Earn one of eight ACA designations and show your clients that you excel as a credit and collection professional.

Designations

Your year, your career. 

Advance your career and show your clients and colleagues that you and your collectors have the skills and knowledge to collect effectively. Specific education tracks have been crafted for each designation specialty. Join your industry peers and colleagues in classes, then test your knowledge with an assessment exam. 

Your time, commitment, and industry expertise is an investment- make a plan that fits your budget.  ACA Core Curricula are the building blocks of designations. See the full list of courses and descriptions. Click the links below or the tabs above to see the course requirements and pre-requisites for each designation. Purchase courses individually or for the best value, get in the ACA Training Zone and have an all-access pass to any of our Core or Hot Topic webinars. Getting started? How much do designations cost?

Coming soon in 2020:

  • Designations On-Demand. Obtain credentials on your own schedule with pre-recorded, on-demand video courses of our live, Certified Instructor-led webinars. Watch the ACA Top Headlines and Daily news for the launch.
  • Digital Badges. You've earned the letters, now show them off with a custom image from ACA to include in your signature line or on your social media account.

Time to renew? Action needed.

Your designations do not renew automatically. Even if you have met the renewal requirements through courses or attendance at on-site events, you must complete the renewal form and submit payment. Go to the designation page to find the renewal form. Thanks!


ACA Designations:

  • Credit and Collection Compliance Officer (CCCO)
    Designed for the advanced professional—typically a Chief Compliance Officer—the CCCO designation lets your colleagues and clients know that you have the advanced, in-depth, compliance strategy knowledge necessary to thrive in the industry.
  • Credit and Collection Compliance Professional (CCCP)
    Is part of your job devoted to compliance? This designation provides a base level of knowledge that helps you understand the significance and impact of proper compliance procedures.
  • Professional Collection Specialist Designation (PCS)
    Demonstrate to your clients that your collectors have what it takes to collect effectively and efficiently while staying in compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act.
  • Trainer Specialist (TSP)
    Do you conduct in-house training? Become an ACA Trainer Specialist and you can teach ACA’s FDCPA Essentials for the ARM Industry and Essential Collection Skills and Techniques in your own company and prepare your collectors for the ACA Professional Collection Specialist (PCS) Designation examination. *NEW* Please note that the Essentials courses were updated in 2019.  If you are a current TSP, please update your Instructor materials and transition to the new versions.
  • Healthcare Collection Management (HCM)
    If you work in healthcare collections, this is the designation you need. The HCM provides the training and testing necessary to measure your knowledge of healthcare requirements and professional practices in the collection industry.
  • Professional Collection Management (PCM)
    The ACA Professional Collection Management designation recognizes those individuals who have responsibility for managing collectors and the collection floor.  Individuals who want to pursue this designation must first hold the Professional Collection
  • Collection Industry Professional (CIP)
    The ACA Collection Industry Professional designation recognizes those individuals who have a management role in any part of an organization.  Individuals who want to pursue this designation must also hold the Professional Collection Specialist certificate.
  • Credit and Collection Compliance Attorney (CCCA)
    If you are an attorney with a foundation in the various consumer financial protection laws (the “CFPLs”), this CCCA program will provide you with a unique opportunity to look at how those laws come together functionally and will explore strategies for building compliance programs around the CFPLs including meaningful training programs.

 


Notice Regarding Proposed Rules for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

In response to the release of the CFPB’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on May 7, 2019, regarding Regulation F (12 CFR Part 1006), ACA is actively participating in the comment period and industry advocacy efforts. It should be stressed that at this time, this is only a proposed rule and does not currently have the force of law. Here's a statement for ACA Members regarding discussion of the proposed rules during courses in the interim period until the final rules are released and in effect. All ACA courses and designation exams will be revised to incorporate the final rules and effective date when they become available. Thank you.


 

Professional Collection Specialist (PCS) Designation

This designation honors collectors who complete training on professional and ethical collection practices.

ACA’s Professional Collection Specialist (PCS) Designation was designed for collectors who complete training in professional and ethical collection practices. Show your clients that your collectors have what it takes to collect efficiently and effectively, while staying in compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A PCS designation will help your agency:

  • Decrease consumer complaints.
  • Increase your collectors’ ability to overcome objections during collection calls.
  • Increase the efficiency of the collection process.
  • Improve employee recognition at your organization.

Attention Company Trainers- Make the switch to the new Essentials curriculum for 2020 PCS candidates.

December 6, 2019:

If you use the ACA Essentials courses to train your team and prepare staff for the PCS Exam, don’t forget to make the switch to the new curriculum in time for the new year. New versions of FDCPA Essentials for the ARM Industry and Essential Collection Skills and Techniques are fully launched in several delivery formats. All formats contain the same content and activities- choose which format fits your schedule and budget!  All previous versions delivered at the company level (CD-rom computer training and instructor-led courses) must be retired. Read our Quick Tips for this transition, follow the updated Steps to the PCS Designation below and contact Member Services for more information.

If you have an ACA Trainer Specialist on staff, follow the new procedure here. Train often? ACA Trainer Specialist participant workbooks, live webinars, and on-demand webinar recordings are included in your ACA Training Zone! This is an incredible savings- if you train a minimum of 25 people a year on Essentials alone, the Zone can pay for itself AND then train the rest of your staff all year on other ACA webinars and Hot Topics.Thank you for being Campus ACA partners in the field Helping Members Succeed.


 

Steps to the PCS Designation: New Candidates

1.  Complete the two required ACA Essentials courses.

  • FDCPA Essentials for the ARM Industry (Update launched in Fall, 2019. Formerly titled FDCPA Essentials for Collectors in pre-2019 versions).
  • Essential Collection Skills and Techniques (Update launched in Fall, 2019).

Each course is available in several deilvery formats: Instant self-paced e-course, live webinar, or an on-site class at your company led by your ACA Trainer Specialist. All formats contain the same content and activities- choose which format fits your schedule and budget! Visit with your compliance or training leader to find out which version is best for you. Coming soon in 2020- on-demand recorded webinars eligible for use with the ACA Training Zone. 

IMPORTANT: If you are an ACA Trainer Specialist conducting your own on-site training or supervising employee use of e-courses, please make sure each person completes ALL course requirements before purchasing PCS exams for your employees so that credit and exam scores may be properly documented per person. Thank you.

2.  Apply for the PCS exam.

  • AFTER completing ALL required courses, submit your application with the testing fee.  All program requirements (required seminars and exam) must be completed within a two-year timeframe to receive your designation.
  • IMPORTANT: When you apply for your test, please clearly indicate on your application form the date and type of class taken. ACA will confirm the course requirements and notify you when access to your online test is ready. 
    • If you are an ACA Trainer Specialist purchasing PCS exams for employees, please make sure they have taken the required courses before you purchase the exams so that credit and exam scores may be properly documented per person. Thank you.
  • Ready for the exam? To purchase your exam application, complete and return the Professional Collection Specialist (PCS) Exam Application by faxing it to (952) 926-1624.
  • Tip! You may save the application form and fill it out digitally.

3.  Pass the exam with an 85 percent or better.

  • This is an online multiple-choice, true-false test. It must be completed within two hours and in one sitting. It cannot be paused. You will see your score immediately online. Fails / re-takes require additional testing fees. Please submit a new application for each re-test.
  • ACA will also send you a confirmation of your new designation and it will update in your MyACA records and education transcript.

Renewal Requirements- Action Needed.

The PCS Designation requires a three-year renewal. Your designation does not renew automatically. Even if you have met the renewal requirements through courses or attendance at on-site events listed below, you must complete the Professional Collection Specials (PCS) Renewal Form and submit payment. Thanks!

Options for Renewal.  Choose ONE Option:

#1: Attend one of the following training events or seminars:

  • ACA Annual Convention
  • ACA Spring Forum
  • ACA Fall Forum
  • ACA’s FDCPA Essentials for the ARM Industry (new version ©2019)
  • FDCPA-related seminar

OR #2: Obtain the ACA Trainer Specialist Designation

OR #3: Retake the PCS Exam.

