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Continuing Education

ARA CE Guidelines

The brief information on this page should not be considered complete.  Please refer to the appropriate CE Guidelines if you have any questions or need further clarification regarding your CE responsibilities.

Complete CE Guidelines: ASPPA   | NAPA   | NTSA   


Who Needs CE?

Credentialed members of ASPPA, NAPA or NTSA who hold one of the following credentials must earn the required number of Continuing Education (CE) credits each cycle to maintain their credentials.


ASPPA Credentials: QKA, QPA, CPC, APM

NAPA Credentials: CPFA: QPFC

NTSA Credential: TGPC


If you hold the FSPA or MSPA credential, or are an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA), and are in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (JBEA) with regard to meeting all required CE requirements for your related credential, you are deemed to have satisfied all ASPPA CE requirements. It is your responsibility to provide the necessary verification of this satisfaction to ASPPA, ACOPA, NAPA or NTSA prior to the end of the CE cycle. 


How Much CE Do I Need?


The current CE cycle began on January 1, 2017 and will end on December 31, 2018. In order to maintain your ASPPA credential(s), you must earn 40 CE credits during this cycle (and in each future twoyear cycle). Two of the 40 CE credits must be on ethics/professionalism topics.

For the initial CE cycle in which you earn your credential(s), the number of CE credits required is prorated based on the credential or date of admittance within the twoyear CE cycle. The proration schedule is shown below.

First six months of the cycle: 30 CE credits required (2 CE credits of ethics/professionalism)

Second six months of the cycle: 20 CE credits required (1 CE credit of ethics/professionalism)

Third six months of the cycle: 10 CE credits required (1 CE credit of ethics/professionalism)

Fourth six months of the cycle: 0 CE credits required (0 CE credits of ethics/professionalism) 




What CE Opportunities Do ARA Organizations Offer?

The ARA offers a wide variety of educational programs that allow you to stay current on industry issues while maintaining your credential. Choose from a range of formats with convenient access and automatic CE reporting.

Virtual Conferences

Live and On-demand Webcasts


Certificate Programs

CPC Modules


Plan Consultant Quizzes 



What Other Opportunities Count as CE Credits?

Non-ARA-sponsored activities may be counted towards CE credit, provided they meet the necessary requirements.  Nationally recognized professional societies, non-profit associations, colleges, universities, commercial vendors or government agencies may sponsor education activities that qualify for ARA CE credit.


Non-ARA-sponsored activities do not require pre-approval; however, the attendee and the sponsor of the activity must comply with the guidelines and requirements. In the event of an audit, the candidate will be required to submit further documentation to verify compliance.


Some additional ways to earn CE include:

·    Serve as a speaker at a professional meeting

·    Publish an article

·    Serve as an instructor for a Retirement Plan Academy course

·    Volunteer with the Retirement Plan Academy


To calculate CE:

·    1 CE credit = 50 minutes of activity

·    At least 45 minutes (.90 CE credit) must be earned per activity in order to apply

·    ARA CE may be earned in partial credits above 45 minutes

·    No more than 25 CE credits may be earned per activity.


Refer to the appropriate CE Guidelines, referenced above for complete information on qualifying activities, documentation, and reporting guidelines. Click here if your organization would like to sponsor a CE activity.



How Do I Report and Track My CE?



CE credits for ARA-sponsored activities will automatically be posted to your CE Tracking Page and will appear as ARA credits or ARA Ethics credits. Please allow 60 days for your transcript to reflect these CE credits.


CE credits for nonARA CE activities, must selfreported utilizing the online reporting form, which is located on your CE Tracking Page.


You must retain verification of content, verification of attendance and documentation of score (if applicable) for two years after the end of the CE Cycle. All non-ARA CE activities must be reported on before midnight, December 31, 2018.



What Happens If I Do Not Meet CE Requirements?

If you are a credentialed member who holds one or more credentials and you do not earn sufficient CE credits during a two-year cycle, ASPPA, NAPA or NTSA will suspend your credential(s). You will need to complete the required CE before you are reinstated as a credentialed member. Once reinstated, CE credits will be pro-rated as noted above. For further information, please review the applicable CE Guidelines.


    Are CE Credits Audited?

    ASPPA’s CE requirements serve to increase the technical, professional, and ethical skills of each individual member, thereby elevating the organization as a whole. In order to ensure that members are complying with ASPPA’s CE Guidelines, periodic audits of CE credit are conducted. Individuals chosen for audit are selected randomly from the overall membership. If you are selected to be audited and have self-reported CE credits, you will be asked to provide documentation verifying proper completion of CE requirements. To ensure your self-reported CE activities meet ASPPA’s requirements and that you have the documentation necessary, please refer to the complete ASPPA CE Guidelines.


    Necessary Forms

    ·         Multiple Attendee Roster Form (.xls)

    o   Submit this form to to report attendance at group events.

    ·         Sponsor Attendance Template (.doc)

    o   Provide this form to attendees for their records when self-reporting CE credits.

    ·         RPA Volunteer Work Form (2017-2018)

    o   Submit this form to the RPA to claim CE credits after completing volunteer work for the RPA.

    ·         ABC CE Procedures 


    Contact Us


    If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care representatives via email at or by phone at 800.308.6714 (available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET)