How to apply and renew certification

How to apply for NZPPA Certification

Certification is only available to NZPPA members (under any membership type).

NZPPA Certification Process in detail

NZPPA Certification is based on a process that is robust and links directly to the NZPPA Qualification framework. Certification results can be shown to reflect payroll industry needs and outcomes can be external tested to show they are fair and free from bias.

How to apply for certification

Please note: Certification is only available to NZPPA members (under any membership type).

Initial Certification Process

The NZPPA Certification process consists of the following 5 steps (3 completed by the applicant and 2 by NZPPA):

Step 1:

o email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to get a logon for access to the certification area

o Download the Forms and complete (see folder of Word documents below - also duplicated at the top of the page):

Step 2:

Submit the following documents (see the folder of Word documents):

  1. Complete the Application form for the Certification Level you are applying for
  2. Get a verifier to complete the Verification Form from your employer or other authorised person to confirm you are presently working in payroll and the position you currently hold.
  3. Complete the CV Template Form. (or attach a current cv)
  4. Organisation Chart and Job Description.

Step 3:

  • NZPPA will complete an initial assessment and advise if the applicant can proceed with the certification level sought based on the application provided (their skills and experience). If not suitable the applicant will be advised and told what areas need to be worked on and if another certification level is suitable at this time. If the applicant is successful at this point they will emailed password details to complete the online assessment.

Step 4:

  • Online assessment based on certification level sought (provided through the NZPPA eLearning environment).

Step 5:

NZPPA will provide certification results based on that the applicant has been successful and will be awarded the certification level sought (see below what the they will receive) or if not yet successful what areas they will need to work on.

The applicant can retry the online assessment once after initial assessment, and then one month from the date of their first assessment (3 attempts are allowed that includes the initial assessment). If still not successful after three attempts the applicant’s application will be closed and they can reapply after a stand down of 6 months.

  • NZPPA Certification Levels:

Certification Type


Certification Level

Certification description

Qualifying Period

Certified Payroll Technician



· Can run basic payroll processing steps, under supervision or within their prescribed authority.


· Performs part of the payroll process, or other payroll tasks, under supervision or within their prescribed authority.

· Understanding of Payroll Legislation

More than 6 months

Certified Payroll Practitioner



· Can run a payroll end to end at an intermediate level under supervision or within their prescribed authority*.

· Excellent Understanding of Payroll Legislation

Over 2 years

Certified Payroll Consultant



· Can implement & configure payroll processes and payroll system criteria and resolve complex payroll issues*.

· Sound knowledge of audit and review processes to mitigate errors and risk

· Proficient Understanding of Payroll Legislation

3+ years CPP

More than 6 months in role

Certified Payroll Leader



· Meets all the requirements set at the previous certification levels (CPT, CPP) and may have consulting experience under CPC (optional)

· Leads and manages staff in a payroll environment.

· Sound payroll knowledge and experience that enables complex payroll issue resolution

· Experience with implementing audit and review processes to mitigate errors and risk

· Proficient Understanding of Payroll Legislation

3+ years CPP

2 or more direct reports

More than 12 months in leadership role

*Meets requirements from previous certification levels

Annual Recertification Process

To ensure NZPPA certification is always current and valid for the needs of the payroll industry annual recertification must be undertaken by all certified members to maintain their certification level in regard to any new legislative changes.

As the main changes to employment law and tax are updated from the 1st April each year annual certification happens from May each year. If that is greater than 12 months from initial certification and you want to be current, you can ask to be recertified earlier (after May of that year).

Recertification Process

Step 1:
NZPPA will email when you are due for recertification each year after initial certification. In that email it will cover the following:

  • An update form on any change to your circumstances (employer, current position etc)
  • What professional development opportunities you have undertaken in the last 12 months
  • Ask you to provide a date when you are available to undertaken the recertification online assessment.

Step 2:

NZPPA will email logon details and the certified member will do the recertification online assessment.
*Step 5 from the Initial Certification Process will apply.

When a certified member wants to move from one certification level to another

Payroll is a career and for some payroll professionals they will want to develop their skills and advance to other areas available within the payroll industry. NZPPA certification can also move as you develop.
If a certified member wants to move from a lower certification level to the next level the following process applies:

Step 1:
Fill out the Initial NZPPA Certification Application form with the new certification level sought.

  • Provide the reason why the new certification level is sought (new position, new employer, professional development etc)

Step 2:

  • NZPPA will assess and advise if accepted, if not reasons why will be stated, if approved logon details will be provided.

Step 3:

  • Complete online assessment at new level.
    *Step 5 from the Initial Certification Process will apply.

Transition arrangements for existing NZPPA accredited members

If you have gained NZPPA accreditation in the last 2 years you can apply for certification using the following fast-track process:

  1. Fill out the initial certification application form and submit.
  2. NZPPA will advise if the certification level sought fits with the accreditation level achieved. If approved the applicant will be provided with a logon to do the online assessment.
    *Step 5 from the Initial Certification Process will apply.

What does a certified payroll professional get once certified?

Once the applicant has achieved all of the certification requirements they will receive the following:

  • An official letter from NZPPA that they have been assessed and awarded the certification level and date it was obtained.
  • Framed certificate with the name included and what certification level they have obtained.
  • Certification card with their name, certification level and date of certification
  • Their name stated on the NZPPA website as a certified member.
  • The ability to use the certification level after their name (CPT, CPP, CPC and CPM)
  • NZPPA Gift – Certified Payroll Professional Pen

Certification Complaint Process

In general, all NZPPA Certification Panel decisions are final but a complaint can be made directly to the NZPPA CEO and they will assess if the complaint is valid. The NZPPA CEO will ask the panel to provide evidence on why certification was not achieved and this will be reviewed and if needed the applicant contacted directly for additional information.

The NZPPA CEO can request that the applicant’s assessment be reviewed by the NZPPA Certification Panel for reassessment. The applicant will receive written confirmation of the results of this and that outcome will be final.