The Accredited ACH Professional (AAP)
What is AAP Accreditation?
The Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) accreditation affirms professional competence and subject area expertise for practitioners of Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments. The program is administered through NACHA - The Electronic Clearing House Association. Financial institution examiners and other users of the ACH Network accept the AAP credential as identifying those individuals who are highly skilled in their profession. It is recommended that someone has a minimum of two years experience working in the payments industry before taking the AAP exam.
Why should I become an AAP?
Earning your credentials as an AAP has a wide array of benefits. As an individual, your accreditation demonstrates to your employer that you are committed to the profession, which can provide opportunities for personal career growth. It also helps your organization, since regulators and examiners regularly look at financial institutions’ AAP employees as a sign that the financial institution is committed to risk management and regulation compliance.
These benefits also apply to solution providers, processors and Originators. By having an AAP on staff, these organizations can more effectively manage ACH Network use and enhance their risk management profile. Similarly, solution providers and processors need qualified AAPs in order to ensure that they are complying with FIs and business clients. Once you have your accreditation, you'll find that you are in high demand as the "go-to" person for all things ACH.
About the AAP Exam
The AAP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, which you are allowed three hours to complete. Twenty of those questions are pilot questions, meaning they won't be scored. The topics included on the exam are:
- General payments overview, including the ACH Network and comparative payment systems
- Risk Management
- Rules and regulations, including the NACHA Operating Rules, government payments, and federal and state regulations
- Operational process and flow, including origination and receipt, settlement, and exception processing
- Technical standards and formats
Candidates must register with NACHA to take the exam. NACHA partners with PSI to use its computer-based testing facilities around the country, providing for plenty of freedom in choosing the exam time and locale. After registration, candidates receive instructions on how to select their proctor and exam date, time and location.