AE & Recruiter Certification

TechServe Alliance Certification FAQs

Certification Program FAQs

What is the mission of the TechServe Alliance Certifcation Program?
The TechServe Alliance Certification Program showcases the knowledge and understanding of industry best practices and employment laws and other legal concepts relevant to the work of account executives, recruiters and other members of your team.

The certification program has been created to:
  • Expand the base of knowledge and elevate the level of professionalism and effectiveness of those who work within the professional staffing industry
  • Enhance the knowledge of employment laws and other important legal concepts to mitigate risk
  • Distinguish your business when you and your team earn the recognition associated with prestigious certifications awarded to professionals in the IT and engineering staffing industries
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement through the ongoing education requirements of the certification program
  • Through advancing the professional development of your team, acknowledging their achievement through an industry-recognized designation, driving firm growth and profitability
What is the TechServe Alliance Program for recruiters and account executives?
Members of TechServe Alliance voiced their desire for the organization to establish and administer a certification program for those professionals who serve as management, account executives and recruiters in IT and engineering staffing communities. Based on this need for a certification program for members and the profession, TechServe Alliance leadership and staff spent considerable time and energy to make the TechServe Alliance Certification Program a reality. The program was launched in 2013. We released the 2nd edition of the study materials and exam for level one July 1, 2016.

TechServe has created two types of professional certification, each offering two distinct levels of achievement:
  • Certified Professional Services Recruiter (CPSR) Level One & Level Two
  • Certified Professional Services Account Executive (CPSAE) Level One & Level Two

Individuals seeking any of the certifications are required to study the information assembled in the TechServe Alliance Certification Program Study Materials. Upon completion of their course of study, each candidate for certification must then demonstrate their mastery of the content by successfully passing the corresponding online certification examination. As part of the certification process, a staffing professional must also agree to adhere to the TechServe Alliance Code of Ethics and other program rules.

What certifications are being offered?
Certified Professional Services Account Executive: Level One & Level Two
The CPSAE I certification is intended for account executives (sales) professionals in the professional staffing industry who have demonstrated knowledge and mastery of industry best practices in sales as well as an understanding of general industry concepts, employment law and other pertinent legal issues. The CPSAE II certification is intended for account executives (sales) professionals with two or more years of industry experience, have passed the Level I exam and have demonstrated an ability through the Level II exam (case studies) to apply the principles previously learned to typical scenarios encountered in the professional staffing industry.

Certified Professional Services Recruiter: Level One & Level Two
The CPSR I certification is intended for recruiters in the professional staffing industry who have demonstrated knowledge and mastery of industry best practices in recruiting as well as an understanding of general industry concepts, employment law and other pertinent legal issues.

The CPSR II certification is intended for recruiters with two or more years of industry experience, have passed the Level I exam and have demonstrated an ability through the Level II exam (case studies) to apply the principles previously learned to typical scenarios encountered in the professional staffing industry.

What changes took place on July 1, 2016, when the 2nd editions of the CPSR and the CPSAE were released?
The 2nd editions of the Level 1 CPSR and CPSAE study materials and exams raised the required minimum score to pass from 70% to 80%, introduced new questions to the exam, and included all new sections on social media and the Affordable Care Act.

Are the original materials and exam still available?
No, on July 1st the original editions of the study materials and exams were discontinued. People that purchased the exam prior to July 1st, but did not take the exam automatically received the new materials and exam. Your 6 month time period to take the exam did not reset.

Why should I encourage my account executives, recruiters and other members of my team to become certified through TechServe Alliance?

" Anyone making IT Staffing their career should seek to become TechServe certified. It sets them apart from the others, and demonstrates their knowledge, understanding and commitment to their industry. Certification will also enhance their career, respect and compensation. "

-Ronald F. Zander, Vice President of Project One, Inc

As the national trade association representing the IT and engineering staffing industry, the certifications obtained through TechServe Alliance demonstrate a commitment to employing industry best practices and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as well as subscribing to a Code of Ethics. The ability to differentiate both your firm and your team is particularly important in an environment where many clients and consultants maintain that there is little difference between firms.

What makes the TechServe Alliance Certification Program different from other certification programs?
There are two distinguishing elements of the TechServe Alliance Certification Program. First, the TechServe Alliance certifications were developed exclusively for individuals employed in the professional staffing industry. Second, the TechServe Alliance Certification Program goes far beyond other certification programs which solely test knowledge of employment law. TechServe Alliance certification requires an individual to also demonstrate knowledge and mastery of industry best practices.

Do I need to obtain Level I certification before pursuing Level II?
Yes, participants are required to obtain Level I certification prior to pursuing Level II. While Level I certification demonstrates knowledge of industry best practices as well as knowledge of employment law and other legal issues, Level II demonstrates through case studies the ability to apply that knowledge to specific factual situations typically encountered by account executives and recruiters in the professional staffing industry.

Are there prerequisites for Level I Certification?
No, all account executives and recruiters are eligible to pursue a Level I certification. Individuals affiliated with TechServe Alliance member companies are eligible for discounted registration fees for all certifications.

Are there prerequisites for the Level II certifications?
Yes, you must obtain your Level I certification and have two or more years of experience in the professional staffing industry.

