CPABE Frequently Asked Questions

Why the need for a certified accessibility consultant? 
Will the program certify individuals or companies? 
Why should I choose a CPABE consultant for my project team/organization? 
What does it cost to engage a CPABE professional?
Does IAAP or G3ict endorse or warrant the work of CPABE consultants?
Why should I get certified – what will it do for me? 
Do I need to have formal training to be certified? 
What are the core domains that the certification will cover? 
Does IAAP provide training in the Built Environment, as a path towards earning and renewing certification? 
Are there any prerequisites to be eligible for certification? 
How are program applicants evaluated? 
How can I send examples of work if they are bound by confidentiality by the client? 
The questionnaire is based on ISO standards but these are not applied in my country. Will this underestimate my technical knowledge?
Is this a course? Where is it held? 
How long does it take to complete the certification process? 
Do I need to be a member of IAAP? 
How do I know what certification level to apply for? 
Where are the interviews held? 
Is the information available in accessible or alternate formats?
How will my private information be protected? 
Is the CPABE Program available in multiple languages? 
I can’t pay by credit card or use PayPal in my country, are there other ways to pay? 
Does IAAP certify professionals working in the field of ICT/AT? 
Does GAATES certify the accessibility of buildings and facilities? 
What about ethics and professional conduct? 
Who is on the Expert Panel? 
How do I appeal a decision made by the CPABE Expert Panel or lodge a formal complaint regarding this program? 

Why the need for a certified accessibility consultant? 

The CPABE Program fills the global need to identify and classify through certification, the wide range of knowledge, experience, and expertise among professionals who work in the built environment. 

International and national accessibility codes and standards, and disability rights legislation, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are complex. It is imperative that designers, architects, engineers, builders, consumers, policy developers etc. are able to identify national and international professionals in the field of accessibility with the appropriate level of knowledge and skill for their projects. 

Will the program certify individuals or companies? 

The program is intended to certify individuals and will assess their current level of knowledge with regards to universal design, and ensuring accessible built environments. 

Why should I choose a CPABE consultant for my project team/organization? 

The IAAP CPABE Program recognizes that there are various levels of professional knowledge and experience as well as various levels of projects in size and complexity. Our goal is to provide a certified choice when engaging professionals for accessibility and universal design services. 

Following a process guided by a taskforce of international subject matter experts, you will have the assurance that you are selecting a qualified individual at a level determined by the project or role needs. 

What does it cost to engage a CPABE professional? 

The cost of hiring a CPABE accessibility professional may vary from country to country. Costs may also vary according to the consultant's certification level and other professional qualifications, in addition to the complexity and size of the project. 

While the certificant registry is provided to assist clients in finding an appropriate CPABE Professional, any and all contractual agreements remain between the parties and are exclusive of IAAP or G3ict. 

Does IAAP or G3ict endorse or warrant the work of CPABE consultants? 

All accessibility professionals included in the certificant registry have demonstrated the capabilities to achieve a specific level of CPABE certification. Level 3 candidates have also been interviewed and directly assessed by IAAP's Expert Panel. In order to maintain their credentials, a triennial recertification process is in place to ensure their continued development of skills and knowledge in the industry. Certified professionals are also obliged to follow G3ict’s Code of Ethics in carrying out their work. 

IAAP and G3ict does not explicitly endorse nor warrant the professionalism of the certificant’s on-going endeavors. You are encouraged to communicate directly with selected database members to request more information on their specific services and request current client references if necessary. 

Why should I get certified – what will it do for me? 

Certification demonstrates your knowledge and experience. The credentials also improves your marketability to potential employers and clients. Having an internationally recognized certification in your field of expertise and the support of a internationally recognized professional association, provides global recognition of your skills in the design and assessment of facilities - underscoring your value to project teams and development projects around the world. 

Do I need to have formal training to be certified? 

Currently, there are no mandatory training requirements or courses that lead directly to CPABE Certification and inclusion in the consultant database. While several certified professionals do have formal education, the CPABE program is flexible about how applicants have acquired the requisite skills and knowledge to achieve certification. 

The program has been developed with a wide variety of professional and experiential backgrounds in mind. We recognize that globally there is a variety of professions, occupations, and backgrounds providing excellent results as accessibility professionals. Through our evaluation we are able to provide options to organizations seeking qualified personnel. 

What are the core domains that the certification will cover? 

A taskforce of global accessibility professionals has been assembled to streamline the application process and scale the program for greater global impact.  This will be accomplished with the production of a Universal Design Body of Knowledge and putting in place proctored exams for Levels 1 and 2.  Level 3 applicants will be required to pass the Level 2 exam and present a portfolio of work to the CPABE Expert Panel. The taskforce is currently finalizing the Body of Knowledge and exams for launch in September/October 2020.  On the IAAP website the CPABE Certification Content Outline is available for review and outlines the 3 Domains being evaluated.

 

Does IAAP provide training in the Built Environment, as a path towards earning and renewing certification? 

As the international association of accessibility professionals, IAAP is committed to promoting training and the ongoing development of the skills of certified professionals. 

IAAP currently offers an online courses in the Design of Public Spaces, based on the requirements of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) legislation. The self-paces on-line course provides 6-hours of structured learning and professional knowledge development.  It is an approved Continuing Accessibility Education Credit (CAEC) towards certification renewal.  Additional resources will be available in IAAP's Learning Management System as opportunities and funding permits.  

In September 2020 IAAP is launching a 10-month professional development webinar series for professional working in the Built Environment. Participation as both presenter and attendees earn Continuing Accessibility Education Credits (CAECs) towards certification renewal.

Are there any prerequisites to be eligible for certification? 

A description of the skills and experience that the CPABE candidates should possess to ensure success with the exam are outline on the IAAP website

How are program applicants evaluated? 

Level 1 and Level 2 CPABE candidates will complete an exam based on the content outline of the knowledge domains.  IAAP engages an international subject matter expert taskforce to work with Professional Testing Inc., who develops, administers, and maintains licensure for its certification examination programs, to put proctored exams in place for each level of certification.  Exams may be completed in-person at Kryterion Test Centers or privately proctored on-line.  Candidates applying for Level 3 Expert certification will write the Level 2 exam and depending on the score achieved may apply to the Expert Panel with a portfolio submission, followed by an interview.

How can I send examples of work if they are bound by confidentiality by the client? 

If possible, send copies of reports without identifying the location or name. 

Clients may also be assured of our strict privacy policies. Documents are only shared with IAAP's Program Manager and Expert Panel. In the case of an appeal request, work may be reviewed by the Certificaton Committee as arbitrator but we hold all information in the strictest confidence. 

Some of the technical details included in the exam is based on ISO standards but these are not applied in my country. Will this underestimate my technical knowledge? 

Thorough knowledge of comparable standards could still reflect a very positive score. 

Is this a course? Where is it held? 

It is important to note that this a certification program that evaluates your existing knowledge, credentials and experience. It is not an educational program which issues a certificate of completion. There are no directly associated courses to earn certification. 

Do I need to be a member of IAAP? 

You do not need to be a member of IAAP but you will receive a $100 discount on the application fees as an IAAP.  Please review IAAP Membership Benefits

How do I know what certification level to apply for? 

Please review the details of the certification levels, they contain specific details on the types of experience and knowledge that are required for each level. 

Where are the interviews held? 

The certification process and interviews are completed online to accommodate both our international applicants and the international Expert Panel. Applicants submit their credentials via links provided by our Program Coordinator. The interview with the Expert Panel will take place via Zoom or other mutually agreed to online platform. If this is not a suitable option for your region, please let us know at time of applicant and we will work with you to ensure a successful connection and interview process. 

Is the information available in accessible or alternate formats? 

