The whys and hows of deadlines for submitting certification materials
Throughout the years the certification process and the calendar of events have undergone review and revision. In 2007, the Certification Commission voted to move the certification interview timeline to its current configuration. Prior to that, the time between submission of materials and interviews was only three months, not the current six months.
This decision was made by a task force charged with exploring alternatives because the three-month turn-around between submission of materials and interviews did not work in terms of the ability to thoroughly review the materials and then schedule interviews and all of the other administrative tasks involved with this. The task force was composed of two Interview Team Educators, two National Office staff members, and the vice-chair of the Certification Commission.
They came to a unanimous decision to offer two deadlines for submission of materials and two interviews per year but also to lengthen the time between the submission and the materials to the current six months. They looked at how this would impact CPE centers and CPE students; how it might impact students seeking certification for employment; how long before someone who is denied could come back for a subsequent interview; etc. They also discussed the possible greater integration of learning that could occur from this less intense timetable. It was perceived that this would solve 90% of the problems and concerns with the current system while still affording applicants multiple opportunities per year.
The entire process from application submission to the final decision of the Certification Commission takes about eight to nine months. We are pleased to offer our applicants a professional experience with a thorough review and a personalized interview experience, which requires time on the part of all participants, the Certification Commission, and the National Office staff.
Tips for prospective certification applicants whose last CPE unit will end in the month of August
For those students whose CPE courses will be finished in August, you may work on your certification materials over the final summer of CPE so that most of the materials are ready to be submitted by the postmark deadline of Sept. 15. The National Office allows a late turn-in ONLY of any final unit evaluations (self and supervisor) to especially accommodate August CPE students. All other materials must be submitted by the postmark deadline. If you would like to take the option of late CPE evaluation submission, please contact the National Office to inform us of your circumstance prior to sending in an incomplete set of application materials.
Writing the autobiography, narrative statement, and verbatim can be done before the CPE unit is finished. Letters of recommendation and transcripts can also be requested in advance. You cannot request the actual certification application form until you are a full member of the NACC, but you could complete the rest of the materials and fill in the application last if you needed to delay becoming a full member of the NACC. Please contact the National Office with any questions about the application process or the requirements for initial certification as a chaplain.