Certified Community Action Professional

A professional credential respected by your peers


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

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

Who 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.

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.

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

Yes. The “Building Your Pathway to CCAP” mentoring program is available for anyone who desires to become a CCAP  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 at the bottom of the page. The Partnership also holds a training each year at the annual convention to assist CCAP Candidates in making the best of their candidacy.

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

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 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.

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 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). You can also view our brochure to Building Your Pathway to CCAP


If you became a CCAP in 2016 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:

Steps to Become a CCAP
Follow these three steps to becoming 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)

CCAP Handbook and Exam Study Guide

The 2020 Study Guide will be posted on January 31, 2020.


2019-20 CCAP Wednesday Webinar Series

All webinars are held 2 pm-3 pm ET |1 pm-2 pm CT | 12pm-1 pm MT | 11 am-12 pm PT

 CCAP Orientation (Wednesday, October 16, 2019):
In this webinar, you can learn about the basics of the national Certified Community Action Professional program (CCAP), who it is for, how it is organized and the steps in the process of becoming a CCAP. When you finish the webinar you will better understand how CCAP can fit into your professional future as a leader in Community Action.


Candidate Data Form (Wednesday, November 6, 2019):
Completing the Candidate Data Form (CDF) is the first step in the process of becoming a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP). It is in a formatted for you to document your learning and experiences in the field of Community Action. In this webinar, you can explore the parts of the CDF in great detail. You will gain valuable insights on how you can complete your own first step toward national recognition as a CCAP.


Executive Skills Portfolio (Wednesday, January 8, 2020):
Submitting the Executive Skills Portfolio (ESP) is the second step in the process of becoming a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP). The ESP is your chance to showcase your skills in doing the work of Community Action. It gives you a vehicle to show that you are a leader who understands Community Action’s vision and values. In this webinar, you will get a comprehensive look at what is expected of candidates in this step toward CCAP. And you will gain insight into what the ESP evaluators address when they examine candidates’ ESP submissions.

Registration coming soon.

Certification Examination (Wednesday, April 8, 2020):
The national CCAP certification examination will be administered at various locations around the country to candidates who were successful in their CDF and ESP submissions. In this webinar, you will learn how the exam is constructed, what kinds of questions are asked, and how best to prepare for the exam. Once you pass, you are nationally recognized as a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP).

Registration coming soon.

CCAP Related Documents
File View/Download
CCAP Candidacy Guide View/Download
CCAP Candidacy Enrollment & Payment Form View/Download
Community Action Partnership Code of Ethics View/Download
Candidate Data Form (CDF) Guidance View/Download
Candidate Data Form (CDF) Form View/Download
Candidate Data Form (CDF) Addendum Page View/Download
Executive Skills Portfolio Guidelines View/ Download
Body of Knowledge View/Download
Current Pathways to CCAP Mentors View/Download
Mentoring Requirements and Agreement View/Download

The Lois J. Carson Library of CCAP Excellence

In June 2019, the Certifcation 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

CCAP Testimonials

CCAP Program

Attn: CCAP Commissioners
1020 19th St., NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036