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DC-1 Exam

Candidates sitting for the DC-1 exam should have the knowledge of material covered in the Retirement Plan Fundamentals Modules. In addition to testing the knowledge of the material included in the DC-1 syllabus, the DC-1 examination is intended to test the candidate’s knowledge of the underlying principles and the candidate’s ability to apply those principles when solving problems encountered in practice. 

Download the full syllabus for the DC-1 Program. Anyone seeking to take this program must read the ASPPA CE Policy and the ASPPA Exam Policy.

There are two ways to take this exam: You can take the DC-1 online proctored, or you can take the DC-1 exam at a test center.

Register for the DC-1 online proctored exam

Purchase the exam from the ASPPA marketplace here. You can also use the Online Exam Purchase form to purchase the exam.

ASPPA now allows candidates to take the DC-1 exam online through the ASPPA learning management system (LMS) with an approved proctor present. The proctor guidelines and exam administration guidelines are outlined below and must be verified by the proctor before submitting the exam.

Approved Proctors

To be an approved proctor for the DC-1 exam, the test administrator must currently be one of the following:

  • An ASPPA credentialed member
  • Public librarian (offering supervised proctoring services)
  • University professor/ or librarian
  • Professional testing center staff
  • Professional development center staff
  • Military base professional development center staff
  • ARA or state affiliated staff

Supervisors, co-workers, relatives, or individuals not associated with a professional development career cannot proctor the DC-1 exam without direct approval from the ASPPA certification staff.

Proctor Fees and Site Requirements

ASPPA allows proctor sites to charge fees for administering the DC-1 exam though proctors are not required to charge to proctor the DC-1 exam. DC-1 candidates are responsible for the proctoring exam fees.

Exam Registration

Registering for the DC-1 online exam is a two-part process.

First, purchase the exam from the ASPPA marketplace here. You can also use the Online Exam Purchase form to purchase the exam.

Second, provide the proctor’s name, email address, job title, credential (if an ASPPA member), and phone number.

You will receive an email with further instructions after completing these two steps. Note that you cannot access the exam until we receive proctor information and verify your proctor.

Testing Window

Once your proctor has been approved, you will have 30 days to complete the exam. If you do not complete the exam within the 30-day window, you must again resubmit your proctor’s information and we will repeat the verification process.

Scoring Exams and Issuing Certificates

A score of 70% is required to pass this exam. Upon completing the exam online, the candidate will immediately receive a result and feedback. However, exam results and certificate delivery are not official until the proctor exam codes and incident reports are reviewed.

Candidates will be able to access their score report and certificate online through the member account page.


If you have any questions, please contact Karen Thompson at

Register to take the DC-1 exam at a test center

Register for the exam here. You can also register via fax or mail:

Fax: Complete the proctored exam registration form with credit card payment and fax to 703-516-9308. Allow 5-7 business days for processing. If faxing your registration please do not send a copy via mail.

Mail: Complete the proctored exam registration form and mail with payment to ASPPA, P.O. Box 34725, Alexandria, VA 22334-0725. All forms of payment are accepted: credit card, check or money order. Allow 7-10 business days for processing.

Once registered, an eligibility email will be sent to the candidate, usually within two business days. The eligibility email has detailed instructions on scheduling an appointment with Prometric.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to schedule an exam. We strongly recommend scheduling an appointment upon receipt of the confirmation letter as testing centers fill up quickly.

To find a Prometric testing center visit

Testing Window

You have 365 days to take the exam. After that time has passed, the exam will expire, and you must re-purchase the exam in order to take it.

Exam Scoring

Upon completing the exam at the testing center, candidates receive an immediate result: a 9, 8, or 7 indicates the exam was passed, while a 6, 5, or 3(N) indicates the exam was not passed. Candidates also receive feedback broken down by topic area.

Exam Preparation

Recommended Reading

Supplementary Material

Purchase publications with the Publications Order Form.

CE Credits

Candidates receive 20 CE credits with a passing grade on the exam, and no credits for a failing grade. Credits will be applied to the CE cycle in which the score is issued. For more information on CE, click here.