Certified Community Action Professional


2018 is the 25th Anniversary of the Certified Community Action Professional program (CCAP). To honor thousands of colleagues who have earned their certifications, we have compiled a video from across the nation. Please check out what these CCAPs have to say about the program.


Chair: Paul Dole, CCAP, Barbourville, KY
Lois Carson, CCAP Emeritus, Riverside, CA
Jeannie Chaffin, CCAP, Manassas, VA
Renae Dismuke, CCAP, Birmingham, AL
Sharmin Doering, CCAP, Springfield, IL
Charles McCann, CCAP Emeritus, St. Joseph, MO 
Jerralynn Ness, CCAP Emeritus, Hillsboro, OR
Leah Pauletti, CCAP, St. Paul, MN
Malcolm Ratchford, CCAP, Lexington, KY
Tawny Stottlemire, CCAP, Topeka, KS
Thomas Tenorio, CCAP, Chico, CA 

If you need more information or don’t see your question below, please contact:CCAP@communityactionpartnership.com

How does certification benefit me and my agency?

  • Gives you the recognition you deserve for your accomplishments in the field.
  • Tells others, you have achieved a nationally recognized standard for professionalism in Community Action.
  • Enhances the credentials of Community Action staff at the agency.
  • Can provide an edge in competing for public and private grant funds, especially when whole leadership team is certified.
  • Improves your professional marketability when competing for higher positions in your own agency or another CA

Whis is certification for?

Certification is designed for current and emerging managers or leaders in the Community Action Profession. To achieve certification, employment in either a CAA, a delegate agency or sub-grantee of a CAA, a CSBG eligible entity, a state or regional association office, or a state community services program office is required.

Who administers the CCAP program?

The CCAP Program is administered by the CCAP Commission that shapes policy, performs and/or oversees all candidate evaluations and directs the administration of the program. Members of the Commission are appointed to 3-year terms by the Partnership Board Chair as recommended by the Commission. The Commission operates according to rules that they’ve developed to ensure the integrity of the program. All Commissioners are CCAP’s and committed to the continuous improvement and relevance of a quality program. The CCAP program is one of two Excellence Initiatives of the Partnership. It is devoted to personal achievement.

How do I know if it is right for me?

CCAP may be right for you If you have been in a management level position in your Community Action Agency or State CAA Association, or State Community Services Program for a minimum of 24 months and.

  • You are committed to the vision and values of Community Action.
  • You are committed to maintaining high ethical standards of professional conduct.
  • You are ready to showcase your experience and knowledge about the history, vision, and values of Community Action as well as the principles of good management, the best practices of 21st-century leadership and the current theories about poverty in America.

What specifically qualifies as a “management level position” for CCAP candidacy?

If any three of the following five statements describes your position, it qualifies you for CCAP candidacy:

  1. This position includes authority beyond the mere responsibility to carry out others’ orders. It is given the discretion to make decisions about how to manage one or more programs.
  2. This position supervises at least one other employee.
  3. This position includes the responsibility to report directly to the agency’s board or to a board committee or to the Executive Director/CEO.
  4. This position includes the responsibility, and attendant accountability, to administer a budget.
  5. This position is a member of the Executive Team

I am new to Community Action. Should I still consider CCAP?

Just about everyone who is committed to the Vision and Values of Community Action and aspires to recognition for their management and leadership skills is an appropriate candidate for certification as a Community Action Professional (CCAP). Some are ready right now to enroll in the Partnership’s certification program because of their level of leadership and length of experience. Others who are newer in the field may need some help preparing for CCAP candidacy. The “Building Your Pathway to CCAP” program is designed to help those not yet ready for certification toward their CCAP goal. See QUICK LINKS to access program brochure and the list of mentors

I have come up through the ranks and have little formal higher education. Can I still qualify?

You may be an appropriate candidate for CCAP even if you are relatively new to Community Action and are a ready learner, or if you have “come up through the ranks” and never earned a degree. You may find it helpful to download the Candidate Data Form and “take a test run.”  If you have been in a management level position for at least 2 years (full 24 months) and if you think you can earn at least 300 points you could be ready to start.

Will there be help for me if I choose to become a candidate?

