The FPPTA launched the Certified Public Pension Trustee (CPPT) program in 1997. The goal of the CPPT program is to prepare trustees to perform their duties with confidence and expertise, and to instill in them the value of continuing education in an ever changing landscape. The CPPT program is an educational track designed to be completed over the course of three FPPTA trustee schools within a three year time frame. Students are expected to complete and pass a test for each of the three program tiers: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.
The curriculum covers a wide range of topics and lectures that will prepare trustees for the procedures that are legally mandated; the ethical and fiduciary rules that should inform trustees’ actions; activities of the professionals hired by the pension board; and the day-to-day decisions likely to arise in the ordinary course of the trustee's duties and activities.
Certification is only awarded after a trustee has been successfully tested on the knowledge acquired in the classroom. Should a trustee fail any part of the program, that part of the program must be repeated and successfully re-tested. Once a student has completed the program, they are required to obtain a certain number of continuing education credits each year in order to retain their CPPT designation.
The certification program requires a monetary commitment from the pension board, and a time and study commitment from program participants.