Professional Designations


MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. A Master of Business Administration is a graduate degree focusing on business administration and investment management. MBA programs in the United States typically require completing an additional forty to sixty credits.

Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is the national standard for all professionals working with 401(k) retirement plans. Attaining the QKA Credential showcases mastery of the two fundamental aspects of 401(k) plan administration; Plan Management and Testing & Compliance. It takes between 80 to 200 hours of study to earn the credential and the average time to complete the credential is roughly 18-months.

Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)

The Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) credential demonstrates expertise of administrative issues of defined benefit plans. QPAs assist employers, actuaries, and consultants in performing functions such as determination of eligibility benefits, computation of benefits, plan recordkeeping, trust accounting and disclosure, and compliance requirements. Candidates must earn a passing a score of 70% on the QPA proctored exam.

Certified Pension Consultant (CPC)

The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) is ASPPA's highest credential. CPCs are an elite group of benefits professionals who have demonstrated a mastery of all aspects of qualified plans. In order to receive a CPC designation, candidates first have to meet the prerequisites. After satisfying the prerequisites, CPC candidates have to fulfill the requirements for the qualified pension administrator program. This requires passing a set of six exams. Next is a test covering six CPC modules, including four core subjects and two electives. Finally, there is the CPC exam. This consists of eight essay questions on business entities, coverage and non-discrimination, 401(k) plans, defined benefit plans, distributions and loans, fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA, ethics and plan design.

Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA)

The Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) credential – developed by some of the nation's leading advisors and retirement plan experts – demonstrates your knowledge, expertise and commitment to working with retirement plans. Plan advisors who earn their CPFA demonstrate the expertise required to act as a plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities. The CPFA® exam is a 70-question multiple choice exam that assesses a candidate’s knowledge of key retirement plan concepts commensurate with professional retirement plan advisor standards. Candidates must earn a passing score of 70% or greater on the CPFA® exam to qualify for NAPA CPFA® credentialed membership.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)

The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) Designation is a professional certification that demonstrates an advisor or other person serving as an investment fiduciary has met certain requirements to earn and maintain the credential. The purpose of the AIF® Designation is to assure that those responsible for managing or advising on investor assets have a fundamental understanding of the principles of fiduciary duty, the standards of conduct for acting as a fiduciary, and a process for carrying out fiduciary responsibility. In order to become an AIF® Designee, candidates must complete the following requirements: Enroll in and complete AIF® Training that satisfies AIF® Training requirements; Pass the AIF® Examination; Meet the experience requirement (prerequisites); and Satisfy the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards.