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APAC certification exam

APA Certification in the Built Environment


An individual who passes the Accessibility Professional Association's Certification Exam--APAC-BEs or APA Certified-Built Environment--will have demonstrated knowledge of the Federal Accessibility Requirements and the Model Codes and Standards and how each applies to the built environment. APAC-BEs will be able to interpret scoping requirements for any given facility.


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APAC-BE

APA Certified-Built Environment

The exam is available through Pearson VUE testing centers and OnVUE online proctoring, and in person at the close of every National Conference.

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APAC-BE

Exam retake

To retake the exam, register by clicking the button below.


You may retake the exam

  • if you were approved less than one year ago and
  • if you have only taken the exam once since your application


If it has been more than one year since your first application, or if you have taken the exam twice since your application, you will need to reapply. click the "Apply" button above.


The computer-based exam is available through Pearson VUE testing centers and OnVUE online proctoring, and the same exam is administered by paper and pencil at the close of every National Conference.


Submit payment to retake


Exam application is open

The APAC-BE exam is administered through Pearson VUE testing centers and OnVUE online proctoring, and by paper and pencil at the close of every National Conference. Approved applicants will be notified with instructions on how to register.

Contact Camille North at APACInfo@accessibilityprofessionals.org for more information.


Eligibility and cost

Cost: The application fee is $500 for APA members and $750 for nonmembers plus testing center fees. Once a candidate has been approved, they are eligible to sit for the exam for a one-year period. See APAC Exam Fees for detailed fees. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request to qualified individuals at no cost.

 

Eligibility: Accessibility professionals who meet the experience criteria outlined below may pursue the APAC. Candidates must submit an application that documents fulfillment of requirements in formal education, professional (work) experience, professional conduct, and professional development as follows:



Professional Education, Experience, and Employment

  • Option 1: Professional degree/license (architecture, engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, or equivalent) and one year of accessibility experience related to building planning, design, review, inspection, consultation, or equivalent
  • Option 2: Four years’ accessibility experience related to building planning, design, review, inspection, consultation, or equivalent
  • Option 3: Accessibility certification (e.g., ICC, state certification, ADAC) and two years’ accessibility experience related to building planning, design, review, inspection, consultation, or equivalent

Professional Conduct

Candidates must agree to adhere to the APAC Code of Professional Conduct. Once an eligibility application is approved, a candidate is eligible for a one (1) year period.


Study resources

Visit the Study Resources page for a list of topics the exam will cover and helpful resources.


Renewal and CE requirements

Certification renewal is required every three (3) years due to the rate of change in the profession, professional practices and standards affected by technological changes, and the need to stay current in accessibility practices and maintain knowledge. To remain active, the renewal application must be submitted prior to the current certification expiration date. If the certification lapses, then an additional fee will be assessed to reinstate the certification within six months. Lapses of certification after six months will not be renewed; candidates must reapply and retake the exam.


All of the following steps must be completed in order to receive successful renewal:

  1. Completion of required CEUs and/or professional development activities

  2. Ongoing adherence to professional conduct requirements

  3. Submission of completed renewal documents

  4. Review and approval by APAC

As outlined below, the renewal application documents 1) ongoing adherence to professional conduct requirements and 2) completion of professional development activities or a combination of professional development activities and contributions to the profession. Renewal applicants must again agree in writing that they will adhere to the APA Code of Professional Conduct.


Required Continuing Education Units for Renewal


Renewing certificants must have completed a minimum of twenty-four (24) continuing education units (CEUs) of accessibility-related continuing education (CE), which may consist of 1) receiving accessibility-related continuing education, 2) presenting accessibility-related courses, 3) making contributions to the profession, or 4) any combination of these.

When renewing, applicants may include qualifying APAC credits not previously submitted for APAC credit, provided they have been completed less than three (3) years prior to the certification expiration date.

1. 
One (1) credit is equal to one (1) hour of continuing education. A minimum of one (1) credit focused on ethics is suggested. Twelve (12) credits must be specifically approved by APAC. The twelve (12) remaining units are acceptable if they fall into one of the categories listed below.


Topics that may be used for the remaining hours:

a. Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) or any other accessibility guidelines proposed or adopted by the Access Board or United States Department of Justice
b. Fair Housing Act, Rehab. Act, ABA, or other federal or state accessibility laws 

c. International Code Council/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117.1 Standard on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities
d. Life Safety Code
e. Fair Housing Act
f. Business Practices
g. Universal Design, Accessibility requirements from the I Codes, NFPA, or state and local building codes, history of accessibility, ergonomics
h. Ethics


2. A maximum of six (6) CUEs may be from presenting accessibility-related courses. Qualifying credits may include: 

    1. Presenting at a national or regional conference including, but not limited to, APA National Conference, CASI Summit, or ADA Symposium 

    2. Presenting in-person courses or webinars that have been approved for CEUs by APAC 

    3. Presenting or co-presenting on behalf of a national accessibility agency, such as the ADA Centers 

    4. Other presenting opportunities, to be submitted to APAC for approval

Approved Providers

The following organizations are Approved Providers:

- Accessibility Professionals Association (APA)
- Certified Access Specialist Institute (CASI)


FAQs

Visit our FAQs page. If you have a question not covered there, please contact Camille North at APACInfo@accessibilityprofessionals.org.



APAC Board

The APAC Board is an independent certifying body of APA. The APAC Board awards the APA Certified–Built Environment (APAC-BE) credential and is responsible for setting policy and standards related to the APAC Program. 

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Jack McClellan

Matt Lescher

President

Code Consultants

Contact

Kristi Avalos

President-Elect

Accessology Too

Contact

Carroll Pruitt

Teasurer

Pruitt Consulting, Inc.

Contact

Jack McClellan

Board Member at Large

AE Support Group

Contact

Smiling woman with glasses and short hair
Walter Qualls
Man with gray beard and glasses wearing black fisherman cap

Karen Braitmayer

Board Member at Large

Studio Pacifica
Contact

Walter Qualls

Secretary / APA Board Member liaison

Images, Etc.

Contact

Scott Crawford

Public Member



APAC Examination and

Item-Writing Committee

The APAC Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are an all-star team of experts from across the country,

representing all areas of accessibility in the built environment

John Torkelson

Robin Roberts, Chair

ACI Consulting Architects

Contact

Gene Boecker

Gene Boecker

Code Consultants, Inc.

Contact

Glenn Dea

Glenn Dea

Collaborative Access Studio

Contact


Marsha Mazz

Marsha Mazz

United Spinal Association

Contact

Jim Terry

Jim Terry

Evan Terry Associates

Contact

John Torkelson

John Torkelson

theACCESSpartnership, l.p.

Contact



What is APAC-BE?

APA  has partnered with CPS Human Resource Services (CPS) to develop a national Certification Examination for the accessibility field in the built environment. The APA certification exam will be a legally defensible professional certification exam aligned to established and agreed upon best practice standards for the accessibility industry.

How and where is the exam administered?

The APAC-BE was first administered at the 2023 APA National Conference, on Friday, January 27, 2023. The exam is now administered on demand through Pearson VUE testing centers and OnVUE online proctoring service, and in person by paper and pencil at the close of every National Conference.

Participants requiring accommodations should contact Camille North at APACInfo@accessibilityprofessionals.org.

What resources will be used?

A resource list is available here.


Contact

Robin Roberts, APAC Examination and Item-Writing Committee Chair Contact

 

Matt Lescher, APAC Board President Contact

 

Camille North, APAC Executive Director Contact