New! CCC Program Improvements
New CCC program applications will be accepted beginning
January 1, 2018. We are in the process of making some revisions that will improve and streamline the application process and the program. These changes will apply to everyone who enters the program after
January 1, 2018. See below for more information:
Revised Eligibility Requirements
Revised Application Process
The Board removed the requirement to have at least three years total experience as a communicator or one year plus a Bachelor’s degree. As of January 1, 2018, you are eligible to apply if you are currently performing communications and/or marketing work in the electric cooperative industry and have at least one year of experience doing so.
Program Fee Restructure (please note: there are no fee increases for 2018)
The online application process has been simplified. Candidates no longer have to submit extensive information about their job history, nor do they have to “declare” which work samples they plan to submit for their portfolio. Also, one fee now covers both the application and portfolio. The fee will be paid online at the time of application.
You won’t be invoiced.
CEU Requirements Converting to Audit System
- $300 – Program Fee: covers application and portfolio
- $150 – Exam Fee
- $100 – Re-grade Fee (for those who revise and re-submit their portfolios and for those who appeal their exam score)
- $175 – Annual Professional Fee
Everyone who earned the CCC designation beginning in 2001 are required to earn 1.0 continuing education units (CEUs), which is equivalent to 10 hours. While you should keep records of your continuing education activities throughout the year, you are no longer required to submit forms or proof of your continuing education unless requested by CCC program staff.
Also in 2018: Updated Program Manual and Body of Knowledge
Thanks for your patience as we continue to improve the CCC Program!
The Certified Cooperative Communicator (CCC) program offers co-op communications staff the opportunity to hone professional skills through an intensive self-study program that results in a greater understanding of electric cooperative communications and the cooperative business model.
Earning the nationally recognized CCC credential can bolster your confidence to educate and build support among stakeholders. It will help you apply key communication concepts to plan, execute, and evaluate an effective strategic communications plan so that you can advance the cooperative’s message.
Why We Offer the CCC Program
The CCC program was created by electric cooperative communicators and is a program of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).
The program exists to:
- Improve the practice of communication in the electric cooperative field
- Identify a body of knowledge and skills necessary to the practice of electric cooperative communication
- Recognize those individuals who have demonstrated a professional level of excellence in the practice of electric cooperative communication
- Assist communicators in attaining the skills they need to function as mass communications and marketing communications professionals
“The CCC designation is extremely valuable—not because having it guarantees success or even suggests that you are better than anyone who doesn't have the designation. It’s valuable because it does guarantee that the communicator has been through a rigorous certification process and demonstrates a level of commitment to their cooperative, their profession, and themselves to always improve.”
“Given the choice in hiring, I would pick the person with the CCC credential.”
“The CCC designation demonstrates commitment by the communicator and the cooperative that communications is a priority in all aspects of serving members.”
- Anonymous responses from a survey of co-op CEOs.
Case Study: Having a Certified Cooperative Communicator on staff pays big dividends
The Certification Process
To be eligible, you must have at least three years total experience as a communicator, or one year total experience plus a bachelor’s degree.
You must also currently be performing communication and/or marketing communication work in the electric co-op industry or you must have performed such work within in the last three years.
If you are not sure whether you are eligible, please email one of the program contacts listed at the bottom of the page.
The diagram to the right illustrates the process you follow to earn the CCC designation. (Click the diagram to enlarge it.)
It begins with an application. Once your application has been approved, you have 24 months in which to complete the CCC certification program, which consists of passing the Portfolio of Work and a written examination.
Once you get your certification, you are required to pay an annual professional fee and fulfill a continuing education requirement.
Go to our
Becoming a CCC page (login required) to learn more and get started.
Application fee: $150
Portfolio fee: $150
Exam fee: $150
Annual Professional Fee: $175