A couple of months ago, I found myself humming, “All I want for Christmas is my C-E-B-S . . . my C-E-B-S . . . my C-E-B-S . . . .” When the new Certified Employee Benefit Specialist® (CEBS®) program arrived earlier this year, I wasn’t alone in making a CEBS Christmas wish!
Since October 15, when the U.S. and Canadian exams for the new GBA/RPA 3 course became available, many CEBS wishes have come true! Of the U.S. students who passed the new course, 59% earned their CEBS designations. Of the Canadian students, 34% now include the CEBS designation after their names. Of course, all of the new graduates can proudly attest that achieving the CEBS designation took more than a wish.
According to recent CEBS graduates, the time, perseverance and dedication required to complete the CEBS program have already paid big benefits! Here are just a few bonus gifts that come with earning the designation:
- New title—While graduates get the honor of adding “CEBS” to their e-mail signatures, beware you may now be known as a certified benefits nerd and become the go-to source for tough benefits questions. No problem. You’re up for the challenge. The more you know, the more you want to learn!
- New contacts—You are not alone! Throughout your journey as a CEBS student and graduate, you build a network. Online study groups allow you to connect with other CEBS students. Upon completion of your first exam, you become eligible to join the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS), which provides access to the latest industry information, networking and career enhancement opportunities. Upon graduation, attend the CEBS Conferment Ceremony at the annual ISCEBS Employee Benefits Symposium to celebrate with your peers.
- New job—New credentials can lead to a new position. Those letters after your name will make you stand out in a pool of job candidates. You don’t have to wait to finish all five courses. You can achieve your Group Benefits Associate (GBA) or Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) designations after completing just three courses. When you complete all five courses, you will have earned your GBA, RPA and CEBS designations.
- Unlimited success—Once you have the framework to process today’s most pressing and volatile issues that impact both health and retirement plans, you will become an increasingly valued member of your team.
Maybe you don’t have enough time to wrap up your CEBS designation in time for the coming holidays—Take some steps now to set yourself up for a successful CEBS New Year’s resolution.
- If You’ve already started: Schedule your exam today, especially if you have taken courses in the former curriculum. Exams for the former curriculum courses will no longer be available after March 31, 2018 in the U.S. or March 15, 2018 in Canada. To retain credit (pass grade) for any of the GBA and RPA courses transferred into the new track, you will need to pass any course in the new track by December 31, 2018 in the U.S. or December 15, 2018 in Canada.
- If you have been thinking about it: Now is the perfect time to get started! Order your first course, and set a goal date for your first exam! Start strong by participating in an instructor-led online class.
Consider adding a CEBS designation to your list of New Year’s resolutions to ensure your GBA, RPA or CEBS designations are wrapped and under your tree in 2018.
P.S. New graduates: Don’t forget to register for your CEBS Conferment Ceremony held August 26, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts! Not only will you be honored, you will earn up to 19 CEBS continuing professional education (CPE) credits when you stay for the Symposium! Earlybird rates are guaranteed through the end of the year.
Teri Dougherty, CEBS
Research Analyst at the International Foundation