Certification FAQ

 

ICEAA offers the PCEA® and CCEA® certifications.

The CCEA® certification is ICEAA’s primary professional certification that requires 5 years of relevant cost-related experience to qualify. Applicants must then pass both Part I and Part II of the certification exam. After passing, your CCEA® is valid for 5 years and is renewable either by retaking the exam or by a points system. (See How Do I Renew My Certification).

The PCEA® certification is an apprentice-level certification, intended for those new to cost-related professions. Two years of experience in cost, budgeting, finance, accounting, or other related fields is required to qualify. Applicants must then pass Part I of the certification exam. After passing, your PCEA® is valid for 3 years and renewable only by retaking the exam.
Contact us for additional information on the CCEA-P® certification.

Qualify for Certification

To achieve one of ICEAA’s certifications, individuals must:

Complete the online exam application
• Receive an approval notification from ICEAA that they have met the requirements to take the desired exam
• Pay the appropriate exam fee (See What is the cost to take the exam below)
• Pass your exam! PCEA® candidates must past Exam Part I; CCEA® candidates must pass both Exam Part I&II.
To take the PCEA® exam, applicants must at least two years of hands-on cost estimating and analysis experience or related field and a college degree (in any discipline).

For CCEA® certification, individuals should either have a college degree (in any discipline) and 5 or more years of relative experience, or without a degree have 8 years of experience.

Acceptable related experience in cost estimating and analysis include: accounting, finance, mathematics, statistics, engineering, economics, accounting or related sciences. If you are unsure whether your experience will qualify towards the exam, please email us.
Apply using our online application. Within a few business days of sending your application, you will be notified whether or not you have been approved to sit for the exam and will receive instructions on how to pay your exam fee.
Log into your ICEAA profile (or create an account), place the desired exam in your shopping cart and purchase.

Note: if you order both your exam and a membership at the same time, the member price will be reflected in the final purchase confirmation page.
Pricing for taking the exam(s) online are as follows. Offline, pen-and-paper exams can be arranged with a 20% surcharge on exam fees to cover printing, shipping, and other coordination.

• CCEA® Exam: $300/member rate, $475 non-member rate
• PCEA® Exam: $150/member rate, $275 non-member rate

ICEAA membership is $95.00 for one year.
Note: if you order both your exam and a membership at the same time, the member price will be reflected in the final purchase confirmation page.

Scheduling an Exam

ICEAA's online exam platform allows candidates across the globe to take the exam at the time and place of their choice. At this time, offline and paper-exams are only available in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Contact us if you need to take an offline/paper exam outside the United States.
Should you need to cancel or reschedule your planned exam date, the following cancellation/rescheduling policy applies:

• 16 or more business days before the exam: transfer to a new exam date or receive a full refund to cancel.
• 8-15 business days before the exam: transfer to a new exam date only. No refunds will be issued.
• 7 or fewer business days before the exam: no transfers or refunds are available.
Should you need to cancel or reschedule your planned exam date, the following cancellation/rescheduling policy applies:

• 16 or more business days before the exam: transfer to a new exam date or receive a full refund to cancel.
• 8-15 business days before the exam: transfer to a new exam date only. No refunds will be issued.
• 7 or fewer business days before the exam: no transfers or refunds are available.
Should you need to cancel or reschedule your planned exam date, the following cancellation/rescheduling policy applies:

• 16 or more business days before the exam: transfer to a new exam date or receive a full refund to cancel.
• 8-15 business days before the exam: transfer to a new exam date only. No refunds will be issued.
• 7 or fewer business days before the exam: no transfers or refunds are available.
Contact us to discuss your options. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your accommodation request. All information provided will be treated confidentially.

Preparing for the Exam

The Cost Estimating Body of Knowledge (CEBoK®) is ICEAA's official training course material, available for FREE for all active ICEAA members.
CEBoK®2.0 is a user-friendly cost estimating and analysis training resource, with information organized into 16 interactive modules within five general subject areas, designed to cover all of the topics that represent the body of knowledge that ICEAA promotes and tests for in the CCEA® exam. For those preparing for our PCEA® and CCEA® exams, each module now contains an explanation of which topics you should focus your studies on, and on the main page, you'll find a link to download an Excel-based app with practice tests and study questions. All active ICEAA members can access CEBoK®2.0 after logging in to their profile on the ICEAA Portal. ICEAA membership starts at $95/per year.  Learn more about the benefits of ICEAA membership.
ICEAA’s annual Professional Development & Training Workshop and other events throughout the year will often feature CEBoK® -based training that can augment your study. Check the ICEAA Chapters page to see if there is an ICEAA Chapter in your area, and contact that chapter for information about upcoming training session.
The Cost Estimating Body of Knowledge (CEBoK®) is ICEAA's official training course material, available for FREE for all active ICEAA members.

Individual copies of the previous version of CEBoK® (version1.2) are still available for purchase. CEBoK®1.2 is a collection of PowerPoint, Excel, and PDF files on USB thumb drives for $235 for ICEAA members and $335 for non-members. Shipping is included in the purchase price. Your order will ship from the ICEAA business office within 3 business days. For those unable to use USB thumb drives, you may request to have a copy of CEBoK®1.2 burned onto a CD for an additional fee of $25 per copy. CEBoK®2.0 is a website only; it is not available on USB or CD.
No. CEBoK®2.0 is a browser-based, user-friendly cost estimating and analysis training resource website designed to walk you through the 16 modules of study. CEBoK®2.0 is online only; it is not a book, workbook, or otherwise available in hard copy.
CEBoK®2.0 is a browser-based, user-friendly cost estimating and analysis training resource website, with information organized into 16 interactive modules within five general subject areas, designed to cover all of the topics that represent the body of knowledge that ICEAA promotes and tests for in the CCEA® exam. The modules are designed to facilitate self-study and study in small groups, or can be used effectively in a classroom environment.
Contact the International Business Office to discuss your options. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your accommodation request. All information provided will be treated confidentially.
(703) 642-3090 iceaa@iceaaonline.org

Taking the Exam

Examinees may bring writing instruments, erasers, and acceptable calculators to the exam.

No other materials, notes, additional paper, or any other supplies may be brought into the exam room. Cell phones will be collected by the proctor and held until you have completed your exam.

Acceptable calculators may feature:

• Logarithm, universal power, memory, and parentheses keys
• Statistical function keys (e.g., mean, standard deviation, correlation, linear regression) keys

Calculators may NOT:

• Use preprogrammed statistical functions (if these functions are available on the calculator, they must be disabled prior to the exam)
• Have graphing capability
• Be on a cell phone or other device with data or internet connectivity

It is the sole responsibility of the examinee to bring an appropriate calculator. Calculators will not be provided at the exam site.
The PCEA Exam/Exam Part I features 60 multiple choice questions worth one point each. Exam Part II features 48 multiple choice questions worth one point each and two short answer questions each worth two points. Both parts of the exam are recorded by hand using pencil and paper.
No, laptops are not allowed during the exam.
No, candidates may not bring notes or reference materials of any kind into the exam room.

Online Exam FAQs

Yes! Submit your exam application for approval to take the exam and you will be sent a link to the online exam once your application is approved and exam fee is paid.
The PCEA Exam/Exam Part I features 60 multiple choice questions worth one point each. The CCEA/Exam Part II features 50 multiple choice questions worth one point each. Each section is two hours in length.
Complete and submit your application on our website. The application provides the option of taking the exam Online or Offline. Fees for exams taken Offline are subject to a 20% surcharge to cover shipping, printing, and other coordination.
When applying, you will indicate a date on which you would like to take the exam. The link will be valid from the date the link is issued until 11:59pm on date you are scheduled to take the exam.
No. The exam software uses advanced analytics for AI proctoring. The AI proctor will monitor you through your computer’s integrated webcam and microphone to watch for distractions or instances where the test-taker may be cheating. The AI proctor will flag if another person is detected in your camera’s field of view, if the user is looking away from the screen for long periods of time, if additional devices (like mobile phones) are detected, or if any other websites or programs are launched during the exam. If one of these flags are raised, you will receive one warning that possible cheating has been detected. On the second instance, the exam will be closed and locked.
Examples of behaviors flagged by the AI proctor:



If you would like to learn more, this video provides a detailed explanation and demonstration of the AI proctoring software.
You may take the exam from your home, office, or anywhere there will not be distractions that the proctoring software may pick up on. We do not recommend taking the exam any place where you will be distracted by others or where people may walk into the AI proctor’s field of view.
Examples of behaviors flagged by the AI proctor:



If you would like to learn more, this video provides a detailed explanation and demonstration of the AI proctoring software.
You may use any desktop or laptop that has an integrated microphone and webcam. The exam is not supported on mobile devices (cellphones, smartphones, iPads or tablets).
Yes, but your organization may have limitations on the sites you are able to visit using their network or blocks on what you are able to download. Download ICEAA Online Exam System Requirements and forward to your IT professional to find out if you can take the exam using your company's network.

If you find you can’t take the online exam using your work computer, forward the IT Requirements for ICEAA Online Exam document to your organization’s IT department for assistance. If you are unable to use your employer’s network or company-issued computer, you may take the exam at home or elsewhere using a personal computer.

If you do not have access to a personal computer, you can schedule to take the online exam with an approved live proctor, or a written, pen-and-paper exam for an additional 20% surcharge on your exam fee.
If you do not have a webcam or can’t use the online exam program for any other reason, you may arrange an in-person exam with an approved proctor.
You will need a computer with an integrated camera and microphone and the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. You may be required to download a browser extension when you go through the pre-test system check, and give the exam website access to your camera and microphone.
You should perform the system check as soon as you receive the exam link, ideally during business hours. Any issues that are revealed during the check (URL/IP blocking, camera and microphone issues, etc.) can then be addressed prior to your taking the exam.

If you organization’s environment blocks certain IP addresses or has other measures in place to prevent your taking the exam at your office, it is recommended that you contact your IT department or consider taking the exam at home or other location where there will not be distractions that the proctoring software may pick up on . These things will flag your exam for further review by ICEAA prior to communicating your results. Once your system check is successful, the system will provide ample warning that you can return to complete the exam later. If you are not ready, do not start the exam.
Once your application has been approved and your exam fee has been paid, you will be sent a link to the exam, which is the same link that will be used for your system check. Find a time during business hours, at least two business days before you plan to take the exam to click the link and follow the system check instructions.

Once you complete the system check, you can close your browser and when you are ready to take the exam, use the same link. Do not begin the exam unless you are ready to complete it; once you start the exam, you must complete it in the time provided.
No. We encourage you to conduct your system check at least one week prior to taking the exam and perform the check during business hours so that you can reach out to ICEAA or your company’s IT department if you have issues. The system will provide ample warning that you can return to complete the exam later. If you are not ready to start the exam, do not continue – once you start the exam you must finish it in the time allotted.
Once the system compatibility check is successful, you will click the green “Start Test” tab to be redirected to the test page where you will provide your registration details. You will go through the process of taking your profile picture, a picture of your photo ID and to show that you have only blank paper, with no formulas or other documentation with you and begin the exam. Once you have started the exam you must complete it in the time limit provided.
You will need a photo ID that shows your name and photo to scan and compare to your face. The system will walk you through the steps to match your ID to your face.

You may bring one blank sheet of paper and writing instrument. You will be required to show that your paper is blank on both sides, containing no formulas or notes.
You may use one sheet of paper for calculations during the exam. At the beginning of the exam, you will be required to show that your paper is blank on both sides, containing no writing, formulas, or notes.
No. The online exam features a basic-function spreadsheet app called ScratchPad that users can access within the exam browser. ScratchPad provides many of the same functionalities as MS Excel, except Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and user-defined functions and macros.

For additional information about the functionality of the ScratchPad spreadsheet, please click the following links:

Features Supported: https://www.grapecity.com/spreadjs/docs/v14/online/features.html
Formulas Supported: https://www.grapecity.com/spreadjs/docs/versions/v14/online/formulareference.html
You will be sent a link to the practice using Scratchpad in advance of the exams. We recommend familiarizing yourself with its functionality before starting your exam. When you receive your ScratchPad Practice Instructions link, click Start Test to move to the screens that follow. The ScratchPad can be opened by clicking the icon on the upper right-hand side of the screen.

Most built-in Excel functionalities are supported by ScratchPad, except Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and user-defined functions and macros. The links below provide additional information about the functionality of ScratchPad, please click the following links:

Features Supported: https://www.grapecity.com/spreadjs/docs/versions/v14/online/features.html
Formula's Supported: https://www.grapecity.com/spreadjs/docs/versions/v14/online/formulareference.html
No. The monitoring software may interpret a separate calculator as an additional device and flag your exam for using outside resources which may result in your exam shutting down. You may use the ScratchPad app provided in the exam software or one sheet of paper for calculations during the exam. If you choose to write out your calculations by hand, you will be required at the beginning of the exam to show that your paper is blank on both sides, containing no writing, formulas, or notes.
Completing the system check and compatibility test should eliminate most possible technical issues, but there is a phone number at the bottom of each screen of the exam that you can call for technical assistance with the exam software or connectivity problems.
The testing software continuously saves your exam answers so no information will be lost due to internet connectivity issues or power outages. Once an issue is corrected, you will be able to restart the exam where you left off within the 24 hours provided. If your technical issue extends beyond the time frame you have been given to take the exam, contact ICEAA for further instructions.
If the monitoring software detects an additional person, device, or other violation you will be given a warning. If a second perceived violation occurs, the exam will shut down. You can request to challenge the AI proctor’s judgement and ICEAA will review your footage to consider allowing you to retake the exam.
You will only receive credit for questions answered within the time provided. A countdown clock showing the time you have remaining will show in the upper right-hand corner of the screen during the entire exam. You will be given a warning when the exam time is almost up.

After the Exam

Your pass/fail results will be emailed to you within three weeks after the exam date.
Your exam results will be emailed to the address indicated on the exam application.
Your certification certificate will be emailed as a PDF.
A list of current ICEAA certified cost estimators and their expiration date is featured on the ICEAA website. Once a certification expires, the name will be removed from the list. Anyone who has either passed the exam(s) or renewed their certification but has not paid the exam fee will not be listed on the website.
CCEA® and CCEA®-P certification is valid for five years, but can be renewed with continuing education credit and other activities via a points system. (See Renewing my Certification).

PCEA® Certification is valid for three years and may only be extended by re-taking the PCEA® exam.
A list of current ICEAA certified cost estimators and their expiration date is featured on the ICEAA website. Once a certification expires, the name will be removed from the list.
We will be happy to email you another one.
Candidates may schedule re-takes of the exam(s) they did not pass. We recommend allowing a least a few months of additional study before re-testing. The CCEA® may be re-taken an unlimited number of times.

Pricing is as follows.

• CCEA® Exam: $115
• PCEA® Exam: $65
• CCEA® Part 2: $75


Any exams taken offline using a live proctor and paper test materials are subject to a 20% surcharge to cover printing, shipping, and other coordination.
Candidates may schedule re-takes of the exam(s) they do not pass. However, we recommend allowing a least a few months of additional study before re-testing.
Pricing for re-taking the exams are as follows.

• CCEA® Exam: $115
• PCEA® Exam: $65
• CCEA® Part 2: $75


Any exams taken offline using a live proctor and paper test materials are subject to a 20% surcharge to cover printing, shipping, and other coordination.
There is no limit to the number of times you can take the exam, whether online or in-person, but each time you wish to take the exam you will be subject to an exam fee or re-take fee.

