FAQ: What Is FPC Certification?

The Fundamental Payroll Certification is open to all those who wish to demonstrate a baseline of payroll competency. The FPC is designed for: Entry-level payroll professionals. Sales professionals/consultants serving the payroll industry.

Certification is an important step in advancing your career, and financial planning certification (FPC) is no exception. FPC can open up new job opportunities, broaden your understanding of the financial industry, and provide essential tools to help you manage your own finances. Becoming FPC certified is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to excellence and acquire professional knowledge to benefit your clients.
Whether you’re already working in the financial industry or just getting started, FPC certification can be a valuable addition to your resume. This blog post will provide an overview of what FPC certification is, who should pursue it, and the various benefits of becoming certified. You’ll also learn about the steps you need to take in order to become FPC certified and the resources available to help you on your journey.

What Are The Steps To Obtain Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC)?

How do you become FPC certified?

Consider following these steps to become FPC certified:

1. Visit the APA website

The sponsoring body for this certification is the American Payroll Association. On their website, you can find details regarding the certification and examination procedures. Open this website’s certification menu and locate the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) page after determining your interest or career suitability.

2. Download the candidate handbook

The next step is to click the button on this page to download the FPC candidate handbook. Important details about certification requirements, costs, and policies can be found here. Additionally, it offers study materials and practice questions to aid in exam preparation. You can express your interest in the certification process by providing your name and contact information to start the download.

3. Submit exam application and fee

As soon as you’ve downloaded the candidate handbook, you can apply for a testing date by completing the exam application. You can choose a test date and your preferred testing location after the APA approves your application. Testing for the FPC exam is done twice a year, in the spring and the fall, at more than 400 U S. locations. You can also pay the required fee online.

4. Study relevant payroll fundamentals

After registering for the exam, you can start learning the necessary payroll procedures and principles. Many candidates start a six to twelve week study program. Making study materials, registering for online classes, participating in study groups, or taking practice exams can all be part of this process. In addition, you can buy books and other study materials in accordance with the manual’s knowledge requirements.

5. Pass the exam

You have three hours at the testing location of your choice on the test date of your choice to complete the 150 questions on the exam. You might get an email with your results and next steps after passing your test. You can ask for a certificate and pin to mark your successful completion of the certification process if you receive a passing grade.

What is FPC certification?

The American Payroll Association (APA) offers the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) to any professional as a means of attesting to their payroll competency. Since the FPC is an entry-level exam process, it doesn’t require prior payroll experience or APA membership, making it possible for anyone to take the training and examination. This certification is open to inexperienced payroll specialists, sales consultants, and analysts. Entry-level payroll professionals and industry contractors frequently use the FPC procedure to learn fundamental payroll principles and launch their careers.

How long does FPC certification last?

FPC certification lasts for three years. Once certified, a candidate can work toward recertification by accumulating at least 60 recertification credits. These hours may be accrued as an instructor or participant in recognized continuing education formats.

Which topics does the FPC certification exam cover?

A variety of payroll fundamentals are covered in the FPC certification exam, including:

What are the benefits of FPC certification?

Some of the benefits of an FPC certification include:

What are the differences between the FPC and CPP?

The following list highlights some of the key distinctions between the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) titles:

Certification process

The APA offers both the FPC and CPP certifications, so the process for studying for and taking each exam is somewhat similar. However, because the CPP certifies professionals with greater payroll expertise and experience, its exam is longer and more in-depth, necessitating more study time. In addition, the CPP has stricter eligibility criteria and might demand a more complicated exam application.

Professional level

Entry-level payroll professionals often seek FPC certification. Additionally, those who work in the payroll sector in a supporting capacity, such as consultants, salespeople, or contractors, may pursue FPC certification. A CPP may be sought after by mid- to high-level payroll professionals with more experience. Some young professionals might pursue an FPC as a preliminary step in their pursuit of a CPP.

Eligibility requirements

There are no prerequisites for FPC certification in terms of training, education, or APA membership. However, there are stricter requirements to become CPP certified, such as working a specified number of years as a payroll professional or achieving a combination of experience and ongoing education or training. Additionally, prior FPC certification can support eligibility for CPP certification. In a similar vein, APA membership is not required in order to obtain a CPP certification.


While both tests cover the fundamentals of payroll, the CPP test may include more in-depth questions. It may also cover more complex and specific processes. For instance, a CPP exam may inquire about specific labor laws, paperwork, or procedures for demanding payroll requirements. Questions on the most recent laws and regulations may be included in each exam.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What is FPC or CPP certification?

Through the American Payroll Association (APA), professionals in the payroll sector can obtain two credentials to advance their careers. The Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) certifications are the first and second, respectively.

How do I become a FPC?

Steps to Earning Your FPC or CPP Certification
  1. 1 – Determine Your Exam Eligibility. …
  2. 2 – Download the Candidate Handbook. …
  3. 3 – Submit Your Exam Application and Payment. …
  4. 4 – Make Your Exam Reservation upon approval. …
  5. 5 – Prepare for the Exam* …
  6. 6 – Take and Pass Your Exam. …
  7. 7 – Maintain Your Certification (Recertification)

How much is the FPC exam?

Throughout the year, you can take the test during specific testing windows. For APA members, the test costs $320, and for non-members, it costs $395. Candidates have three hours to complete the test. When the exam is finished, candidates receive their test results at the testing facility.

Is the FPC exam hard?

It is demanding and calls for a very particular set of abilities and knowledge. You should spend money on a high-quality study guide, such as the Mometrix Study Guide, as part of your self-guided study for the Fundamental Payroll Certification Exam.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *