Questions frequently asked about PACC Professional Certification
Do I need to be employed to apply for certification?
PACC Professional Certification relies on a rigorous and unbiased qualification process founded upon three pillars of demonstrable skill + experience + education relevant to the interrelated aspects of data protection and governance.
You don’t need to be currently employed or engaged on a contract to apply for an AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP certification, but you do have to meet or exceed the minimum eligibility requirements set out in the Certification Handbook. Contact us to request your copy.
How do I apply for certification?
Qualifying for PACC Professional Certification requires that applicants meet or exceed the criteria set out in the Certification Handbook, including:
- Hold active status as a PACC member in good standing
- Submit verifiable evidence of access and/or privacy work experience
- Submit verifiable evidence of relevant educational achievement
- Submit signed attestations of professional competence and work experience from at least three references who who can attest to your work experience as it relates to privacy, access, and data protection
- Agree to abide by the PACC Code of Ethical Principles and Professional Conduct
- Agree to abide by the PACC Continuing Education Policy
- Pay the application fee
The certification application may be completed at your own pace, may be submitted by regular mail or by email, and must be complete, accurate, and legible. Contact Us to request your certification application package
What is the application fee?
The application fee is the same — CAD $350 — whether you are applying for an AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP designation. The certification fee does not include membership.
When will I find out if my application was successful?
Once we receive your application it will be acknowledged and evaluated. Your references, education, and experience may be verified. Candidates will be notified of the disposition of their applications within eight to ten weeks of receipt, with results mailed to you at the address in your application.
What can I do if my application is not successful?
If your application for PACC Professional Certification is unsuccessful, you will be notified in writing of the general reason. You may challenge the decision by following the process outlined in the Certification Handbook. Contact us to request your copy.
How do I know my work experience will qualify and be sufficient?
PACC Professional Certification is based on a Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) created by and for access and privacy professionals, and reflected in the National Standard of Competency for the profession. The CBK recognizes that the Access and Privacy Profession is multi-disciplinary in scope and applicability.
How and where can I acquire appropriate work experience?
Information access and privacy experience may be acquired in related disciplines in organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Work experience must be acquired during full time paid employment within the related disciplines, which include information security, computer science, compliance, project management, ethics, law, and records management.
Internships, articles and clerkships, graduate research, and additional education do not qualify as work experience. The final decision on acceptability of work experience is solely the discretion of the Certification Committee.
What are the eligibility requirements to qualify for AAPP, CAPP, and MAPP?
A combination of skill and relevant education is essential, but practical experience is vital to be able to correctly apply acquired skills. Experience is also the best teacher for understanding the real-world implications of interpreting and implementing what has been learned. That’s why applicants must meet or exceed the minimum experience requirement.
PACC’s entry-level certification, the Associate Access and Privacy Professional (AAPP), requires that applicants have at least two years’ relevant practical experience directly related to access and/or privacy within the previous four years, and more senior designations require more experience. Details are in the Certification Handbook. Contact us to request your copy and application.
Is supporting documentation required when submitting my initial application for certification?
Documents that substantiate the information provided in your application must be included for your application to be considered. Refer to the Certification Handbook for details.
How do I know if my education and training meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP?
Relevant training and experience acquired in Canadian, American, European Union, United Kingdom, or Australian jurisdictions may be recognized. Recognition of training or experience acquired in other jurisdictions may be granted. All training and experience is subject to evaluation and determination by the Certification Committee.
Refer to the qualification criteria in the Certification Handbook which outlines how to calculate educational credits and experiential equivalencies. Contact us to request your copy and application.
When can I start using the AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP in my signature block?
The AAPP, CAPP, and MAPP designations are issued by PACC and are recognized symbols that distinguish individuals who meet a high measure of academic achievement, ongoing practical experience, and demonstrable skills essential to the effective practice of information privacy, access-to-information, and data protection.
Active members who have attained an AAPP, CAPP or MAPP designation and maintain active certification status are entitled to use the appropriate designation in their signature for the duration of their valid certification.
Members who are under suspension, whose membership has expired, or whose certification is suspended, expired, or revoked must discontinue the use of all claims to certification that contain any reference to PACC or its certification designations, and must return any certificates issued by PACC.
How many Continuing Professional Development credits will I need?
Maintaining your AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP Professional Certification means keeping up to date on legislative, practice, and technological developments by earning at least 12 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits in each year of the certification validity period.
