About
CPWP-S

The CPWP-S credential recognizes individuals in the public works field who have the knowledge and experience to supervise areas in a public works organization. The CPWP-S credential program is for public works supervisors, crew leaders, and frontline employees ready for supervisory positions.

Ad for the University of Washington

Ad for the University of Washington

Ad for Geotab

Step 1: Eligibility and Preparation

Eligibility Requirements

To demonstrate eligibility, the candidate must meet the following requirements.

  • Completion of one of the following education and work experience pathways:
    • High school graduation or equivalent and three years of experience in public works
    • High school graduation or equivalent, one year experience in public works, and completion of an APWA Public Works Institute
  • Cover letter explaining why the individual is seeking the certification
  • Complete resume/description of relevant public works experience
  • Agreement in writing to adhere to the APWA Standards of Professional Conduct

Eligibility Application Process

  • Complete and save the CPWP-S Eligibility Application.
  • Email the completed digital version to certification@apwa.org.
  • APWA will confirm receipt of the CPWP-S Eligibility Application and notify the candidate of the status of their application via email within 20 business days.
  • If proven eligible, the candidate will have 24 months (two years) to sit for the exam before having to requalify.

Eligibility Application Fee

APWA Members: $95

Nonmembers: $145

Preparing for the Exam

The expectation for earning the CPWP-S is a minimum level of competence across all areas of public works:

  • Budget and Finance
  • Asset Management
  • Procurement and Contract Administration
  • Communication
  • Human Resource Management
  • Administrative
  • Project Management
  • Emergency Management

The CPWP-S Content Outline details the full list of tasks that are assessed on the exam. The candidate should use the CPWP-S Examination Self Assessment Form to determine the areas for which additional study may be warranted and develop a study plan focusing on those areas.

No preparatory materials are prerequisites to earning APWA certifications, nor does review of the suggested materials provide any guarantees that the candidate will pass the exam. However, reviewing materials can refresh and improve the candidate's understanding of the processes and functions.

Step 2: Scheduling and Taking the Exam

Scheduling the Exam

  • The candidate must sit for the CPWP-S exam prior to expiration of their eligibility period.
  • Review the Exam Administration FAQs.
  • Select the desired date from the available dates on the Certification Exam Schedule. The exam must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the candidate's preferred exam date.
  • The candidate should determine and secure the preferred location and proctoring administration. The exam can be administered directly to the candidate's place of employment or a testing center of their choosing.
  • Complete and save the CPWP-S Exam Application.
  • Email the completed digital version to certification@apwa.org.
  • APWA will confirm receipt of the CPWP-S Exam Application and initiate discussions with the proctor to ensure they are trained, prepared, and software is loaded.
  • The candidate and proctor will be notified of the specifics of the schedule within 10–14 days of the scheduled exam date.

Taking the Exam

  • The computer-based, proctored exam consists of 130 multiple-choice questions based on the CPWP-S Content Outline.
  • The candidate is given a maximum of 3.5 hours to complete the exam.

Exam Fee

Place of employment administration: $300

Testing center administration: $300 plus any testing center fees paid directly to the center

Step 3: Navigating Certification and Recertification

Congratulations! Earning the CPWP-S is a significant achievement.

Share the Success

A newly certified individual is encouraged to:

  • Add their digital badge and certification to their LinkedIn profile.
  • Share their accomplishment on social media.
  • Add their credential to their name and signature on email, business cards, and social media profiles.
  • Send a press release to their local paper.
  • Write an article or record a testimonial.

Recertification

Certification is valid for five years. To maintain certification, the individual must complete a minimum of 50 credits (10 credits per year) earned through a combination of continuing education and contributions to the profession.

Applying for Recertification

Recertification requests must be initiated prior to the end of the individual's certification term. To recertify, the individual should:

Recertification Application Fee

APWA Members: $95

Nonmembers: $145

CPWP-S Certification Spotlight On:

Gerald V. Byington, CPFP, City of Eden Prairie, Minnesota and member, APWA Fleet Management Committee 

“Having the CPFP certification shows potential employers that you have gone through the steps and worked to become one of the best in your field.”

Questions About the Certification Programs?

Reach out to the Certification team at certification@apwa.org or by phone at 800-848-2792.

Please note: APWA Education is independent of APWA Certification. APWA certification programs are governed by the Certification Commission, a semi-independent certifying body of APWA. In adherence to certification industry standards, the Commission volunteers are independent and not involved in the development of preparatory programs.

Certification Program Governance