PPAI Certification Rate Marks Record-Setting Pace

PPAI marks a new milestone as its professional development certification rate jumped 67 percent from May to June, with a record 516 certifications awarded in the month. Year over year, the Association’s professional development certification rate has reached a record-setting 40-percent increase in certifications awarded over 2019, and 2020 is only halfway over.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PPAI waived fees for education sessions and certifications from April to June to help industry members take full advantage of one of PPAI’s most prestigious and valued benefits. During this waived-fee period, there have been 1,106 certifications, recertifications and lifetime certifications awarded.

“For 59 years, PPAI’s professional development programs have been our industry’s gold standard for excellence in promotional products certification and credentialing,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “PPAI certification programs give industry professionals, entry level to seasoned veterans, the opportunity to reach new levels and differentiate themselves. And I am thrilled to see industry professionals look to PPAI as a trusted partner in the advancement of their careers.”

The Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS), Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) and Master Advertising Specialist Plus (MAS+) certifications are the promotional products industry's premier professional designations. Individuals with a PPAI certification are industry leaders—those who have attained a higher standard of professional competence, knowledge and experience. PPAI industry certification is acquired through a combination of required certification classes, demonstrated years of employment in the industry, education, industry contributions and a successful demonstration of expertise. Certification is maintained through continuing education to ensure current knowledge and leading-edge professional skills.

The CAS credentialing program was unveiled in early 1961 at the Executive Development Seminar at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where attendees were awarded the CAS designation. The program expanded as time went on, offering those who were interested an opportunity to apply a cachet of professionalism to their work. In 1983, the PPAI Board of Directors established the MAS designation and adopted the then nationally recognized program of skills attainment, Certified Education Units (CEUs). In 1999, PPAI administered the first qualifying examination, as the focus of the program shifted to its current role as a professional designation. In 2012, PPAI introduced the MAS+ designation, the industry’s highest level of achievement in certification, and the Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) certificate program, designed for those early in their careers. The PPAI certification program is an industry-wide program and does not require membership.

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