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Responding to the STC's Nine Areas of Competency in Technical Communication



Certified Professional Technical Communicator

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CPTC-LogoCertified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC™) is a new 3-Tier certification scheme developed by APMG on behalf of the Society for Technical Communication.

The Society for Technical Communication is the world's largest and oldest professional association dedicated to the advancement of the field of technical communication. The Society, with headquarters in the United States, has members in over 40 countries and across all continents.

The scheme is designed to validate the skills, knowledge, and competence of technical communicators as they advance in their professional careers. The three tiers are Foundation, Practitioner and Expert. Qualifications for each level move from knowledge of the field for Foundation, to demonstrated competence in Expert.

The scheme covers 9 core areas of technical communication:

  • Project Planning
  • Project Analysis
  • Content Development
  • Organizational Design
  • Written Communication
  • Visual Communication
  • Reviewing and Editing
  • Content Management
  • Production and Delivery

The cost of the exam is $250 US for current STC members and $495 US for non-members. Candidates should be aware that clicking the button below initiates a process to register and choose a booking date and time to take the exam up to a year in the future. All time slots may not be available and scheduling begins 12 hours post registration.

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You can see the full list of upcoming accredited Training Courses on the STC website here.

Who is the scheme for?

Foundation is for entry-level individuals who are involved in technical communication and informational projects or products, who require a working knowledge of the key principles of technical communication, and who need to know the terminology used and some of the theory behind the practice. Foundation certification is also required to progress to higher tiers.

Practitioner and Expert level certification will be available in the future.

Benefits for Individuals

  • Objective validation of technical communication competency
  • Enhanced employment opportunities as you can differentiate yourself from others
  • Indicates to your existing or potential employer that you are committed to the field of technical communication

Benefits for Organizations

  • CPTC professional certification is a quality marker that helps an employer gauge the effectiveness and qualifications of a potential hire
  • Increases effectiveness of staff as certification may create faster or more accurate workers, and they may also be more creative or insightful in solving related business problems.

Foundation Certification

The Foundation-level Professional Certification will focus on knowledge of the field.

Successful candidates will demonstrate sufficient knowledge and understanding of best practices in Technical Communication through passing an exam based on the Technical Communication text (see recommended reading below). This will enable them to act as an informed member of a technical writing or communication team within their professional work or in their organization.

The Foundation exam format is:-

  • 40 minutes
  • 50 multiple choice questions
  • 70% pass mark
  • Closed book

The cost of the exam is $250 US for current STC members and $495 US for non-members.

STC members can sit the exam at a discounted price by entering their valid STC member ID at the time of registering for the exam.

Recommended Reading

The scheme is based on the 5th edition of Technical Communication Today by Richard Johnson-Sheehan, issued in 2015 by Pearson Education. ISBN-10: 0134419391

This book can be purchased here

Technical Communication today