Please note the curriculum update in late 2019 and subsequent update of the PCS exam. Content is substantially different from course/test versions ©2018 and earlier. All test versions prior to ©2018 and earlier will be RETIRED at the end of 2019. Beginning in 2020, the exam will cover the material in the ©2019 updates of the course. If you haven't yet taken the updated version of these courses, please consider that before taking the test. Thanks!

Credit and Collection Compliance Professional (CCCP) Designation

Perfect for the professional who devotes a portion of their job function to compliance, this designation provides a base level of knowledge that will help them comprehend the significance and impact of proper compliance procedures.

 

New Candidates

Required Courses (4):

Courses may be taken in any order; however, for the best experience, we recommend the following schedule:

  • Ethical and Professional Collections
  • Introduction to Collection Industry Compliance
  • Advanced FDCPA Issues
  • Writing Effective Policies and Procedures

For more information on each seminar, view our complete ACA Seminar list. Visit the ACA Event Calendar to register for the seminars. Coming Soon: Designations On-Demand. Obtain credentials on your own schedule with pre-recorded, on-demand video courses of our live, Certified Instructor-led webinars. Watch the ACA Top Headlines and Daily news for the launch.

Required Capstone Assignment:

In early 2018, ACA implemented a new approach to assessing retention of curriculum material with the introduction of our Capstone Assignments for most designations.  NEW designee candidates will be assessed using a comprehensive practical exam rather than a multiple-choice test. Those renewing their designations will not need to complete a Capstone. There is generally one question per each required course in the designation. Rubrics have been developed to standardize grading on the following expectations: (1) Prepare full & complete responses to each question; (2) Reference program-specific vocabulary and offer real life examples of problems and solutions; (3) Demonstrate knowledge of desired or expected outcomes and the critical elements outlined in each course based on your own industry experiences. Our goal is to see everyday application of the information. Capstone exams are graded by a set of senior Certified Instructors, most of whom teach the core curriculum courses.  Upon submission of exams, results will be rendered within 14 days.

Renewal Requirements- Action Needed.

The CCCP requires an annual renewal. Your designation does not renew automatically. Even if you have met the renewal requirements through courses or attendance at on-site events listed below, you must complete the Credit and Collection Compliance Professional Renewal Form and submit payment. Thanks!

Option 1: Attend one of the following ACA Events:

  • ACA Annual Convention
  • ACA Spring Forum
  • ACA Fall Forum
  • Washington Insights

Option 2:Attend two ACA Compliance-Related Webinars

Credit and Collection Compliance Officer (CCCO) Designation

Designed for the advanced professional, typically a Chief Compliance Officer, this designation provides an in-depth range of knowledge on compliance strategy in the debt collection industry.

 

New Candidates

Required Courses (8):

Courses may be taken in any order; however, for the best experience, we recommend the following schedule:

  • Ethical and Professional Collections
  • Understanding and Responding to the CFPB's Expectations
  • Advanced FDCPA Issues
  • Duties of Data Furnishers Under the FCRA
  • Data Security and Privacy I

The following courses are best taken in this sequence:

  • Conducting a Risk Assessment
  • Controls and Corrective Actions
  • Writing Effective Policies and Procedures 

For more information on each seminar, view our complete ACA Seminar list. Visit the ACA Event Calendar to register for the seminars. Coming Soon: Designations On-Demand. Obtain credentials on your own schedule with pre-recorded, on-demand video courses of our live, Certified Instructor-led webinars. Watch the ACA Top Headlines and Daily news for the launch.

Required Capstone Assignment:

In early 2018, ACA implemented a new approach to assessing retention of curriculum material with the introduction of our Capstone Assignments for most designations.  NEW designee candidates will be assessed using a comprehensive practical exam rather than a multiple-choice test. Those renewing their designations will not need to complete a Capstone. There is generally one question per each required course in the designation. Rubrics have been developed to standardize grading on the following expectations: (1) Prepare full & complete responses to each question; (2) Reference program-specific vocabulary and offer real life examples of problems and solutions; (3) Demonstrate knowledge of desired or expected outcomes and the critical elements outlined in each course based on your own industry experiences. Our goal is to see everyday application of the information. Capstone exams are graded by a set of senior Certified Instructors, most of whom teach the core curriculum courses.  Upon submission of exams, results will be rendered within 14 days.

