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Public Pension Certified Professional (PPCP) Program



The PPCP program was suspended for a comprehensive review and PAPERS is actively taking steps to evaluate and re-establish the program.  An Education Committee has been formed and, at its first meeting, the Committee agreed that a certification program is keeping with the central mission of PAPERS; that any redesigned program must meet the needs of fiduciaries of varying sized retirement plans and, finally, must be sustainable.  To that end, we are reaching out to other states that have similar types of education programs and gaining an understanding of why and how they are successful.  You can stress that it is certainly difficult to develop and maintain a viable and credible program without an underlying commitment from fiduciaries or organizations that have significant relationships with fiduciaries and that we will be reaching out to those organizations as well. 


As of September 1, 2016, the PAPERS Board of Directors has suspended the PPCP program pending determination of a future direction for this program.  An explanation from PAPERS ' Executive Director follows below.  Please check back later for more information. 


PAPERS' has during its existence sought ways to enhance the educational foundation of our membership and encourage that membership to elevate its core knowledge through continuing educational efforts.  Originally the PPCP program was modeled after other similar state fiduciary association programs and was administered in large measure by a third party operating in a similar capacity in those states.  The PAPERS Board found this arrangement unsatisfactory for a number of reasons and elected to take control of the program and establish our own Director of Education to design and monitor a certification program.  After several years, the Board agreed that effort too was not working as hoped and that it did not reflect adequately the goals of the association.

In September 2015, at the recommendation of the Executive Director, the program underwent a third revision.  Our hope was that we could develop a program that would be recognized by those in the industry as signifying the program’s recipients had achieved a core understanding of public pension administration.  We sought a certification program which would reflect clearly its recipients’ skillsets.  Unfortunately, as an organization, we are still struggling to define exactly what that skillset should look like.

As such, the PAPERS’ Board, at its September 1, 2016 meeting voted to suspend the certification program until the organization’s membership can better determine the skills and knowledge it holds as key to fulfilling public pension fiduciary duties.  We had determined that for the present time we will refrain from certifying individuals as having obtained any unique degree of expertise in the administration of Pennsylvania’s public pension plans.  Note – existing PAPER members who are participants currently enrolled in the program will be refunded their enrollment fees.


James B. Allen

PAPERS Executive Director

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