Credentialing Assistance (CA)
CA is an Army program. All ranks and components may participate if eligible. Soldiers have a $4000 funding limit per fiscal year for Tuition Assistance and CA combined.
Soldiers participating in the CA program must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Soldiers may use CA upon achieving their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).
- Qualification (MOSQ) as follows:
- Enlisted Soldiers who have graduated Advanced Individual Training.
- Warrant Officers who have graduated Warrant Officer Basic Course.
- Officers who have graduated Basic Officer Leaders Course.
- Cannot be a Contracted Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship cadet, including those receiving room and board benefits in lieu of tuition and fees. This restriction includes any period(s) of temporary suspension of scholarship benefits, leave of absence, and while school is out of session.
- Cannot be an ROTC cadet contracted under the Green to Gold ROTC Program.
- Cannot be flagged under provisions of AR 600-8-2.
- Does not have sufficient time to complete the CA Request prior to 30 days from the Soldier’s ETS.
- Cannot be a Soldier assigned to the Individual Ready Reserve or the Inactive National Guard.
- Cannot request a credential required at accessions or to obtain an MOS.
The Army may pay for the classroom, hands-on, online or blended training and courses, materials, study guides, textbooks, processing fees, test fees, and other expenses related to the attainment or recertification of credentials. Soldiers can pursue any credential found in Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) and may work on multiple credentials simultaneously or sequentially. While multiple credentials can be requested, failure to submit grades (completion certificates) will create a hold on the Soldier’s account, preventing further requests from being submitted.
Soldiers must contact the vendor prior to submitting their CA request to obtain a custom quote. If required, Soldiers should also register for the course or exam. Soldiers are not authorized to prepay for a course or exam using personal funds while a CA request is pending approval. In cases where Soldiers prepay, reimbursement for Soldiers’ out-of-pocket expenses is not authorized. Soldiers must upload the custom quote into the ArmyIgnitED CA request.
There are three exceptions to the requirement to upload a custom quote in ArmyIgnitED, which are CompTIA, Pearson Vue, and International Board of Specialty Certification. In these cases, a screenshot of the cost from the vendor website must be submitted in lieu of the custom quote. ACAPO may grant exceptions for other custom quotes from vendors on a case-by-case basis.
Soldiers must submit separate CA requests in ArmyIgnitED for each credentialing course, exam, and books and materials. CA requests must be submitted not earlier than 90 days, but not later than 45 days, prior to the start date of either the course or the exam. The end date of the requested course or exam must be within one calendar year (365 days) of the start date. If required, Soldiers must request books and materials in conjunction with a request for a credentialing course or exam. Requests for only books or materials will be rejected unless there is a current credentialing course or exam in progress or pending payment.
Soldiers will not be allowed to submit a new CA request if there is a hold on their account for an overdue grade on a CA request. Vendors must upload the grades within 30 days of the end date. If the vendor does not receive the results of the exam, it is the Soldier’s responsibility to upload the exam results into the ArmyIgnitED CA request.
Soldiers must successfully complete an approved, CA funded credentialing course or exam to avoid the recoupment of CA funds. Failing a course or an exam, withdrawing from a course or an exam with Army cost, or failing to attend a course or sit for an exam in the timeframe requested will result in CA recoupment. See the CA policy for details by going to the Army COOL CA page at https://www.cool.osd.mil/army/costs_and_funding/army_credential_assistance.htm
- CA provides up to $4,000/per FY to complete as many credentials as desired.
- Soldiers may use both Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) and Credentialing Assistance (CA); however, the combined usage shall not exceed $4,000 per FY.
- CA can be used for any credential listed on Army COOL: https://www.cool.osd.mil/army/index.htm
- CA will pay expenses for classroom, hands-on, online/blended training and associated materials to include: manuals, study guides, textbooks, processing fees, test fees, related fees for continuing education requirements, and recertification of credentials.
- Soldiers may request reimbursement from VA using their GI Bill benefits to pay for exams only.
- Important! Soldiers may only request reimbursement from VA if CA is not used to pay for the exam. The combined use of CA and VA benefits to pay for an exam is a duplication of benefits and is subject to recoupment.
- Associate Professional in HR (aPHR)
- Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)
- Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
- Certified Welder (CW) Commercial
- Commercial Driver License (CDL)
- Lean Six Sigma
- Project Mgmt Professional (PMP)
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
- Private Pilot, Airplane Single Engine
- CompTIA A+ CompTIA Security +ce
1. Explore Credentialing Assistance Credentials
1. Log in to your ArmyIgnitED account, click on Education Programs and then select Credentialing Assistance.
2. Navigate to the Credentialing Assistance homepage and explore the credentials you may be qualified for.
3. Select the credential you wish to pursue through the Credentialing Assistance program. (NOTE: You can sort the credentials via funding method, i.e., Credentialing Assistance, GI Bill, etc.).
When you open each credential, you will see the following tabs:
· Related Occupations
2. Create Education Goal
Once you found the Credentials you are interested in, click Create Education Goal.
You are required to upload all supporting documentation that is listed on your eligibility tab within your Credential. Failure to upload required supporting documentation will delay or disapprove your tuition assistance requests.
3. Start a Credentialing Assistance Request
In your ArmyIgnitED account, locate your Credentialing Assistance goal and click "Apply for Credentialing Assistance." Follow the prompts to complete the credentialing assistance request application. You will need the following information.
· Vendor - (provided by the credentialing agency’s website) Enter the first word of the vendor and click “Search,” one or more options may appear (e.g., enter “Pearson” for Pearson VUE).
· Cost for Training/Exam - Enter the costs, including admin fees (contact the vendor and request a quote to assist you with your funding request).
· Credentialing Assistance Timeframe - Credentialing Assistance allows for the training or exam to be completed within 365 days from the start date. If you haven’t requested the full 365 days and need an extension, send a message to the Army Credentialing Assistance Program Office (ACAPO) in the ArmyIgnitED portal messaging with a specific date requested.Once you complete the credentialing assistance request, ACAPO will be notified to review the request and approve or disapprove it. You will receive a message in ArmyIgnitED once this action is completed.
4. Credentialing Assistance Approval Process
Once ACAPO approves your CA request, it is then electronically routed to the CA Central Billing Office (CA CBO), which will make the payment on your behalf. The CA CBO will contact you by ArmyIgnitED messaging, if needed, for changes prior to payment. (NOTE: CA requests are processed based on the nearest start date.) Your patience with this process is appreciated.
5. Study and Take Exam
After you take your exam, please provide the Credentialing Assistance office with a copy of your grade and / or your Certificate of Completion. Failure to report grade may require recoupment of gov't cost. You can upload your grades to your supporting documentation on your Credentialing Assistance goal and email Credentialing Assistance office at:
Let the Credentialing Assistance office know you have uploaded your grade on your Credentialing Assistance goal. Once your grade(s) are updated and you complete your Credential, you will be sent a voluntary End-of-Course survey which will be used to assist the Credentialing Assistance office in providing a better service for future applicants.
- Testing locations vary based on the exam. Check with your credentialing agency to find out where they offer testing.
- There are two major companies that offer certification and licensure exams. You can find local test centers on their websites:
Go to Army Cool: https://www.cool.osd.mil/army/index.htm