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The Council for Community and Economic Research


C2ER’s professional certification, the Certified Economic Research Professional (CERP), is the industry standard for recognizing excellence in economic research and embodies the applied skills of economic, demographic, industry, and workforce analysis.  CERPs undertake rigorous evaluation of their research experience and leadership to earn this designation.

Who is a Certified Economic Research Professional?
  • CERPs are mid-career research professionals who possess a mastery of economic and related data analysis, demonstrate their ability to utilize these skills in applied research, and serve as leaders in their profession.
  • For a full list of current CERPs, click here

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

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How do I become a Certified Economic Research Professional?

Certification is a three-step process:

  1. Applicants must complete the certification checklist to ensure the minimum required points and core topics have been met. You can access to the certification checklist here.
  2. If eligible the applicant will submit a resume, cover letter, and portfolio of work demonstrating that they have acquired the skills necessary for conducting applied economic research. The certification committee will review the submitted material for completeness.
  3. Applicants must select one project that will serve as a certification project to demonstrate the broad range of their skills. These are projects typically completed by the applicant as part of their regular work. The review committee will evaluate the submitted, or proposed, project to determine if it is suitable for certification consideration. Prospective CERPs are required to give an oral presentation on their approved certification project.

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How is my certification work evaluated?

Prospective CERP 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 cover letter describing how the applicant’s experience, professional development, leadership, and applied research have prepared them to be certified.
  • Three project examples and descriptions the applicant has completed within the past five years in the core areas of data collection and management, economic and demographic analysis, economic or workforce research, or leadership policy analysis.
  • A final certification project for presentation that must be completed within the past two years unless granted a waiver. Applicants can also submit a proposed certification project for completion within a couple years for committee consideration.

Portfolios will be initially reviewed by C2ER staff with the advice and consent of the Certification Committee chair. If the checklist requirements have been met, the portfolio will then be evaluated by a 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 "core topic" portfolio items. A written summary of the proposed project must be submitted to the review panel for approval. The summary must include:

  • Project title, summary, purpose, and your role in implementing it;
  • Research approach and methods used;
  • Proposed project timeline

If the review panel chooses to accept the applicant's proposed certification project, the applicant must complete the project within two years. Upon project completion, the review panel will evaluate the project for thoroughness, appropriate use of methodology, and applicability. Once approved, the applicant must present the project findings to the Certification Committee and C2ER membership.

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

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