Yes. The “Pathways to CCAP” mentoring program is available for anyone who desires to become a CCAP (see Quick Links)  but does not meet the 2 year management level position requirement or falls short of the 300 point minimum for the Candidate Data Form.  Once you become a candidate there are many options to participate in CCAP study groups, whether by face to face meetings, or in virtual meetings. In addition, a series of webinars is presented each year by the Partnership to help candidates develop their Candidate Data Form, formulate their Executive Skills Portfolio and receive guidance about the CCAP examination. You can access upcoming and past webinars on Quick Links. The Partnership also holds a training each year at the annual convention to assist CCAP Candidates in making the best of their candidacy.

What are the steps?

Follow these three steps to become a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP):

1. Complete a Candidate Data Form (CDF)

: an accurate record of your experience as a management executive, education, involvement in national, regional, state and local Community Action activities, and in association management activities outside the CAA. The CDF must be received at the Community Action Partnership Office or at the CCAP e-mail address, ccapcontact@aol.com, by no later than 3rd Wednesday in January of the year of expected certification. This and all other relevant forms are available for download at the bottom of this page.

2. Develop an Executive Skills Portfolio (ESP)

: a sample of work, structured according to specified guidelines, that documents and demonstrates your application of the Vision and Values of Community Action and contributions made as a manager and leader. The completed ESP must be received at the Community Action Partnership Office or at the CCAP e-mail address, ccapcontact@aol.com, by the 3rd Wednesday of February of the year of expected certification. This and all other relevant forms are available for download at the bottom of this page.

3.  Pass a Written Exam (administered annually on the 2nd OR 3rd Wednesday in June)

: A minimum score of 300 points on your CDF and a minimum score of 300 points on your ESP along with a combined total minimum score of 700 points for both submissions qualifies you to sit for the examination. The four-hour exam is based on the community action Body of Knowledge document which cites core areas in which candidates should be highly knowledgeable. The passing score is 70 percent of the available points.  A study guide is prepared in advance of the examination each year to assist candidates in preparing for the specific examination drawn up for that year.  It is made available in early February each year for the examination that will be administered in June of the same year. This and all other relevant forms are available for download at the bottom of this page.(Available only after January 31st through mid-June of the current year)

Are there courses I need to take to become a CCAP?

There are no specific “courses” that you must complete to become a CCAP. The CCAP is not tied to any particular educational program or curriculum. Participation in community action training programs and conferences at the state, regional and nation level, however, is often very helpful. And the “Pathways to CCAP” mentoring program is highly recommended for those not yet ready for CCAP candidacy.

How do I enroll?

Submit completed enrollment form along with three letters of recommendation, the signed Community, Action Code of Ethics, the completed Qualifying Positions Worksheet, and the required enrollment fee to the Partnership Office via email (CCAP@communityactionpartnership.com) or mail to:


If you became a CCAP in 2014 or if that was the last time you recertified,  it’s time to renew your CCAP certification. Please fill out the appropriate form here.  You can pay your recertification fee using the form provided here. Submit documents to the Partnership Office via email (CCAP@communityactionpartnership.com) or mail to:

CCAP Program

Attn: Cherita Claitt
1020 19th St., NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

CCAP Program

Attn: Cherita Claitt

April 10, 2018: CCAP Certification Examination
To download the slides from this webinar, click here To view a recording of this webinar, click here

October 26, 2016: CCAP Orientation 
To download the slides from this webinar click
 here. To view a recording of this webinar click here.

December 7, 2016: Candidate Data Form (CDF)
To download the slides from this webinar click here. To view a recording of this webinar click here. 


January 4, 2017: Executive Skills Portfolio
To download the slides from this webinar click here. To view a recording of this webinar click here.

File View/Download
CCAP Enrollment Guide View/Download
Community Action Partnership Code of Ethics View/Download
CDF Addendum Page View/Download
CDF Management Executive Staff Position Worksheet View/Download
Current Pathways to CCAP Mentors View/Download
Body of Knowledge View/Download
Mentoring Requirements and Agreement View/Download
CCAP Candidate Data Form View/Download
Executive Skills Portfolio Guidelines View/Download