What is the format of the exam?

Level I and Level II exams for both the Certified Professional Services Account Executive (CPSAE) and Certified Professional Services Recruiter (CPSR) will be administered online.

The Level I exam consists of multiple choice and true/false questions, testing knowledge of industry best practices in either sales or recruiting as well as knowledge of general industry concepts, employment law and other relevant legal issues.

The Level II exams also consists of multiple choice/true false questions, but the exams tests mastery of the content through demonstrated ability of the individual to apply the principles previously learned to typical scenarios encountered in the professional staffing industry.

How long is the exam?
Each examination will consist of 100 questions.

What resources are available to help me prepare for the exams?
All individuals who register for an exam will be able to access the applicable TechServe Alliance Certification Program Study Materials which contain the information necessary to prepare for the exam. We also offer in-depth Certification Training Webinars. The webinars are not required.

What does the TechServe Alliance Certification Program Study Material cover?
The body of knowledge contained in the TechServe Alliance Certification Program Study Materials addresses industry best practices and an overview of legal concepts that are relevant to account executives, recruiters as well as other members of the team in discharging their professional responsibilities. The certification examinations will test mastery of this content.

In CPSAE I and CPSR I , a candidate seeking certification will find a series of lessons that outline the code of ethics, common terms and definitions, general industry practices, and best practices in the form of 21 lessons for either account executives or recruiters. The guide also contains an overview of the employment laws and other legal concepts important to the work performed by staffing professionals.

The CPSAE II and CPSR II certifications require a candidate to demonstrate advanced command of the material. Through a series of case studies testing application of knowledge to common business and legal situations, members of your team who earn either their CPSAE II or CPSR II will further differentiate your firm in the marketplace.

To prepare for the examinations, applicants will need to study the TechServe Alliance Certification Program Study Materials.


How much time should I dedicate to complete the study materials for the certification exam?
It is suggested that you allow a minimum of 30-60 days to review the content contained in the applicable certification program study materials.

How long is my TechServe Alliance Professional Services designation (CPSR or CPSAE) valid?
Three years. A $50 certification maintenance fee will be assessed annually.

Is continuing education required after I achieve certification?

Yes, once you are certified, you will be required to participate in 24 contact hours of continuing education over each three year period beginning on the date you are first awarded your certification. CPSAEs and CPSRs at both the LEVEL I and LEVEL II must each participate in 24 contact hours over each three year period.

Each hour spent engaged in an educational, conference, webinar or related learning experience is counted as one contact hour. We recommend that you earn 8 contact hours each year and not wait until your certification is about to expire to complete the requirement. You will be required to track the continuing education contact hours you have earned and you may be required to submit proof of attendance or participation. Click here to learn more.

Is TechServe Alliance Certification just an exam or is there more to it?
The Certification Program is more than an exam. It is a community of individuals seeking to better themselves through the expansion and validation of knowledge and skills. As a result there are many benefits to being a part of this community. Once Certification is achieved, we ensure a sense of community with:
  • Beyond Certification- A bi-monthly newsletter exclusively for certified individuals, that also provides an opportunity for certified individuals to be published in a newsletter by their national trade association.
  • Certification Webinar Series- A monthly webinar series that covers a concept from the study guide materials and offers an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about working their desk or to role play a situations.
  • LinkedIn Groups- We have two linked in groups, IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions Recruiters Connect and IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions Account Executives Connect. These groups were created to foster an open forum for IT & engineering staffing and solutions account executives and recruiters, where they can share the latest news, tips and resources, learn from each other and stay connected. You do not have to be certified to join, although it is strongly encouraged.

What are the requirements for passing the exam?

 As of July 1, 2016, individuals taking a TechServe Alliance Certification Exam must answer 80 percent or more of the questions correctly.

What is the policy on retaking the exam?
If you fail the exam, you may retake the exam one additional time within a six-month period. There will be an additional fee of $125 to retake the exam.

When, where and how can I take the exam?
After you register and pay for the certification program, you will be given a web link to retrieve the study materials as well as a link to the exam. You will have six months to take the exam from the date of registration. However, once you access the link to start the exam, you will have 2 hours to complete it.

When do I receive my exam results?
You will receive your score immediately after you submit your answers for grading. Your sponsoring employer will also receive the results. The system will display your pass/fail status and your score.

If I don't pass, can I find out which areas I need to study more?
Yes. All exam participants, regardless of whether you pass or fail an exam, are given a printed score report that identifies performance within each test section.

Can I get a detailed report of my exam answers?
No. To maintain the integrity of the exam, the answers to the test questions are not provided.

What is the cost of each certification?
For employees of TechServe Alliance member firms, the certification fee is $395. For individuals not affiliated with a TechServe Alliance member company, the certification fee is $695. These fees include both the applicable certification program study materials and exam administration fee. Participation in the prep course is extra.

How do I register for the certification?

Register for the TechServe Alliance Certification Program here

What if I have additional questions regarding certification?

For additional information, please contact certification@techservealliance.org or call us at (703) 838-2050.

Register Now for the Industry's Only Account Executive & Recruiter Professional Certification. TechServe members login here to access discount code prior to registering.