NAPSA Certification Program Overview

NAPSA’s Certification Program provides national recognition to qualified pretrial practitioners who successfully complete certification and become Certified Pretrial Service Professionals (CPSP.) Achieving Certified Pretrial Services Professional status involves passing an examination (fundamental legal concepts, case law, and legal concepts specific to pretrial release). Persons obtaining certification have demonstrated a fundamental understanding of the Pretrial movement and the history upon which it is based. To maintain this status, individuals must be re-certified when the three-year certification term expires. This recertification requires an applicant complete 25 Continuing Education hours.



The Certification Program is designed to advance the overall knowledge level of pretrial practitioners, as well as other system stakeholders in the pretrial field, and help ensure they are aware of the most current information and best practices. Further, it promotes the capabilities of pretrial professionals -- both within the program and to the public in general -- by demonstrating their adherence to the NAPSA Code of Ethics, and enhancing their public image thereby aiding in the recruitment and formation of new and talented staff.



There are three major phases to the Certification Program: (1) candidate status; (2) certification status; and, (3) recertification. The FIRST PHASE, candidate status, has two steps: (a) applying for certification; and (b) passing an examination. Both steps must be completed within ninety days from the date the application is received by Certification Staff. An individual who wishes to become certified begins the process by submitting the completed electronic application for certification. This is available at Submitting a completed application, along with required documentation and applicable fee, constitutes entering the Certification Program. After the application material has been reviewed and approved by the Certification Staff, the now-qualified candidate must take and pass an exam. These exams are available online and applicants are provided one (1) hour to complete this open book exam.
A Candidate who passes the exam enters the SECOND PHASE and will become a CERTIFIED PRETRIAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL (CPSP). His/her pretrial career has received the highest level of national peer recognition in that certification category. This SECOND PHASE lasts for three (3) years. To continue as a CERTIFIED PRETRIAL PROFESSIONAL beyond the three year period, the CPSP must be recertified -- which constitutes the program’s THIRD PHASE. Recertification requires the individual to have attended 25 hours of continuing education (that is pertinent to pretrial and the law) during the previous three years.



Applicants who apply for Candidate Status sign an agreement on the Application for Certification indicating they will uphold NAPSA’s professional Code of Ethics. • Applicants who do qualify enter Candidate Status and are invited to take the examination. The exam must be taken within ninety days from the date their initial application was received by the Certification Staff. • Candidates who do not pass the examination will need to take it again within six months from the date of their initial application. There is an additional $30 administrative fee for taking the exam a second time. If a person does not take the exam within six months, or fails a second time, he or she will need to start over again by completing a new Application for Certification and paying the appropriate fee. 
Candidates who pass the examination are Certified and will receive a Certification certificate. Certification expires after three years after which certified individuals need to become Recertified. The requirements for this determination are based on whether the individual has submitted the appropriate form, required fees, and has acquired 25 Continuing Education hours during the three years as a CERTIFIED PRETRIAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL. Those who meet these criteria will be recertified and receive a new three-year Certification certificate.