Pricing for re-taking the exams are as follows.

• CCEA® Exam: $115
• PCEA® Exam: $65
• CCEA® Part 2: $75


Any exams taken offline using a live proctor and paper test materials are subject to a 20% surcharge to cover printing, shipping, and other coordination.
If you are only looking to achieve your PCEA® certification, you only need to pass Part I. For those interested in the CCEA® certification who only pass Part I will be granted the PCEA® designation until they successfully re-take Part II.
Candidates passing only Part II will receive neither the PCEA® or CCEA® designation until Part I is passed.
Should a less-experienced candidate take and pass both parts of the exam, they will be awarded the PCEA® designation until the 5-year experience mark is met. For example, if someone with 3 years of experience passed both parts of the exam in 2020, they would be a PCEA® until 2022, at which point their designation would be upgraded to CCEA®.
Answers to exam questions or information on which specific questions were answered correctly or incorrectly is not available. Should you not pass the exam, you will be provided with the three lowest-scoring topic areas to give extra attention to when prepare for your exam retake. You will not receive the specific questions answered incorrectly or the correct answers to them.
No. Partial credit is not provided for any incorrect answer, regardless of effort or other work shown.

Renewing my Certification

During the five years that your certification is active, keep a log of the continuing education courses, relevant seminars or workshops, ICEAA membership, and other qualifying activities listed on the ICEAA Recertification Application. We suggest keeping all of your records in an email folder, share drive, or other safe place for ease of reference.

Starting six months before your certification is set to expire, ICEAA will remind you via the email address we have on file to record your points-earning activities on the ICEAA Recertification Application. Once your recertification application is approved, you will receive instructions via email on how to pay the $125 recertification fee.

Recertification applications will be accepted up to six months (180 days) after your expiration date.

Anyone who fails to accumulate the 30 required recertification points, or does not complete their recertification application in time, may reinstate their CCEA® certification by passing both parts of the CCEA® exam again.

The PCEA® certification is not renewable via points, but can be extended beyond the three year term by taking and passing the PCEA® exam again.
CCEA® certificants must achieve 30 points over five years to recertify. Allocation of points for qualifying activities is outlined on the ICEAA Recertification Application.
CCEA® Certificants can claim points for years worked in a cost profession, maintaining their ICEAA membership, participating in cost-related continuing education courses at universities, ICEAA events, or events held by other organizations providing relevant programs. Points will be awarded for volunteer contributions to ICEAA and our chapters, for serving as a proctor for others’ exams, and more. Allocation of points for qualifying activities is outlined on the ICEAA Recertification Application. If you are unsure whether or not an activity will qualify for points, contact us with a description and supporting documentation and we will review for relevance.
No. Individuals are responsible for maintaining their own records of activities that qualify for points throughout their 5-year term. We suggest keeping all of your records in an email folder, share drive, or other safe place for ease of reference.
If you don’t believe you have enough points to recertify, take a closer look at the Recertification Application to see if there are any qualifying activities you may have left off. If you have some time before you need to recertify and are looking for ways to get more points, contact us for information on volunteering opportunities that will qualify, such as serving as a proctor for other exams, or participating in chapter or international events. If you are unsure whether or not an activity will qualify for points, contact us with a description and supporting documentation and we will review for relevance.
To renew your certification by application, $125.
To renew by retaking the exam, the standard exam fees apply:
CCEA: $300/member rate, $475 non-member rate
PCEA: $150/member rate, $275 non-member rate
CCEA-P: $450/member rate, $750 non-member rate
Starting 6 months before your certification is set to expire, ICEAA will remind you via the email address we have on file. Log into your ICEAA profile to confirm and update your email as necessary. We strongly recommend maintaining a current email address with ICEAA, but ultimately you are responsible for remembering to renew your certification on time.
It is recommended that you submit your recertification application within the month that your certification expires. ICEAA offers a 6 month/180-day grace period in which to submit your paperwork however, your certification listing on the website will not be updated until your application has been approved and your fee paid.