By Shelly Sipple, AAP, APRP, NCP, EPCOR Senior Director, Certifications & Continuing Education
This article has been republished with permission from EPCOR and answers the following question: “Earning accreditation is a high priority for me in 2023, but I’m not quite sure which certification is best suited for me – NCP, AAP, or APRP. Can you help?”
I’m so happy you are thinking of ways to establish your credibility in the industry and give your organization a competitive edge in the business and financial arenas. Being accredited can open doors – whether advancing in your current position or providing you with other employment opportunities.
As you noted, it can be difficult to figure out which accreditation is for you. Regardless of whether you desire to become an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP), Accredited Payments Risk Professional (APRP) or National Check Professional (NCP), it is recommended you have two years’ experience in the payments industry before taking the associated exam. Additionally, you should know each exam:
Let’s take a closer look at each certification, beginning with the AAP.
National Check Professional (NCP)
An NCP is known for his/her exceptional check payment knowledge, including image processing. So, if your job responsibilities include check or image operations, treasury, product, fraud or risk, you should consider becoming an NCP.
EPCOR’s NCP Prep Program kicks off in January and runs through April. Be watching for more information, coming soon.
If you aren’t sure if the NCP is right for you, visit our informational website, ECCHO’s informational website or watch our “So You Think You Want to Be an NCP?” informational video.
Accredited ACH Professional (AAP)
An AAP is an expert in all aspects of the ACH Network, including a basic understanding of other payment types as they relate to the ACH Network. If you work solely on matters related to ACH (e.g., operations, sales, risk management), you should think about the AAP.
EPCOR’s AAP Prep Program kicks off in May and runs through September. Stay on the lookout for more information!
If you aren’t sure if the AAP is right for you, visit our informational website, Nacha’s informational website or watch our “So You Think You Want to Be an AAP?” informational video.
Accredited Payments Risk Professional (APRP)
If your work has a larger scope outside of ACH or check, including strategy, risk management, product development or treasury sales, then the APRP may provide greater benefit to you. And if you’re already an AAP or NCP, taking the exam and becoming an APRP would signify your expertise in risk management of all payment types!
EPCOR’s APRP Prep Program kicks off in April and runs through July. Stay on the lookout for more information!
If you aren’t sure if the APRP is right for you, visit our informational website, Nacha’s informational website or watch our “So You Think You Want to Be an APRP?” informational video.
Each accreditation is valid for five years. To maintain the AAP or APRP certifications, you may earn 60 continuing education credits throughout the accreditation period. The NCP accreditation requires that 50 continuing education credits plus 3 NCP workshops be completed during the accreditation period to renew.
If you have the desire to become an AAP, APRP or NCP, EPCOR can help you with your preparations with our Prep Programs. As mentioned above, each Prep Program consists of an intense curriculum designed to help you prepare for the exam. Computerized practice tests, pop quizzes, review webinars, study materials and an EPCOR staff mentor are just a few features of our revered prep programs.
Not sure which accreditation is right for you? Reach out to EPCOR’s Member Support at 800/500-0100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.