Thank you for your interest in pursuing Professional Certification through the Society for Technical Communication. The STC Certification Commission has re-engineered the program to improve its processes and structure to better serve technical communicators. The re-engineered program is a three-tiered professional certification: Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert.

  • The Foundation-level Professional Certification will focus on knowledge of the field. To achieve the Certified Professional Technical Communicator – Foundational designation, applicants will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of best practices in technical communication by passing a test.
  • The Practitioner-level Professional Certification will demonstrate mastery of applying best practices and leading others in their use. The achievement of the Certified Professional Technical Communicator – Practitioner designation will be a test and an evaluation of work product.
  • The Expert-level Professional Certification requirements will be similar to the previous CPTC program, requiring a set of work products and expert interviews. (Those who have already achieved a Certified Professional Technical Communicator designation under the old program will be automatically grandfathered into the Certified Professional Technical Communicator – Expert Certification level.)

Foundation certification will be available first, with the higher-level certifications opening soon after.


Foundation Certification

The Certified Professional Technical Communicator – Foundation is open. This certification will be a timed test covering nine core skill areas of technical communication. More information on the certification program and the nine areas can be found in the January 2016 issue of Intercom. Sample questions have also been posted online.

whitespace Project Planning whitespace Review and Editing
Project Analysis Visual Communication
Content Development Content Management
Organizational Design Production and Delivery
Written Communication

The body of knowledge STC is using for the Foundation exam is Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today, Fifth Edition (ISBN-10: 0134419391). The test is 50 questions, closed book. Test takers will have 40 minutes to complete the test under a proctor. Candidates who intend to self study may wish to review the STC Study Guide before taking the exam. 


certification_book_desk_itemsThere is two-tier pricing to take the exam: $250 for current STC members and $495 for nonmembers. This cost may be translated into other currencies such as the Euro at the rate applicable at the time. There is currently no discounted pricing for less-developed areas of the world. The Foundation level has no educational attainment or work experience requirement to sit the exam.

STC is working with a U.K.-based firm, APMG International, that specializes in professional certification administration, following ISO 9001 standards. The test is available online from APMG or through training organizations authorized by APMG. These trainers will combine a training session or sessions with administration of the Foundation exam. We anticipate it will take several months to develop a set of certification trainers. If you or your organization are interested in knowing more about the requirements to be an authorized trainer, please contact Ronn Faigen at Ronn.Faigen@apmg-international.com.

Once an applicant passes the test, he/she will be issued a certificate and entered into the STC certification database. His or her name will also appear on the STC and APMG websites under a list of current, certified practitioners. Certifications will be in good standing if a technical communicator keeps current with continuing education requirements.

Visit http://www.apmg-international.com/en/qualifications/CPTC/CPTC.aspx for more information or to sign up to take a self-study online exam through the APMG International website.


Certified Professional Technical Communicator – Foundation
Continuing Education Requirements

STC Education Core Alignment Continuing education units (CEUs) for CPTC Certification are point based. Certificants will have to achieve 12 points over a two-year period from the date of certification to remain current. At the end of the two-year period, point accumulation begins again. If certificants fail to achieve 12 points, the certification will be considered lapsed until CEUs are made current. If certificants fail to become current and required CEUs total 24 or more (4 years’ worth) then their certification is considered invalid and they must retake the Foundation exam. There will be no annual maintenance fee for Foundation certification. All CEU information should be collected by the certificant and emailed to STC at certification@stc.org.

Continuing Education Points may be obtained the following ways:

Educational Event Points
STC Annual Membership (any type for Foundation certificants) 2
STC Recorded Webinar (self-study) 1
STC Live Educational Webinar (free, sponsored, and community webinars excluded) 2
STC Online Courses 6
STC Summit Pre-Conference Courses (full day)  6
STC Summit Pre-Conference Courses (half day) 3
STC Virtual Summit


STC Summit Playback


STC Annual Summit 8
Begin and complete a college accredited course related to the Technical Communication field* 8 points per 3 college credit course

(* to be adjudicated by STC staff once a transcript is sent in)

Published articles that relate to any aspect of Technical Communication (2 CEUs per article)

Contributions to journals, magazines, or newsletters for a professional organization or association (e.g., the STC journal Technical CommunicationIntercom magazine, and STC chapter newsletters). Provide a soft copy and/or a link to the published article and where and when it was published.

Published books that are publicly available on topics related to Technical Communication (5 CEUs per book)

Published books that are publicly available on topics related to Technical Communication. Provide a soft copy and/or a link to the book, details of the book (ISBN, title, publisher, and publication date).

Presentations related to any aspect of Technical Communication at conferences (2 CEUs per presentation)

Presentation at a professional organization or commercial company or nonprofit organization conference, symposia, seminar, meeting, lecture, or workshop. Provide a soft copy and/or a link to the presentation and state where and when it was presented.

All CEU information should be collected by the certificant and emailed to STC at certification@stc.org.


Please refer back to this Web page. More information on the test process, registration, and continuing education requirements will be posted. STC appreciates your understanding and continued support as we work to improve this important program.

Certification contacts:
Chris Lyons, CEO, chris.lyons@stc.org
Liz Pohland, Director of Communications, liz.pohland@stc.org