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Become a CEP

What is a CEP?

The Certified Equity Professional Institute (CEPI), at Santa Clara University, is the only certification body for equity compensation professionals. The CEPI curriculum covers accounting; corporate and securities laws; taxation; and design, analysis and administration, ensuring that CEP designees have achieved a required level of expertise in all of the relevant areas of equity compensation. We are now offering a Level I competency path with the new Equity Compensation Associate (ECA) Designation.

The CEPI curriculum is challenging and in-depth. Organizations and individuals use the exams as a measurement of knowledge, skills, and abilities. The ECA Exam (basic) teaches the fundamentals in equity compensation. Candidates are introduced to the terminology and are given a basic understanding of policy, procedures and routine transactions. In Level II (intermediate), candidates have an understanding of all aspects of plan administration, including roles of internal and external service providers. This includes familiarity with the specific code and regulatory provisions applicable to equity compensation programs and a thorough understanding of certain common equity compensation-related transactions and issues. In Level III (advanced), candidates exposure to various types of multidimensional plans. Candidates are expected to have the ability to identify, analyze, and help resolve complex problems, with particular skills in situations that require an understanding of the interaction among several technical areas.

The core of the curriculum is the CEP Study Packet's syllabi and detailed reading lists. For more information about the study materials, click here.

To learn more about the curriculum, view the program outline here.

The certification requires three exams: basic (ECA Exam), intermediate (Level II), and advanced (Level III). Candidates must take all three exams to be awarded certification. The ECA Exam questions tend to be definitional and basic concepts, whereas Level II and Level III questions tend to focus on application and the synthesis of concepts. The examination questions cover a wide range of topics, and are developed from the readings outlined by the course syllabi.

The exam itself will be administered via Pearson Vue testing centers, on a computer provided at the center. Each candidate will be seated in an individualized cube at a computer, where they will see the exam on one side of the screen, and the study materials on the other. These are the same PDf texts that are sent to all registered candidates, and are searchable via keyword and phrase. Candidates will receive their scores 6 - 8 weeks following the exam. 

CEP Exams are offered twice a year—in May and November.

To learn more about CEP Exams, click here