Renewal Requirements- Action Needed.

The CCCO requires an annual renewal. Your designation does not renew automatically. Even if you have met the renewal requirements through courses or attendance at on-site events listed below, you must complete the Credit and Collection Compliance Officer Renewal Form and submit payment. Thanks!

Option 1: Attend one of the following ACA Events:

  • ACA Annual Convention
  • ACA Spring Forum
  • ACA Fall Forum
  • Washington Insights

Option 2: Attend four ACA Compliance-Related Webinars

Healthcare Collection Management (HCM) Designation

The Healthcare Collection Management designation provides training and testing to measure knowledge of healthcare requirements and professional practices in the collection industry.

 

New Candidates

Required Courses (3):

Courses may be taken in any order; however, for the best experience, we recommend the following schedule:

  • Ethical and Professional Collections
  • Data Security and Privacy I
  • Healthcare Collection Management: Advanced topics for the HCM designation.

For more information on each seminar, view our complete ACA Seminar list. Visit the ACA Event Calendar to register for the seminars. Coming Soon: Designations On-Demand. Obtain credentials on your own schedule with pre-recorded, on-demand video courses of our live, Certified Instructor-led webinars. Watch the ACA Top Headlines and Daily news for the launch.

Required Capstone Assignment:

In early 2018, ACA implemented a new approach to assessing retention of curriculum material with the introduction of our Capstone Assignments for most designations.  NEW designee candidates will be assessed using a comprehensive practical exam rather than a multiple-choice test. Those renewing their designations will not need to complete a Capstone. There is generally one question per each required course in the designation. Rubrics have been developed to standardize grading on the following expectations: (1) Prepare full & complete responses to each question; (2) Reference program-specific vocabulary and offer real life examples of problems and solutions; (3) Demonstrate knowledge of desired or expected outcomes and the critical elements outlined in each course based on your own industry experiences. Our goal is to see everyday application of the information. Capstone exams are graded by a set of senior Certified Instructors, most of whom teach the core curriculum courses.  Upon submission of exams, results will be rendered within 14 days.

Renewal Requirements- Action Needed.

The HCM Designation requires a three-year renewal. Your designation does not renew automatically. Even if you have met the renewal requirements through courses or attendance at on-site events listed below, you must complete the Healthcare Collection Management (HCM) Renewal Form and submit payment. Thanks!

Option 1: Attend one of the following ACA Events:

  • ACA Spring Forum
  • ACA Fall Forum

Option 2: Attend four ACA Healthcare-Related online programs.

Trainer Specialist (TSP) Designation

Earning the Trainer Specialist designation allows you to teach the ACA core collector courses, FDCPA Essentials for the ARM Industry and Essential Collection Skills and Techniques (ECST), at your own organization. Prepare your collectors for the ACA Professional Collection Specialist certificate exam through in-house seminars that you are trained to conduct.

Steps to the TSP Designation:

  1. ACA membership required.
  2. You must be an ACA Professional Collection Specialist (PCS). Don't have your PCS yet? Visit the PCS requirements page to view all requirements. 
  3. Complete the ACA Trainer Specialist Workshop. This short-course is approximately 4.5 clock hours of instruction on adult learning and development, then training techniques on delivering the ACA Essentials courses led by ACA Certified Instructors.  This workshop is offered in live webinar format several times annually and occasionally as an in-person course at an on-site ACA event. Visit the ACA Event Calendar for our next date. 
  4. Apply for and successfully pass the Trainer Specialist Capstone Assignment. This is a short-essay practical assessment of the TSP Workshop and your training experiences with the content in the ACA Essentials courses, such as FDCPA fundamentals and phone skills training. Ready for the Capstone Assignment? To purchase your assignment, complete and return the Trainer Specialist Program (TSP) Capstone Assignment Application by faxing it to (952) 926-1624.
  5. All course and exam requirements must be completed within a two-year timeframe to receive your initial TSP designation.

