Foundation Level Certification (LEVEL I)


The Foundation Level Certification (Level I) is designed for entry-level professionals and measures a candidate’s general knowledge of the field and the ability to demonstrate comprehension of concepts, processes, and best practices.  Foundation level has no specific prerequisites, but it is recommended that candidates have at least two years of professional study and/or work experience.

The successful candidate should be able to recall, recognize, and demonstrate comprehension of the theories, concepts, models, genres, and approaches outlined in the nine core competencies of technical communication.

Exam Format

  • 40 minutes, closed book
  • 50 multiple-choice questions
  • 70% score to pass
Certified Professional Technical Communicator Logo Foundation

Registration Fee and Scheduling Your Exam

  • $315 USD for current STC members
  • $630 USD for nonmembers

Your exam fees will be processed in GBP (Great Britain Pounds). 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.  If you do not pass the exam you will have to register again, and pay the full exam fee to retake the exam. The Foundation level has no educational attainment or work experience requirement to sit the exam.

Candidates register to take the exam through APMG and have one year from payment to sit the exam.

Once an applicant passes the test, he/she will be issued a certificate and entered into the STC certification database. Certificant's names will also appear on the STC and APMG websites under a list of current, certified practitioners.

Special Requirements for taking the exam: If you have special requirements to take the exam, please contact APMG Customer Service at . Also, when you complete the registration form for the exam there is a check box for “Other special requirements for exam” that you should check. Then complete the “Further details” field with the special requirements you need. Please note that you may be requested to provide a doctor's letter to support your request. Be sure to coordinate your requirements with APMG several days in advance of the day you expect to take the exam.

Study Materials

The primary textbook used for the Foundation exam is Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today, Sixth Edition or Seventh Edition. The Sixth edition is available in electronic format from the publisher, Pearson Education;'

In addition to the primary textbook, these other useful study resources are available to candidates:

Technical Communication Today 6th Edition

Exam Preparatory Courses

APMG International certifies authorized trainers and training organizations, which provide onsite, hybrid, and online certification exam preparatory short courses for a fee.  These courses are scheduled periodically throughout the year through training organizations authorized by APMG.  You can also view the upcoming schedule of courses on the STC Web Site calendar.

Accredited Training Organizations

STC partners 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 the administration of the Foundation exam. If you or your organization are interested in knowing more about the requirements to be an authorized trainer, please contact Jennifer Hepler, APMG Business Development Manager, at

Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education units (CEUs) for CPTC Certification are point-based. Certifications will be considered current if a technical communicator achieves 12 CEU points over a two-year period from the date of certification. At the end of the two-year period, point accumulation begins again.

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