The application process has been reviewed and confirmed for accessibility. Should alternate formats be required we can review options with individual applicants and determine the best solution. Should any issues be noted with accessibility we will immediately review and correct the process accordingly. 

How will my private information be protected? 

Your privacy is very important to us and we will not disclose or sell any information that you provide to use without your explicit permission, following international best practices and US-base laws regarding privacy. 

As part of the application process for Level 3, your information will be reviewed by IAAP’s Program Manager and Expert Panel. In cases of appeals the Certification Committee will be provided relevant information for evaluation, who will continue to hold your privacy in the strictest confidence. 

Once you have successfully completed the certification process, your credentials and contact information will be included in our registry of CPABE professionals. This information will be available to potential clients and/or employers as a membership benefit both for the certificant and organizations seeking accessibility services.  You may opt-out of this portion of the program at any time without cost or penalty. 

If you require specific details of how your information will be protected please contact IAAP’s Program Manager.  

Is the CPABE Program available in multiple languages? 

At this time the program is offered in English. The next phase of program development is to translate details into as many languages as possible and source Expert Panel members that are able to converse in languages as per applicant demand. As a non-profit IAAP has limited funds to compensate at private sector hourly rates for the expertise required. Should you, or someone that you know, be interested in volunteering for this program, as a translator or as an Expert Panel member, please contact IAAP’s Program Manager directly. 

I can’t pay by credit card or use PayPal in my country, are there other ways to pay? 

Please contact IAAP’s Program Manager to make alternate payment arrangements. 

Does IAAP certify professionals working in the field of ICT/AT? 

The CPABE program is designed to certify individual professionals specializing in accessibility consulting and Universal Design of the built environment. While issues such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and transportation are key elements that deserve special attention, they are addressed in this certification program only to the extent of their importance as part of the broader built environment. 

IAAP currently offers WAS certification in additional to its foundational CPACC certification.  A taskforce is currently engaged to finalizing the development of an Accessible Document Specialist certification, planned for release Q4 2020. 

Does IAAP certify the accessibility of buildings and facilities? 

While IAAP does not currently offer a certification program for buildings and facilities, our network of Subject Manager Exerts and Country Representatives can be contracted to provide assistance in achieving requirements of other nationally and internationally recognized programs. If you need to have a building certified, please contact IAAP’s Program Manager directly with your request. 

What about ethics and professional conduct? 

All IAAP CPABE certificants are required to adhere to a Code of Ethics. 

Who is on the Expert Panel? 

A complete listing of current and past members of the CPABE Expert Panel page.

If you wish to take part in the CPABE program as a member of our Expert Panel please contact IAAP’s Program Manager with a copy of your CV for consideration. 

How do I appeal a decision made by the CPABE Expert Panel or lodge a formal complaint regarding this program? 

Applicants that believe their credentials have not been evaluated fairly, if they do not agree with the findings of the CPABE Expert Panel, or they have a complaint regarding any aspect of the program, are welcome to have their concerns reviewed and addressed by the IAAP’s Certification Committee. 

IAAP’s Certification Committee, themselves recognized as leading accessibility professionals, are independent of the evaluation and day-to-day management processes of the CPABE Program. 

The Committee will review appeals submitted at regularly scheduled meetings (approximately once per quarter). If necessary the Committee will determine if a direct discussion with the applicant is required and schedule time within two weeks of the Committee meeting. The Chair of the Certification Committee will also discuss details with the Chair of the Expert Panel to ensure that all aspects of the situation are reviewed and taken into consideration. 

All details provided and information received as a result of the investigation by the Certification Committee will be reviewed and its decision considered final. 

To initiate a formal appeal or to register a complaint with the Certification Committee, please send details in writing to certification@accessibilityassociation.org outlining the reasons you feel an appeal is necessary, referencing the specific areas as outlined in the notification letter to close out your application process.  You will receive confirmation that your request has been received and timing confirmed of when your request will be reviewed by the Committee. 


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