Renew your TSP designation every 3 years by completing the following:

  • Conduct the ACA Essentials courses in your office 3 times in the three year period. 
  • Conducted internally developed or externally developed proprietary training in their office 3 number of times in the three year period and can provide documentation of such.
  • Renewal fee of $69- no assignment is required. Download the Renewal Form

Professional Collection Manager (PCM) Designation

The ACA Professional Collection Management designation recognizes those individuals who have responsibility for managing collectors and the collection floor.

 

New Candidates

Pre-requisite:

Required Courses (6):

Courses may be taken in any order; however, for the best experience, we recommend the following schedule:

  • Exceptional Leadership
  • Building High Performing Teams
  • Successful Hiring Strategies
  • Introduction to Collection Industry Compliance
  • Managing the Collection Floor
  • Effective Performance Management

For more information on each seminar, view our complete ACA Seminar list. Visit the ACA Event Calendar to register for the seminars. Coming Soon: Designations On-Demand. Obtain credentials on your own schedule with pre-recorded, on-demand video courses of our live, Certified Instructor-led webinars. Watch the ACA Top Headlines and Daily news for the launch.

Required Capstone Assignment:

In early 2018, ACA implemented a new approach to assessing retention of curriculum material with the introduction of our Capstone Assignments for most designations.  NEW designee candidates will be assessed using a comprehensive practical exam rather than a multiple-choice test. Those renewing their designations will not need to complete a Capstone. There is generally one question per each required course in the designation. Rubrics have been developed to standardize grading on the following expectations: (1) Prepare full & complete responses to each question; (2) Reference program-specific vocabulary and offer real life examples of problems and solutions; (3) Demonstrate knowledge of desired or expected outcomes and the critical elements outlined in each course based on your own industry experiences. Our goal is to see everyday application of the information. Capstone exams are graded by a set of senior Certified Instructors, most of whom teach the core curriculum courses.  Upon submission of exams, results will be rendered within 14 days.

 

Renewal Requirements- Action Needed.

The PCM Designation requires a three-year renewal. Complete and report to ACA 4.5 PDUs  of advanced compliance courses from the ACA Seminar list in the three-year duration of your designation. A renewal fee is also required.

Collection Industry Professional (CIP) Designation

The ACA Collection Industry Professional designation recognizes those individuals who have a management role in any part of an organization. Individuals who want to pursue this designation must also hold the Professional Collection Specialist certificate.

 

New Candidates

Pre-requisite:

Required Courses (5):

Courses may be taken in any order; however, for the best experience, we recommend the following schedule:

  • Exceptional Leadership
  • Building High Performing Teams
  • Successful Hiring Strategies
  • Introduction to Collection Industry Compliance
  • Effective Performance Management

For more information on each seminar, view our complete ACA Seminar list. Visit the ACA Event Calendar to register for the seminars. Coming Soon: Designations On-Demand. Obtain credentials on your own schedule with pre-recorded, on-demand video courses of our live, Certified Instructor-led webinars. Watch the ACA Top Headlines and Daily news for the launch.

Required Capstone Assignment:

In early 2018, ACA implemented a new approach to assessing retention of curriculum material with the introduction of our Capstone Assignments for most designations.  NEW designee candidates will be assessed using a comprehensive practical exam rather than a multiple-choice test. Those renewing their designations will not need to complete a Capstone. There is generally one question per each required course in the designation. Rubrics have been developed to standardize grading on the following expectations: (1) Prepare full & complete responses to each question; (2) Reference program-specific vocabulary and offer real life examples of problems and solutions; (3) Demonstrate knowledge of desired or expected outcomes and the critical elements outlined in each course based on your own industry experiences. Our goal is to see everyday application of the information. Capstone exams are graded by a set of senior Certified Instructors, most of whom teach the core curriculum courses.  Upon submission of exams, results will be rendered within 14 days.

