Changes to Certification Term and Required Contact Hours

Beginning with exams taken in 2023, certifications earned through CRA®, CPRA®, or CFRA exams will have a valid term of three years. In addition, recertification for an individual credential will require 42 contact hours, earned over the three-year period.

The Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC) conducted a survey on certificants’ perceived barriers to recertification. These changes stem from the survey. The results indicated that the required number of contact hours (80) was too arduous. It was difficult to obtain and track documentation over a five-year term. As a result, the RACC Board investigated certification terms and recertification requirements of other organizations adjacent to Research Administration. RACC determined that its certification term and number of required contact hours for recertification significantly exceeded the average among nine other peer organizations.

This change brings RACC's certification standards to closely align with peer organizations. We are confident these changes will address a significant barrier to Research Administrators maintaining their earned certifications.

For any questions on these changes, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below or email [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is changing about the validity period for a CRA®, CPRA®, or CFRA certification and the required number of contact hours for recertification?

A: Beginning with exams taken in 2023, the active term for each certification will change to three years. To apply for recertification of an individual credential, 42 contact hours will be required.

Q:  If I took my exam prior to 2023, when will this change impact me?

A: For a current CRA, CPRA, or CFRA certificant, the expiration date shown on each current certificate remains valid, and you must still fulfill the recertification requirements that were in force at the time the certificate was issued. Upon successful recertification, the new term and contact hour requirements will apply for that certification. You will see the 3-year expiry date shown on your renewed certificate, and you may also view expiration date(s) for certificate(s) in your Certificant Profile.

Example: If your CRA is up for recertification in 2025, this change in term and contact hour requirements will not go into effect for you until you complete your next recertification (completing the end of five-year term with 80 required contact hours). Upon successful recertification, you will then be up for recertification in 2028 with 42 contact hours required.

Q: If I hold multiple certifications issued by RACC, are there changes to the required ratio of contact hours?

A: The ratio requirements remain the same. Please refer to the chart on the Recertification Information page to identify the overlap allowances that may apply to your specific mix of certifications.

Q:  How can I track my required contact hours?

A: RACC now offers a tracking tool to reduce tracking burden. Using this tool, you can enter your contact hours and attach backup documentation for each entry in your Certificant Profile. This can be done at any time during the credential term. Certificants can save their entries and return to the tracking tool at any time. If a certificant prefers to track contact hours and backup documents offline, that is also acceptable.

Q: Can I recertify by retaking a certification exam instead of earning contact hours or tracking anything?

A: Yes, retaking the exam is an option to recertify if for any reason a person does not want to fulfill and document the required contact hours.

Q: Will the exam or recertification fees change with the new certification period?

A: There is no change to the exam or recertification fees.

Q:  If I am currently certified, can I 'opt-in’ early for the shorter term and contact hour requirements?  

A: No. This change in term and contact hours requirement will not take effect for current certficants until after they’ve recertified according to their existing recertification date.

Q:  When is my recertification date?

A:  The Certification Expiration Date is shown on your certificate. Recertification applications are due one month prior to the expiration date

Important Recertification Information

  • RACC will send a recertification reminder email to certificants using the email address on file. 

  • You can update your contact information or confirm your recertification date in your Certificant Profile or by emailing [email protected].

  • Late submission of the recertification application will be considered up to the certificate expiration date but will incur a $100 late fee.