The Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) – Foundation is a professional certification through the Society for Technical Communication. To attain this level, candidates must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of core technical communication skill areas by passing an exam. The exam can be taken as part of a class or online. After passing the exam, you receive a certificate and are entered into the STC certification database. Your name will also appear on the STC and APMG websites as a certified practitioner. The STC website provides continuing education requirements to maintain certification.
Red Desk Studio offers a CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class, a two-day interactive class designed to prepare for this exam. We have been accredited to teach this class by APMG International, a UK-based firm that that specializes in professional certification administration. We spend time on discussion, activities, game-based reviews, and sample questions around these nine core areas:
- Project Planning
- Project Analysis
- Content Development
- Organizational Design
- Written Communication
- Review and Editing
- Visual Communication
- Content Management
- Production and Delivery
As an example, the core skill area of project analysis addresses reader and document context and rhetorical situations. The organizational design area focuses on guidelines and techniques for organizing and drafting technical documents, and the written communication includes writing style, persuasion, tone, and general readability.
With this approach, the class doesn’t teach you how to write a white paper, but rather how to identify and assess an audience, determine the information they need and how they will use it, and select and develop the most appropriate type of document for delivering that information.
The Foundation level has no educational attainment or work experience requirement to sit the exam. It is strongly recommended that you study the certification body of knowledge textbook, Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today: Special Edition for Society for Technical Communication Foundation Certification, 5th edition, before attending the class and taking the exam. We will use the textbook throughout the class, and studying the text beforehand will prepare you for discussions and activities.
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The exam fee ($250 for current STC members and $495 for non-members) is included in the course registration cost. You may take the CPTC Foundation Certification exam at the conclusion of the class. You also have the option of attempting the exam online at a later date, for up to one year after the exam registration date.
Visit the schedule to see upcoming dates for venues and online classes.
Get the scoop on certificates vs. certification.
Read the January 2016 issue of STC’s Intercom to learn more about the certification program.
Take a peek at the STC Study Guide to get an idea of what the CPTC Foundation syllabus looks like.