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The Council for Community and Economic Research


C2ER’s primary professional certification, Certified Community Researcher (CCR), is the industry standard for recognizing excellence in economic research, embodying applied skills in economic, demographic, industry, and workforce analysis.  CCRs undertake a rigorous course of training and evaluation of their research to earn this designation. There are two CCR tracks, the Manager Track and the Analyst Track.

Who is a Certified Community Researcher?
  • CCRs are mid-career research professionals who possess a mastery of economic and related data analysis and demonstrate their ability to utilize these skills in applied research applications.
  • For a full list of current CCRs, click here

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Why should I become a Certified Community Researcher?
  • The CCR designation demonstrates to employers your mastery of and leadership in economic research.
  • CCRs understand the nuances of research data and effectively communicate information to customers.
  • CCRs share their knowledge and experience so that, either through management or actions, a CCR designation indicates you are a leader in applied research.

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How do I become a Certified Community Researcher?

Certification is a two step process:

  1. Applicants must submit the checklist and portfolio of work demonstrating that they have acquired the skills necessary for conducting applied economic research.

  2. Applicants must select one project that will serve as a certification project to demonstrate the broad range of their skills. Typically, these are projects recently completed by the applicant as part of their regular work. However, an applicant can choose to submit a research project for consideration and completion within a reasonable time period. The peer review panel will evaluate the submitted, or proposed, project to determine if is suitable for certification consideration. Prospective CCRs are required to give an oral presentation on their approved certification project.

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How is my certification work evaluated?

Prospective CCR portfolios will be evaluated based on their demonstration of a broad range of research skills. Each portfolio must include the following:

  • A resume to include a description of the applicant's education and employment background.
  • A description of the professional development and management activities the applicant has participated in
  • A list of the applicant's professional contributions to the field, if applicable
  • A description of the applicant's data collection and management projects
  • A description of the economic and demographic analysis projects the applicant has undertaken
  • A description of the economic development projections the applicant has completed

Portfolios will initially be reviewed by C2ER staff with the advice and consent of the chair of the Certification Committee. If the point schedule has been met, the portfolio will then be evaluated by a peer review panel for completeness, applicability and accuracy. The applicant will be notified if the portfolio, and certified project has been accepted and may then proceed to schedule a presentation to the Certification Committee and C2ER membership. If an applicant chooses to submit a proposed research project they will be notified if their portfolio has been accepted so they can proceed.

Applicants choosing to submit a proposed research project can choose a subject matter of the applicant's own design, however the project must be selected from the nine "core" portfolio items. A written summary of the proposed project must be submitted to the peer review panel for approval. The summary must include:

  • A general description of the project
  • A description of the research methodology to be employed
  • A discussion of the project need and its anticipated use

If the peer review panel chooses to accept the applicant's proposed certification project, the applicant must complete the project within two years. A final written summary of the project, 5 pages maximum in length, must be submitted along with any supporting documents. Upon project completion, the Certification panel will evaluate the project for thoroughness, appropriate use of methodology, and applicability. Once the panel has approved the applicant's project, the applicant must complete a presentation of the project at C2ER's Annual Conference or other approved venue such as a membership webinar.

Applicants who do not meet the established criteria for a successful portfolio or certified project will be notified in writing by the chair of the applicant's Certification committee.

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How do I renew my certification?

Recertification is required every five years after initial certification. Activities that count toward recertification include:

  • Serve on a C2ER, LMI, or APDU committee
  • Mentor a prospective CCR
  • Speak or moderate at a C2ER, LMI, or APDU conference session
  • Participate in a C2ER, LMI, or APDU training class
  • Submit a project for the annual research awards, or be a judge
  • Manage/conduct research for the Cost of Living Index
  • Conduct formal data advocacy for the benefit of the C2ER, LMI, or APDU membership
  • Complete a major research project and share the results

Only one of these options need be completed for recertification; there are no point totals or required elements as for initial certification. There is no fee for recertification. CCRs whose C2ER, LMI, or APDU memberships have lapsed prior to recertification may apply to the Certification Committee for recertification upon restoring their membership and completing the normal recertification process. Access the Recertification Checklist Form.

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