R.A.C.C.
 
  - Why should I become certified?
- How do I become certified?
- Qualifications/Credentials
- Recertification
- What is the Body of Knowledge?
- How do I prepare for an examination?
- What is RACC?
- Does the RACC have a Code of Ethics for its certificants?
- Where will the nearest exam be offered?

WHAT IS CERTIFICATION?

-What is Certification?

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

CRA® and CPRA® are Certification Marks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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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 a role model to others

Does the RACC have a Code of Ethics for its certificants?

Yes, there is a Code of Ethics which each candidate is required to sign at the time they apply to take the examination. The Code of Ethics is:

The intent of the Research Administrators Certification Council’s (RACC) Code of Ethics is to set forth and promote a culture of integrity and competency in the profession of sponsored research administration.

Certificants are expected to practice and uphold the following principles in the discharge of their professional responsibilities:

I agree that I shall:

  • perform my duties with honesty, diligence, and responsibility
  • conduct myself free of personal and professional conflicts or the appearance of impropriety
  • remain mindful as a steward of the funds I assist in requesting and managing have been provided fundamentally for the public good
  • be prudent in the use and protection of sensitive information/data
  • act in good faith promoting ethical integrity in all of our actions
  • in public forums, maintain respectful communication about others in the profession

I have read the Code of Ethics of the Research Administrators Certification Council and agree to abide by this code.

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How Do I Become CERTIFIED?

The CRA, CPRA or CFRA is conferred on successful candidates upon completion of the requirements detailed below. The credential is in effect for 5 years, at which time the certificant must meet the recertification requirements.

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Qualifications/Credentials: 

Certified Research Administrator (CRA) Examination:

Experience Needed:

Candidates applying to set for the Certified Research Administrator’s Examination must have these requirements:
1. Bachelor’s Degree and three (3) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs administration either in a sponsoring or recipient organization or the equivalent in a self-funded organization;
OR
2. An Associate’s Degree and five (5) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs administration either in a sponsoring or recipient organization or the equivalent in a self-fund organization;
OR
3. No degree and six (6) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs administration either in a sponsoring or recipient organization or the equivalent in a self-fund organization (this requires completion of a Petition Application (see link below)

If you are planning to Petition to take the examination, please have the Petition application and two reference letters submitted by at least seven (7) days before the application deadline to take the examination.

CLICK HERE TO Petition for CRA Examination >

Certified Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA) Examination:

Experience Needed:

1. Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree and three (3) years of professional experience in pre-award research administration or sponsored programs administration.
OR
2. An Associate’s degree and six (6) years of professional experience in pre-award administration or sponsored programs administration*
OR
3. Eight (8) years of substantial experience in pre-award research administration or sponsored programs administration*

*These options require completion of a Petition Application

If you are planning to Petition to take the examination, please have the Petition application and two reference letters submitted by at least seven (7) days before the application deadline to take the examination.

CLICK HERE TO Petition for CPRA Examination >

Certified Financial Research Administrator (CFRA) Examination:

Experience Needed:

1. Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree and three (3) years of professional experience in financial research administration or sponsored programs administration.
OR
2. An Associate’s degree and six (6) years of professional experience in financial research administration or sponsored programs administration*
OR
3. Eight (8) years of substantial experience in financial research administration or sponsored programs administration*

*These options require completion of a Petition Application

If you are planning to Petition to take the examination, please have the Petition application and two reference letter submitted by at least seven (7) days before the application deadline to take the examination.

CLICK HERE TO PETITION FOR THE CFRA EXAMINATION >


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CRA Recertification:

At the end of each five-year period, recertification will be required in order to continue to use the CRA designation. Recertification applicants must include information on their continued participation/employment in the field, a list of educational activities either taken or taught, and 3 questions for use on a future certification examination (See Writing Instructions for more information on writing questions). 

Educational activities may include teaching, serving on professional journal or newsletter review boards, writing articles, serving on boards of relevant national associations, participating in workshops and seminars, as well as academic courses at an undergraduate or graduate level. Academic credits will be considered as contact hours. A recertification fee will also be due at the time the recertification application is filed.

The number of contact hours of education needed for recertification is 80.

Every five years, one must document the attainment of a minimum of eighty hours of continuing education OR activities without CEU's which are equivalent to retain certification.

CPRA Recertification:

At the end of each five year period the CPRA must recertify for an additional five years by one of two methods:

  1. Earning 80 contact hours of educational credits during the preceding 5 years, 80% of which (64 credits) must be in topics related specifically to pre-award activities
  2. Re-taking and passing the CPRA examination

CFRA RECERTIFICATION

At the end of each five year period the CFRA must recertify for an additional five years by one of two methods:

  1. Earning 80 contact hours of educational credits during the preceding 5 years, 80% of which (64 credits) must be in topics related specifically to financial activities.
  2. Re-taking and passing the CFRA examination.  

