Sometimes, making a change is an easy decision. Flat tire? Change it. Wallpaper hanging in your living room since 1983? It’s time. Change it.

Most changes demand much more deliberation.

When it came to considering a change for the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) program, the decision required significant consideration. A change impacts program graduates, current students and future students.

After very careful study, however, the decision was clear—Given the evolving nature of the benefits profession and a clear shift in learning preferences, a change will be good for all involved.

The New CEBS Has Arrived

Before we dive into what is changing in the CEBS program, let’s talk about what isn’t.

CEBS has a long history as the benefit industry mark of excellence. The redesign will maintain university-caliber academic standards while meeting the demands of an evolving benefits industry with curriculum developed by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and Dalhousie University in Canada.

The respect for those who hold the CEBS designation, the career-boosting effects of having a higher level of knowledge, being part of a community of industry leaders—unchanged.

What is changing.

  • Redesigned curriculum—Courses have been fully redesigned, taking an in-depth approach to the plan design, funding and administration of health and retirement plans. The new five-course required curriculum builds on core competencies of health (two courses) and retirement (two courses) and one course that bridges these two specializations and includes principles and practices that are applicable to both.
  • Applicable—The new curriculum incorporates content that applies to what you do every day. New Benefits in Action case studies give real business scenarios and allow you to apply knowledge gained from course theory to a practical challenge.
  • Accessible—New online access. To further meet the needs of today’s mobile, on-the-go community of benefits professionals, the learning-optimized Study Guide will be available online in addition to print. Students who want added structure and support will have the option of enrolling in instructor-led online classes.
  • Obtainable—The new five-course, focused curriculum allows students to attain the credential in less than three years. The self-paced, self-study model puts you in charge of your individual time line—Take as much, or as little time as you need.

How will these changes impact you?

  • For those who hold the CEBS designation, the new program will keep your designation respected in the industry well into the future.
  • Already working on your CEBS designation? You have options. We’re here to guide you as you select your best path for completion.
  • Been thinking about starting CEBS? Your time has come. Check out the new CEBS.

It’s an exciting time for the CEBS community of benefits professionals—a community that I’m so proud to be a part of. CEBS are four letters that truly make a difference—for you, for your employer and for those you serve.

Ann Godsell, CEBS
Social Business Strategist at the International Foundation



Social Business Strategist at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service/product: Face to face conferences.

Benefit topics that grab her: Benefit communication, preventive health, health care cost management, workflex

Favorite Foundation conference moments: Meeting Dr. Andrew Weil at the Annual Employee Benefits Conference was a cherished opportunity. She also loves the times when she and a member recognize each other at a conference because of interacting on Twitter!

Personal Insight: Known around the office as “appropriately paranoid,” Ann is usually prepared for a variety of potential outcomes in most every situation.

4 thoughts on “The New CEBS Has Arrived

  1. Carol Anne Campbell

    I’m presently studying for the GB1 exam, how does this impact me and the test I’m writing for this course in August

  2. Ann Godsell, CEBS

    Hi, Carol Anne. GBA1 in the former curriculum will count for credit for GBA1 in the new curriculum. 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 15​, 2018.

  3. Carol Studniarz

    With the system upgrade now there are flashcards available. Can we assume that the exam will include questions from the flashcards only from each module?

    1. Christine Vazquez, CEBS

      Hi, Carol,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. Testable content in the CEBS curriculum comes from the Assigned Reading in the Study Guide and textbook for each course. Assigned Reading is listed near the beginning of each module.

      Please be sure to study all of the Assigned Reading to be prepared for your CEBS exam. Although the flashcards available in the online classes are a helpful study tool, they don’t substitute for carefully reading and studying all Assigned Reading.

Comments are closed.

Recommended Posts