CPTC – Foundation Level Certification

This first level certification will be a timed test covering nine core skill areas of technical communication.

  • Project Planning
  • Reviewing and Editing
  • Project Analysis
  • Visual Communication
  • Content Development
  • Content Management
  • Organizational Design
  • Production and Delivery
  • Written Communication


The Body of Knowledge STC is currently using for the Foundation exam is Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today, Fifth or Sixth Edition.  The test itself will be 50 questions, closed book.  Test takers will have 40 minutes to complete the test. There will be a six month waiting period for those who do not achieve a passing score before trying again.

The STC offers two-tier pricing for the exam: $250 for current STC members and $495 for non-members.  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.

We are working with a UK based firm that specializes in professional certification administration, APMG International.  The test will be available direct from APMG or through accredited training organizations (ATO's) authorized by APMG.  These trainers will combine a training session or sessions with administration of the Foundation test.  If you, or your organization, are interested in knowing more about the requirements to be an authorized trainer, please contact Elise Marshall at elise.marshall@apmg-international.com

Once an applicant passes the test, he/she will be issued a certificate, entered in the STC certification database and their name will be listed on our website. Certifications will be in good standing if a technical communicator keeps current with continuing education requirements.

Certified Professional Technical Communicator – Foundation Level Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education units (CEU) for CPTC Certification is 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. There will be no annual maintenance fee for Foundation level certification.

Continuing Education Points may be obtained the following ways:



STC Annual Membership


STC Recorded Webinar (self-study)


STC Live Educational Webinar (free, sponsored and community webinars excluded)


STC On-Line Courses


STC Summit Pre-Conference course


STC Virtual Summit


Attendance at the STC Annual Summit


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 mailed in)

Check out upcoming courses and webinars here.


Certification contact: