally defensible.
Official score results are transmitted to AFP from Pearson VUE. Your new CTP certification status is officially recognized by AFP in writing approximately four weeks after your testing date.
Upon Receiving Your CTP Certification
Newly certified CTPs will receive:
- A Certificate of Achievement
- The AFP Standards of Ethical Conduct
- Information on Maintaining Your CTP Credential
- An Employer Notification Request Form
- CTP Lapel Pin Request Form
CTP Certification is valid for 3 years. A CTP must earn a total of 36 CTP continuing education credits within a three-year recertification cycle to maintain the CTP credential.
For more information on recertification requirements and activities/topics that are eligible for credit, see the Recertification Guidelines.
All proprietary rights to the examination, including copyright, are held by AFP. In order to protect the integrity of the examination and to ensure the validity of the scores that are reported, candidates must adhere to strict guidelines regarding proper conduct in handling these copyrighted proprietary materials. Any attempt to reproduce all or part of an examination is strictly prohibited by law. Such an attempt includes, but is not limited to: removing materials from the examination room; aiding others by any means in reconstructing any portion of an examination; or selling, distributing, receiving, or having unauthorized possession of any portion of an examination. Alleged copyright violations will be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It should also be noted that examination scores may be invalidated in the event of this type of suspected breach and candidate eligibility status revoked.