Certifications

Paralegal CORE Competency Exam (PCCE)

The Paralegal CORE Competency Exam (PCCE) was developed to assess the knowledge, skills and ability of early-career and entry-level paralegals. The examination was made available in November of 2011.

Paralegals wishing to sit for the exam should visit the National Federation of Paralegal Associations' (NFPA) website (www.paralegals.org) in order to obtain a PCCE Candidate's Handbook and learn more about the fees associated with the exam. The handbook contains an application, information on exam content, sample exam questions, and logistical information on taking the exam at one of the more than two hundred Sylvan Technology Centers nationwide. Any member interested in applying for NCAPA's PCCE Scholarship should contact the NCAPA Certification Ambassador (certification@ncapa.com).

PCCE is an entry-level exam and paralegals considering sitting for PCCE are encouraged to contact the NCAPA Certification Ambassador for questions, concerns, or suggestions on how to prepare for the exam. Successful strategies for preparing include studying on your own utilizing the PCCE Study Manual, creating/joining a PCCE study group, or taking the on-line American Institute for Paralegal Studies ("AIPS") PCCE Preparation Course. Once a paralegal has successfully passed PCCE, he or she earns the Core Registered Paralegal (CRP) credential. In order to maintain the CRP credential, paralegals must complete twelve hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits, including at least one hour in ethics, every two years. It is the individual CRP's responsibility to obtain the necessary CLEs and provide documentation to NFPA in accordance with the renewal guidelines.

Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE)

In 1992, the NFPA adopted a resolution establishing a position on regulation of the paralegal profession. In 1994, that position was modified to endorse the establishment of the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE). With the assistance of Professional Examination Services, NFPA developed a computer-generated two-hundred question multiple-choice exam designed to be taken within a four-hour time period. Test questions are based on federal law and address topics such as the administration and development of client legal matters, legal research, legal writing, office administration, and ethics.

The purposes of PACE are to provide the groundwork for expanding paralegal roles and responsibilities, to provide the public and legal community with a mechanism to gauge the competency of the experienced paralegal, and to provide a standard for states considering regulation of experienced paralegals.

Paralegals wishing to sit for the exam should visit the NFPA website (www.paralegals.org) in order to obtain a PACE Candidate's Handbook and learn more about the fees associated with the exam. The handbook contains an application, information on exam content, sample exam questions, and logistical information on taking the exam at one of the more than two hundred Sylvan Technology Centers nationwide. Any member interested in applying for a PACE Scholarship should contact the NCAPA Certification Ambassador (certification@ncapa.com).

PACE is not an entry-level exam and paralegals considering sitting for PACE are encouraged to contact the NCAPA Certification Ambassador or other NCAPA RPs with questions, concerns or suggestions on how to prepare for the exam. Successful strategies for preparing include studying on your own utilizing the PACE Study Manual, creating/joining a PACE study group, or taking the seven week on-line AIPS PACE preparation course.

Once a paralegal has successfully passed PACE, he or she earns the Registered Paralegal (RP) Credential. In order to maintain the RP credential, paralegals must complete twelve hours of CLE credits, including at least one hour in ethics, every two years. It is the individual RP's responsibility to obtain the necessary CLEs and provide documentation to NFPA in accordance with the renewal guidelines.