Certified Community Action Professional

If you are a dedicated Community Action leader who wants to create more opportunities for your agency and enhance your leadership skills, you should earn your CCAP!


  • Gain national recognition for your accomplishments
  • Enhance your credibility as a leader in the field
  • Increase your competitive edge for higher positions


  • You have held a leadership role for at least 2 years
  • You are employed by a qualifying organization: a CAA, delegate agency or sub-grantee of a CAA, a CSBG eligible entity, a state or regional CAA association office, or a state community services program.


Where Do I Start?

Get Support

Meet with your Executive Director or Board Chair to determine the level of financial support you can expect from your organization and how much time you will be allowed to devote to CCAP preparations.

Find a Mentor

Find a CCAP mentor. By establishing a working relationship with a mentor in your area, you will have personalized support and encouragement every step of the way towards your CCAP. Click here to find a mentor near you.

Already have your CCAP and interested in becoming a mentor? Email us at ccap@communityactionpartnership.com for more information and review the mentor guidelines here.

Start Your Journey

Sketch in your Candidate Data Form to see where you need extra points or experience, join a local or online study group, and start studying the Community Action Body of Knowledge! The earlier you start preparing, the better off you will be when you apply for CCAP Candidacy.

I'm Ready for Candidacy. Now What?


When you enroll, you have three years to complete your Candidate Data Form (CDF), submit your Executive Skills Portfolio (ESP), and pass the written exam.

If you do not complete the CDF or ESP, or you do not pass the exam, you will need to purchase another three year candidacy. The exam is offered once per year and must be taken in-person at a testing site.

Enrollment Steps

  1. Submit Enrollment Form and fee ($600 member/$635 nonmember)
  2. Complete a Candidate Data Form (CDF; click here to view the CDF Guide)
  3. Develop an Executive Skills Portfolio (ESP)
  4. Pass a Written Exam (Access 2020 Exam Study Guide here)

Fee Structure

$600 (CAP member)

$635 (CAP nonmember)

Discounts available for group enrollment, view here.


Candidate Data Form: January 15

Executive Skills Portfolio: February 19

CCAP Exam: June 17


To enroll: download the form and mail it along with your check to the Partnership.

I Earned My CCAP!

Congratulations on earning your CCAP!

We applaud you for earning your CCAP. New CCAPs are honored at our Annual Convention Award Gala, so please plan to join us if you can (Gala entrance included in Convention registration fee; guests are welcome at an additional fee). New and current CCAPs are invited to attend the CCAP Luncheon at the Annual Convention as well (fee applies). If you unable to attend Annual Convention, please email us at ccap@communityactionpartnership.com so we can mail you your certificate and any additional materials.

Your CCAP must be recertified every four years. Recertification is easy and straightforward, just a simple form and $175 fee. You may recertify by downloading the form and mailing it to us with a check, or you mail us the form but pay online here.

Interested in becoming a CCAP mentor? Email us at ccap@communityactionpartnership.com for more information and review the mentor guidelines here.

Closer Look: CCAP Documents

CCAP Body of Knowledge Handbook

Download the CCAP Body of Knowledge Handbook here.

Candidate Data Form

The Candidate Data Form (CDF) is a comprehensive record of your experience as an executive; education; involvement in national, regional, state and local Community Action activities; and participation in association management activities outside your organization.

Download the CDF here.

Download a comprehensive guide to the CDF here.

Download the CDF Addendum form here in the event that you need to make changes or additions after you have submitted it for review.

Your CDF should be submitted via email (ccap@communityactionpartnership.com) or received by the Partnership in the mail no later than the 3rd Wednesday of January the year you plan to take the exam (for 2020, the deadline is January 15). The CDF and your Executive Skills Portfolio must be received and approved by the CCAP Commission before you may sit for the exam.

Executive Skills Portfolio

The Executive Skills Portfolio (ESP) combines a written sample of the your leadership work in Community Action with a series of essays for you to demonstrate your ability to apply management/leadership skills as well as the Community Action Vision and Values. The ESP is composed of three parts:

  1. Introductory Items
  2. Your Work Sample
  3. Four Essay Questions

Download the complete ESP Guide here for more details. Deadline to submit is February 19, 2020.

The ESP is scored by CCAP Commissioners and specially-trained CCAPs. The maximum score is 500 points.You must score a minimum of 300 points on your ESP and a minimum of 700 total combined points for the CDF and the ESP to qualify to take the written exam.

The Written Exam

The Written Exam is typically four hours long and is only offered once per year, in mid-June. To qualify to take the exam, you must receive a minimum score of 300 points on your CDF, a minimum score of 300 points on your ESP, and a combined total minimum score of 700 points. The exam is based on the Community Action Body of Knowledge and candidates must receive a score of 70% or higher to pass.

Download the CCAP Exam Study Guide here (available on January 31st; updated annually).

Download the Community Action Body of Knowledge general outline here.

2020 exam date is June 17.

The Code of Ethics

Click here to access the Code of Ethics.

CCAP Commissioners

Chair: Paul Dole, CCAP, Barbourville, KY
Jeannie Chaffin, CCAP, Manassas, VA
Janice Daku, CCAP, Farmington, ME
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
Tawny Stottlemire, CCAP, Topeka, KS
Dalitso Sulamoyo, PhD, CCAP, Champaign, IL
Thomas Tenorio, CCAP, Chico, CA

The Lois J. Carson Library of CCAP Excellence

In June 2019, the Certification Commission established this library to honor Lois Carson, CCAP Emeritus, on the occasion of her retirement from the Commission. One of the founders of the CCAP program, Ms. Carson has served on the CCAP Commission from the very beginning of the program. The library is the repository for works produced by CCAPs that model best practices in fulfilling the Vision and Values of Community Action. Among other publications, the library especially functions to showcase exemplary Executive Skills Portfolios that the Commission considers models for CCAP candidates to emulate.

2019 Executive Skills Portfolio deemed exemplary by the Certification Commission (click here to download):

"The 2017 Childcare Alive Project"
Krystle McNeal, RD, LD, CCAP
Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership
Moorhead, Minnesota
Contact Us

Questions about the CCAP program? Email us at ccap@communityactionpartnership.com or give us a call at 202.860.1016.

Our mailing address:

ATTN: Alexa Hayes

1020 19th Street NW Suite 700

Washington, DC 20036