Refer to the Certification Handbook which outlines how to calculate educational credits and experiential equivalencies, and the Continuing Professional Development Policy. Contact us to request your copy and application.
Does renewing my PACC membership renew or extend my certification?
No. PACC annual membership and PACC Professional Certification are two different matters. PACC membership must renewed each year. Certification must be renewed every three years.
What will I need to renew my PACC Professional Certification?
Maintaining and renewing any of the PACC credentials requires ongoing relevant work experience; meeting or exceeding the PACC continuing professional development (CPD) requirements; maintaining continuous membership in good standing with the Privacy and Access Council of Canada; and adhering to the PACC Code of Ethical Principles and Professional Conduct.
Applications to renew a PACC Professional Certification must include a completed Recertification Reporting Form and the recertification fee. Incomplete renewals will not be processed.
Do I have to renew my PACC Professional Certification?
Yes. PACC Professional Certification is valid for three years. The validity date appears on a certificate issued to each candidate who qualifies for PACC Professional Certification.
How long before I receive my new certificate?
Once your complete renewal application has been received, processed, and approved, a new certificate will be mailed to the address you provide on the Recertification Reporting Form.
How can I tell if someone’s certification is valid?
To verify if a person’s AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP designation is valid and current, contact us. PACC can confirm if an individual has attained an AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP designation, and the validity period for that certification. PACC cannot confirm or verify other certifications that a PACC member might hold.
Where can I get the education and training to qualify or maintain my certification?
Continuing professional development credits may be accrued by attending PACC-hosted and accredited events, and through continuing professional development content from a range of organizations and event coordinators. PACC generally recognizes successfully completed, relevant professional development and continuing education activities with the following characteristics:
- Degrees, diplomas, licenses, formal courses
- Obtained through face-to-face events or real-time web conferences
- Subject matter relates substantially to access, privacy, and data governance and may include aspects related to ethics, law, information/records management, health information management, information security, machine learning, artificial intelligence, information technology, risk management, compliance, public/business administration, and project management.
How can I find out if a course or program qualifies for CPD credits applicable to a PACC Professional Certification?
Credit hours may be from a combination of formal, structured, informal, and unstructured activities, and it is up to PACC members to ensure that the activities they pursue contribute toward increased knowledge, skill, and expertise and meet the CPD requirements.
If you’re not sure whether a course, program, or event qualifies for CPD credit, or to request that one be recognized for CPD credit, contact us for a determination.
Is supporting documentation required when renewing a PACC Professional Certification?
When completing the Recertification Reporting Form to renew your credential, you do not need to submit supporting documentation.
All recertification applications are subject to audit. If your application is selected for audit, you will have to provide documentation to substantiate all CPD credits claimed, so it is advisable to compile and maintain an ongoing inventory of completed courses and training activities, and keep copies of completion certificates and event/course details.
Why does PACC audit certification and renewal applications?
Ensuring the ongoing credibility of the PACC Professional Certification program is facilitated by randomly auditing certification and recertification applications.
How do I maintain an active certification status?
Maintaining your PACC Professional Certification requires that you actively engage in access, privacy, and data protection activities; meet or exceed the PACC continuing professional development (CPD) requirements; maintain continuous membership in good standing with the Privacy and Access Council of Canada; and adhere to the PACC Code of Ethical Principles and Professional Conduct. The requirements are set out in the Certification Handbook. Contact us to request your copy.
How long are certifications valid?
PACC Professional Certification is valid for three years from the date of award shown on the certificate, and must be renewed before the three-year period expires. PACC strives to email membership renewal and recertification reminders, but it is the member’s responsibility to maintain membership and certification status.
What do I need to renew my PACC Professional Certification?
Renewing your AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP designation is possible if you meet or exceed the criteria detailed in the Certification Handbook in effect at the time of renewal. In general terms those criteria include having been actively engaged in access, privacy, and data protection; meeting or exceeding the PACC continuing professional development (CPD) requirements; maintaining continuous membership in good standing with the Privacy and Access Council of Canada; and adhere to the PACC Code of Ethical Principles and Professional Conduct.
What is the certification renewal fee?
The fee for renewing an AAPP, CAPP, or MAPP certification is CAD $225 and payable before the end of the certification validity period indicated on your certificate.
Can certification validity periods be extended?
Because life sometimes gets in the way, you may request that your certification be declared inactive for up to three years. Requests must be received before your certification validity period ends (check the date on your certificate).
Members whose certification status is declared inactive must relinquish the use of their credential. Refer to the Certification Handbook for additional details.