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What is the “Body of Knowledge”?

The CRA Body of Knowledge covers four areas:

  • Project Development and Administration
  • Legal Requirements and Sponsor Interface
  • Financial Management
  • General Management

 

The CPRA Body of Knowledge covers four areas:

  • Research Partnership and Funding
  • Project Development and Proposal Submission
  • Budget Design and Development
  • Awards and Pre-award Compliance Considerations

 

The CFRA Body of Knowledge covers four areas:

  • Governing Framework
  • Project Costs
  • Reporting
  • Fiscal Compliance

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How Do I Prepare for AN EXAMINATION?

1)  Practice the profession!  In research administration you see something new each and every day.  Learn from it!  And talk to colleagues within the profession whose research administration duties are different from yours.

2)  Log on to the Research Administration Certification Council’s (RACC) web site, and review the Body of Knowledge, (BOK) to examine the subject matter the certification test covers.  It is annotated with primary information resources for each subject area.  Other informative materials may also be posted.

3)  Attend professional meetings!  SRA-International and NCURA national, regional, and chapter meetings have very useful and informative programs.  Sometimes there are special tracks organized around a research administration responsibility; as soon as you know the basics in your work area, start following other research administration informational tracks.  However, note that no single track or even special “certificate” covers the breadth of the BOK.

4)  Join the RESADM-L mailing list (listserve).  Over 1500 practicing research administrators ask and answer questions here.  Instructions on how to use the RESADM-L Mailing List, including subscription information and a web‑searchable archive, are available via their web site at http://www.hrinet.org (click on "Listserv Lists").

5)  Some vendors advertise training to prepare for the test.  This training is neither a product of RACC nor is it endorsed by RACC, and we do not know the quality of these programs.

6)  RACC offers a structured review session that covers the body of knowledge.  They are frequently held in conjunction with SRA and NCURA meetings, and at other times and places.  See our website at http://www.cra-cert.org/Sched.html for scheduled times and places, and see the paragraph below about setting up special reviews.  The review does not “teach to the test,” but reviews the BOK, and the exam tests on the BOK.  Those who have taken the review state that it validates much of what they know, it sometimes reminds them of details they had forgotten, and it shows them areas they need to study to become a Certified Research Administrator.  The review hand-out material has references to primary information sources.  We recommend taking the review a few months before you sit for certification so you can assess your expertise and learn of any areas you need to study more.

7)  Our most successful candidates get together with others to study or review.   Join with others at your institution or in your geographic location and start a study group.  Contact RACC to arrange a special review session when you are ready.  If you can arrange a group of 15 or more, e‑mail racc@cra-cert.org and we will arrange a special review session for that threshold group. 

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What is the Research Administrators Certification Council?

The Council is a private, independent, nonprofit organization that develops and administers a voluntary program for the certification of individuals who meet the requirements established by the Council.  The Council is composed of volunteer individuals committed to the continuing improvement of the research administration profession and to assisting in the education and training of individuals who wish to become proficient in this field.  Through the Body of Knowledge and the certification process, the Council provides those entering the field with a training guide and a goal by which they can measure themselves as professionals.

Click here to view the Board of Directors.

The Council consists of representatives from a variety of settings, including institutions of higher education, hospitals, private businesses, research institutes and foundations, governmental organizations, national professional organizations, and private educational and research consulting firms.

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Does the RACC have a Code of Ethics for its certificants?

Yes, there is a Code of Ethics which each candidate is required to sign at the time they apply to take the examination.

The Code of Ethics is:

The intent of the Research Administrators Certification Council’s (RACC) Code of Ethics is to set forth and promote a culture of integrity and competency in the profession of sponsored research administration.

Certificants are expected to practice and uphold the following principles in the discharge of their professional responsibilities:

I agree that I shall:/p>

  • perform my duties with honesty, diligence, and responsibility

  • conduct myself free of personal and professional conflicts or the appearance of impropriety

  • remain mindful as a steward of the funds I assist in requesting and managing have been provided fundamentally for the public good

  • be prudent in the use and protection of sensitive information/data

  • act in good faith promoting ethical integrity in all of our actions

  • in public forums, maintain respectful communication about others in the profession

I have read the Code of Ethics of the Research Administrators Certification Council and agree to abide by this code.

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HOW CAN I FIND OUT THE NEAREST LOCATION WHERE THE EXAMINATION WILL BE OFFERED?

Click here, find Research Administrators Certification Council in the pull down menu and enter your zip code to find the testing centers near you.

 

 

 

 

 


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