CPCP FAQ

Is the CPCP Examination required for membership?
This is not a mandatory, but a voluntary certification exam. If you choose not to take the test, that decision does not prevent you from renewing your membership, nor will it replace the provisions of membership if the test is taken. Note: CPCP credentials are required for trainer members.
Why has the SPCP elected to offer a certification examination?
The exam was originally planned as a test to be used by SPCP trainer members as well as by licensing states and other interested governmental bodies. It became clear that many states did not want this burden and wanted professional organizations to conduct the testing. Our members have asked us to provide them with a fair and objective exam. They wanted the credibility of a true certification rather than only having a certificate of completion from training.
What does this mean?
This type of examination tests the candidate in a manner where their knowledge or “competencies” are tested against those of their peers. Certification is a formal recognition of comprehension of a specific body of knowledge demonstrated at the time of the examination. It is a mark of excellence and demonstrates that a certified individual has the knowledge to provide a particular level of quality service. Certification is an investment in a professional’s career.
How was the examination developed?
After close to three years of writing questions or “items” based on current reference materials in our industry and obtaining feedback, the SPCP contracted the services of Reasoning, Inc., a professional test development company. They are well known in the “testing community” and have developed, through experience with statistical feedback on many thousands of test items, an unparalleled understanding of the psychometric consequences of particular wordings and turns of phrase. These understandings are incorporated into our exam in a way that provides us with the highest possible degree of security. The final step was the development of a pass/fail standard through the cut-score method whereby several Subject Matter Experts participated with Reasoning, Inc. staff. The final “product” was delivered directly from Reasoning to the SPCP.
I wish to study for the examination. What topics are covered?
The following areas are covered in the 100 question, multiple choice exam: infection control, diseases and disorders, anatomy and physiology, pigmentology (understanding pigment), technical applications, regulations, client management, and documentation. (See the resource list.) The candidate has one and a half hours to complete the exam.
Will I become “board certified?”
Candidates passing the exam will become a Certified Permanent Cosmetic Professional. This term best describes the credentials and is not confusing to the general public. While we have a Certification Board, we will not use “Board Certified” as a credentialing term.
Why has the SPCP chosen not to employ elements of hands-on testing as part of the certification process?
Research has revealed there are no consistent ways for us to conduct hands-on testing and remain completely objective. Results of testing in this fashion make it extremely difficult to monitor the effectiveness of the candidate or test administrator.
The exam provided by SPCP is designed to evaluate competency at a fundamental level since the SPCP believes no permanent cosmetic professional should be performing procedures on clients unless they are able to successfully pass the exam.
What advantage is there if I am an SPCP member?
Upon passing the CPCP Exam, all candidates will receive a certificate and will be able to use the acronym CPCP after their name.
Only SPCP members are able to take the exam and renew certification at a greatly reduced fee.
To honor the achievement of successfully passing the CPCP examination, a pin with the CPCP logo will be presented to each Certified Permanent Cosmetic Professional in attendance at the SPCP Convention during the Annual Members Meeting in March.
Certification is another industry related expense. What measures are being taken by the SPCP to ensure the exam is cost-effective?
Since this is an entry-level exam, the SPCP does not believe the candidate should have to obtain expensive study materials or attend certification workshops. We do provide a list of helpful resources; some of them are at no cost to the candidate as well as sample questions to allow the candidate to observe the style of testing. The exam is given during the SPCP conventions and conferences so the candidate will not be required to travel to exclusively take the exam.
How will I know if I passed?
You will be notifiied within a week if you passed the CPCP exam. If not, you will be immediately eligible to apply for a retest within one year without having to show further proof of education. If you do not successfully pass the exam upon the second attempt, you will need to wait a full calendar year and begin the process over again. The current pass rate is 79%. The minimum passing score is 81.
Certification renewal is every two years. Do I need to take the examination again?
If the Certified Permanent Cosmetic Professional (CPCP) complies with the guidelines of accumulating at least 12 hours of continuing education in the field of permanent cosmetics and takes a live bloodborne pathogens class within the next two-year time frame, the exam does not have to be taken again. A renewal notice will be sent at least 6 weeks prior to the two-year anniversary date of your certification. It is important the SPCP always has a current address since we cannot be responsible for undeliverable mail. Failure to renew on time forfeits the right to use the CPCP logo and advertise certification. If the CPCP does not renew on time, re-testing is mandatory, so it is crucial to know when your certification expires.