 

Renewal Requirements- Action Needed.

The CIP Designation requires a three-year renewal. Complete and report to ACA 4.5 PDUs  of advanced compliance courses from the ACA Seminar list in the three-year duration of your designation. A renewal fee is also required.

Credit and Collection Compliance Attorney (CCCA)

If you are an attorney with a foundation in the various consumer financial protection laws (the “CFPLs”), this CCCA program will provide you with a unique opportunity to look at how those laws come together functionally and will explore strategies for building compliance programs around the CFPLs including meaningful training programs.

Required Courses

Keep Calm & Prevent UDAAP

How well can your team spot Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)? What about your network of partners? This course will review established federal guidelines for UDAAP and prepare you to develop a UDAAP risk management plan that encompasses your business and shared compliance obligations with clients and service providers. This course will prepare participants to:

  • Define UDAAP based on guidance provided by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) and other federal regulators;

  • Identify potential UDAAP risks and harm from the consumer’s perspective.

  • Integrate UDAAP into a CMS with regard to Board and Management Oversight and other controls as required by the BCFP and;

  • Develop a UDAAP risk assessment plan for service provider and client oversight.

Vendors and Your Compliance Management System

Selecting, managing, and doing business with vendors and other service providers who are compliant with applicable state and federal consumer financial protection laws is an essential part of any responsible compliance management system.  This course lays the groundwork for reviewing your vendor management program and updating it to meet these important compliance objectives. This course will prepare participants to:

  • Identify state and federal regulatory expectations for managing compliance risks—including Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)— associated with third-party service provider relationships.

  • Conduct due diligence to assess whether or not outside vendors are capable of complying with applicable federal and state consumer financial protection and other key laws before entering into a business arrangement.

  • Establish internal controls and on-going monitoring activities to assess third-party vendor compliance with consumer financial protection and other key laws.

  • Incorporate risk management, controls, and monitoring/audit activities for third-party vendors into your overall Compliance Management System (CMS).

Vetting Technology Vendors 10 Essential Steps

In this dynamic environment in which technology solutions are available to improve the quality and efficiency of your operations, how do you vet potential technology vendors? Key questions arise about what risks to consider along with the rewards associated with these technology options.  Knowing your alternatives and making sound business choices sometimes requires learning how these technology options work in your unique work environment.   This course explores steps to take to assure you are not inadvertently sacrificing compliance for convenience – even if simply by asking the right questions of potential vendors. This course will prepare participants to:

  • Assess the potential risks of each vendor’s technology solution to your organization, clients, and customers.

  • Develop pre-purchase and ongoing due diligence evaluation strategies that address compliance and legal expectations regarding consumer financial protection (and other applicable) laws. 

  • Create and maintain an inventory of your third-party technology vendors and their associated processes for security incident/breach notification requirements.

  • Incorporate risk management, controls, and monitoring/audit activities for technology vendors into your overall Compliance Management System (CMS).

Credit & Collections Compliance Attorney Workshop

*This is currently being re-worked to be available as an online webinar and not just face-to-face event.

Advanced compliance is about threading the compliance needle: compliance artifacts, monitoring, incident and complaint handling and methods to track and evaluate performance while managing change and projects. Putting together the consumer financial protection legal pieces based upon oversight of the dynamic components of your CMS. Also, using your influence and feedback to impact your workforce and getting them on board with your “why?”

Required Capstone Assignment

  • Apply for and successfully pass the CCCA Capstone Assignment with a score of 85 percent or higher.

Ready for the Capstone Assignment? To purchase your assignment, complete and return the Credit and Collection Compliance Attorney (CCCA) Capstone Assignment Application by faxing it to (952) 926-1624.

Renewal Requirements

The CCCA Designation requires an annual renewal.

Option 1

Attend one of the following ACA Events:

  • ACA Annual Convention
  • ACA Spring Forum
  • ACA Fall Forum
  • Washington Insights
Option 2
  • Attend four ACA Compliance-Related Webinars

Download the Credit and Collection Compliance Attorney Renewal Form for more information.

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