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PACE vs CAP: Which Certification is Right for You?

June 13, 2022

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Earning an administrative professional certification is an important step in your career path. Enrolling in PACE classes or CAP classes can put you in a great place for professional opportunities and set you on a trajectory for leadership roles. Certifications like PACE or CAP keep you relevant in the workforce. They demonstrate to employers that you take your job as an administrative professional seriously. You are specially educated, knowledgeable, and have a strong and honed skill set to be exceptional in your position. 

An administrative professional certification is more complex than just taking a few classes followed by a test. It requires on-the-job applicable knowledge, learned concepts and theories, focused skills, and real-world in-office experience. It also requires regular recertification, like most technical and medical licenses. This commitment to maintaining current certification guarantees that you are always learning new skills and keeping abreast of the newest updates, progressions, and best practices in the administrative profession.  

There are two primary certifications that administrative professionals can seek to leverage their careers and advancement opportunities. They are Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE) and the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). PACE is associated with The American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) and CAP is part of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Both are highly regarded, reputable professional associations serving the administrative profession.

Both of these comprehensive programs take a holistic approach to preparing you for success in your professional administrative career. They make way for you to demonstrate your depth of knowledge, expertise, and commitment to the field. They give you credibility and a valuable edge in a competitive job market. Certification also positions you for better pay and opportunities for promotions. With only minor differences between the 2 programs, it’s easy to find the right fit, set goals, and achieve them in a relatively short period of time. 

CAP & PACE Perks To Raise The Bar In Your Career

CAP and PACE perks are one in the same—they will both elevate you in your career. They both cover relevant topics in today’s business world and prepare you for more responsibility in your career. However, the programs are designed uniquely, using different resources, instruction methods and testing requirements.  

When you choose PACE certification, you will access your coursework through their online learning platform. All the relevant materials needed can be accessed in the easy-to-navigate E-Learning Center. The program consists of a four-course certification program, covering varying topics related to professional administration and business. It’s a self-guided program and upon enrolling, you have one year to take the courses, study the materials, and pass the exam. The main takeaways from the PACE coursework will be proficiency in the following areas:

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Task & project management
  • Event & meeting planning
  • Video conferencing
  • Virtual office management
  • Leadership
  • Business writing
  • Internet security
  • Problem-solving

When you choose CAP, you prepare for the exam using an exam “blueprint” called the Body of Knowledge. This resource covers six topic areas (domains) and breaks the information down into detailed, measurable Performance Outcomes (PO). The preparation for the exam is self-guided and it is recommended that enrollees take advantage of study groups to learn and process the information. The certification exam is a computer-based exam that is taken in person and administered at approved proctored testing centers all over the world. The main takeaways, or domains, from the Body of Knowledge resource, include:

  • Organizational Communications 
  • Business Writing and Document Production 
  • Technology and Information Distribution 
  • Office and Records Management 
  • Event and Project Management 
  • Operational Functions 

CAP vs PACE Continuing Education

Obtaining a credential tells employers you are serious about your career. It bolsters your professional resume and helps you stand out among the competition. Making the choice to continue your education shows your dedication to lifelong learning.


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