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CSS Certification Overview

There are two types of Certification within the program:

Functional Area Certification
One or multiple functional area assessments are successfully completed. This certification includes a one-time skill-based payment for each functional area completed.
Full Certification
Successful completion of all core and functional area assessments. This certification includes a monthly pay differential. To keep the monthly pay differential, the participant must complete 20 credit service hours every 2 years and must pass a re-certification assessment with 200 questions in the four functional areas (Establishment, Enforcement, Intergovernmental, and Finance).

How to participate in the CSS Certification Program

Step One

Complete the CSS Certification Program Application (PDF).

Note: A participant must be employed by CSS for one year prior to enrolling in the CSS Certification Program.

Step Two

The Certification process begins with enrollment in the four core area assessments.

Note: A participant may not enroll in any functional areas until the core area assessments are successfully completed.

The core area assessments are:

  1. Case Fundamentals
  2. Ethics
  3. Medical
  4. Communications

A certificate of completion is received for each core area assessment passed successfully but there is no financial reward for completion of the core area assessments.

Step Three

After all Core Assessments have been completed successfully, the next step in the Certification process is successful completion of one or multiple functional area assessments.

The functional area certification assessments include:

  • Establishment
  • Enforcement
  • Intergovernmental
  • Finance

Eligible participants are awarded a one-time skill-based pay for each functional area. After successful completion of each functional area, you should send the following document to the Certification Program Manager to request the skill-based pay:

CSS Certification Program Functional Area Skill-Based Pay Application (PDF)

Please be sure to check only the one Functional Area Certificate Type for which you are requesting skill-based pay. If you have had one or more Previous Functional Area Certification requests, please check one or more areas.

Step Four

After successful completion of all functional areas assessments, candidates may apply for Full Certification, which includes a monthly pay differential. If applying for Full Certification, you should send the following document to the Certification Program Manager:

CSS Certification Program Monthly Differential and Recertification Application (PDF) Be sure to check Monthly Differential (Initial) in the Application Type.

For those who become fully certified, every two years 20 credit service hours and a re-certification assessment must be successfully completed by the participant to continue receiving the monthly pay differential. For more information on the recertification process, please see the article Recertification Process and Study Guides.

If you have any questions about the CSS Certification process, please contact the Certification Program Manager.