Introduction 

Earning the designation of Certified Research Administrator (CRA®), Certified Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA®), or Certified Financial Research Administrator (CFRA) signifies that an individual has met the requirements of the Research Administrators Certification Council’s (RACC) eligibility requirements and has demonstrated a level of knowledge necessary for a person to be a professional research administrator.

Why Should I Become Certified? 

The benefits of certification are many:

  • Professional recognition 
  • Personal satisfaction
  • An indicator of expertise
  • Increased opportunities for employment
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Increased credibility with clients
  • Serve as role model to others


How Do I Become Certified? 

The CRA, CPRA, and CFRA are awarded to candidates upon successfully passing the corresponding exam. Once certified, the credential will remain active for five years.

How Are The RACC Examinations Developed? 

The three-step process for developing the RACC examinations for each of the certificates is a collaboration between the RACC Board of Directors, volunteers with an active certificate in that examination area, and our testing company, Professional Testing Corporation (PTC).

Step 1: Before a RACC examination can be developed, each RACC question (referred to as an “item”) must be properly written, vetted, and reviewed. Upon receiving training provided by PTC, members of an Item Writing Committee are charged with drafting multiple choice items based on topics within the respective examination’s Body of Knowledge content outline. All drafted questions are then reviewed by a PTC psychometrician for assessment of the item’s construction.

Step 2: An Item Review Committee evaluates each new item to verify the accuracy of the question and answer, ensuring distractors are clear and meaningful. Additionally, the committee checks the source document reference for the item and answer, and confirms the item is coded within the correct Body of Knowledge domain. Once the Item Review Committee has completed a thorough review of all new items, PTC adds them to the examination Item Bank.

Step 3: PTC begins test construction through random selection of coded questions from the examination Item Bank in the domain ratio determined by RACC. PTC’s test development staff and psychometrician review and prepare the exam which is sent forward to the Exam Review Committee. The Exam Review Committee assesses the prepared examination ensuring questions are relevant and that questions are not replicated within the exam. They also make sure that references to agencies, regulations, etc. are current. Once this is complete, PTC finalizes and transfers the exam to the Prometric testing service.