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Get Involved with NIPA: Grow Professionally and Earn CPE Credits as a Designation Committee Volunteer!

Posted By NIPA Headquarters, Monday, May 5, 2014

By: Kimberly Martin, APA, CPC, QPA, Education Director, NIPA

Maybe you’ve been in the retirement plan industry for years, having survived multiple use testing in 401(k) plans and the combined 415 limit calculation of DB/DC plans.  Or, perhaps you are somewhat newer to this business, having recently strengthened your personal and professional value by earning a NIPA APA or APR designation.  Possibly you are established in your career, but you want to help others learn the tools of the trade.  Either way, your experience brings an important perspective that is needed in our industry.

The strengthening and expanding of NIPA’s educational offerings and resources is due to many people.  One group of individuals vital to the success of NIPA’s educational programs is our volunteers.  Many of NIPA’s educational programs rely on volunteers, and I’d like to thank all of our many volunteers who donate their valuable time and expertise!  I encourage you to get involved and become a volunteer on NIPA’s Designation Committee.  Your input is extremely valuable to our APA/APR program! 

The Designation Committee is responsible for developing the study materials and examination questions for NIPA's Accredited Pension Administrator (APA) and Accredited Pension Representative (APR) designations.  Specifically, Designation Committee volunteers write and review examination questions related to their assigned topic(s), as well as an explanation of the answers.  Volunteers also review the related textbook assignment, verifying that the material is relevant, practical and understandable, and that all answers to exam questions can be found in the text. 

The Committee is divided into five sub-committees which correspond to the five APA and APR courses under the designation program.  Designation Committee volunteers are assigned to one of these sub-committees based on experience and areas of expertise.  Each volunteer is given one or two topics to work on from that course. 

A good share of the committee work is done individually (rather than as a group), at a time and location (office, home, etc.) that is convenient for you.

While these tasks may sound interesting to you, I know your time is limited, and my guess is that you are wondering how much time is actually involved!  Typically, the time commitment to review the textbook assignment and to write and review the examination questions is approximately 8 to 12 hours, but can be more if you request a more complex topic!  And, the required tasks can be completed at your own pace over a period of 2-3 months, depending on the sub-committee you are assigned. 

For your significant contribution to the designation program, what will you receive in return?  Designation Committee positions give you the opportunity to share your expertise, enhance your industry knowledge, gain new skills, and work with other industry professionals.  In addition, you will earn NIPA Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.  Depending on the number of questions you review/write, you may be able to earn up to 15 CPE credits! 

If you have not yet experienced the rewards of being a NIPA volunteer, I encourage you to get involved with NIPA and become a volunteer on our Designation Committee today!

If you are interested in volunteering, click here to learn more or apply for a volunteer position. As always, please feel free to contact me at with any questions you may have.  

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