You will find the major steps and actions on how to get designated below. After reading them, if you still have questions, please Contact Us or give us a call at 703-691-4620. We look forward to working with you as you move through the credentialing process.

Conduct your Self-Assessment

  • Determine which designation is right for you.
  • Order the candidate guidelines and application from our online store.
  • New candidate guidelines and applications were released in March 2022. All new applicant for designation must use the new forms. The prior versions of the forms will not be accepted after June 1, 2022.
  • There is no cost for ordering the document. Once we receive your order, you will receive the guidelines and form via email.

Develop Your Portfolio

  • Complete the application collecting the applicable documents, records, and letters, as you go.
  • Ask friends or colleagues that hold a CPC designation to review your portfolio. They’ll be happy to help.
  • Here’s a few tips for completing your application:
    • When filling in essay type answers, we recommend you develop them in a word document (which has spell and grammar check) and, when satisfied, copy and paste to the application. This will save you time in the long run!
    • Pay attention to the time period for information being requested (e.g. 5 years) and list information in chronological order starting from earliest to newest.
    • Be sure to include additional information requested (e.g. resume, organizational chart, position description, transcripts, etc.).
    • Check out the credentialing videos and handouts on the CPSE University resource library to assist you completing your application.

Need a mentor to assist with the application? Review the Credentialed Officer lists under the navigation tab “CREDENTIALING” above and see if there is someone who you can ask to assist you. Or contact the CPC Manager Mike Higgins for help finding a mentor.

Submit Your Application and Fee

  • Submit the application and all required forms via our online platform.
  • Pay the applicable initial fee. If you already hold a CPC designation, you may be eligible for a reduced fee (see table below).
  • Our staff conducts a preliminary review of your application to check that you provided everything the peer reviewer will need.

Participate in the Peer Review and Interview Process

  • Once your application is complete, your application will be forwarded to an experienced peer reviewer or team of peer reviewers.
  • The peer reviewer(s) will conduct a thorough review and may ask you to provide additional information or make some changes to your application.
  • As part of this step, the peer reviewer(s) will contact you to schedule a phone interview.
  • The peer reviewer(s) uses your documents and this interview to make a recommendation to the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC).
  • You will be notified when the peer reviewer(s) submit their decision for the Commission to vote on at their next Commission meeting.

Commission Decision

  • CPC meets every two months and renders votes on conferring designations based on peer reviewer recommendations.
  • Our staff will be in touch shortly after the meeting to let you know you’ve been credentialed.
  • CPSE will email you a copy of the Designee Handbook which provides information on using the honorific letters, obtaining permission to use the logo, maintaining designated status, volunteer opportunities, etc.

Commission Meeting Schedule and When to Submit Your Application

  • CPC meets every two months (usually on the first Tuesday) and renders votes on conferring designations based on peer reviewer recommendations.
  • Meeting schedule and when to submit your application:

To submit for:

Assure application is received by:

February Meeting

The first week in November of the year previous

April Meeting

The first week of January

June Meeting

The first week of March

August Meeting

The first week of May

October Meeting

The first week of July

December Meeting

The first week of September

Become and Remain Designated

  • You will once again participate in a Peer Review and Interview Process and CPC will once again render a vote on granting you a designation.
  • Your designation is valid for three years.
  • As part of your application, you will have set professional development goals to work on during the three-year period.
  • At the end of the three years, you will submit a renewal application
  • Download the renewal application form:
    • CFO, CEMSO, CTO, FM and PIO click here and pay a renewal fee (see table below).
    • Fire Officer, click here and pay a renewal fee (see table below).
  • CPC has a code of conduct and throughout the time you are designated we will expect you to adhere to it.

Designation Fees

All fees are nonrefundable and payable in US Dollars. You can pay the fees online. If you have question about the fees or payment options, please call us at 703-691-4620.

 Designation Initial Fee Initial Fee (Effective 4/1/23) Multiple Designation Fee Renewal Fee
Chief Fire Officer $375 $395 $325 $325
Chief EMS Officer $375 $395 $325 $325
Chief Training Officer $375 $395 $325 $325
Fire Marshal $375 $395 $325 $325
Public Information Officer $375 $395 $325 $325
Fire Officer $225 $245 n/a $200