Frequently Asked Questions
CERA/CERV General Questions
- How long do I have to meet all the CERA requirements?
- Will it take me the full twelve years to become certified?
- Is all the CERA/CERV program information in one place for me to read?
- Where can I locate upcoming events?
- How do I know what classes I have already taken?
You have twelve years beginning from your first course to finish all your CERA/CERV/CEM requirements.
No, most individuals complete the program in two-three years.
Yes. All information regarding the Professional Education Program (CERA/CERV/CEM) is available in the PEP Manual.
Please visit our Events Calendar to see upcoming events.
Please visit the My CERA/CERV page to see what courses you have taken, what you still need and when those classes will next be available.
- How do I apply for graduation?
- Where can I see the requirments for graduation?
- Do I need to include a list of the courses I have taken?
- I attended an Election Center conference before taking my first PEP course. Can I use this for credit towards graduation?
- I want to graduate but I am unable to attend both the National Conference and the Ceremonies.
- I want to graduate but I am only able to attent the Graduation Ceremonies, not the National Conference
- If I am an elected official, who do I have sign off on my Experience Credit? Can I sign it myself?
- I meet all requirements for graduation except one Election Center conference/workshop. I plan to attend the National Conference at which graduation will take place. Can I use this on my Application for Graduation and still graduate?
- The Application for Graduation is due on June 1st, but I will not meet all requirements until I complete courses taken in July. Can I still graduate in August?
- I have just returned to the elections profession; can I use my prior election experience on the Experience Credit portion of the graduation packet?
- How do I know when my Application for Graduation has been approved?
- What can I do if my Application for Graduation is not approved and I dispute that finding?
Acess the Application for Graduation. You may also contact the Election Center at either (281) 396-4309 or email
No. The Election Center has records of all courses that you have attended.
No. Experience and conference attendance must occur within the time frame of taking courses.
Graduates who do not attend the conference or the ceremony will be assessed a special handling fee of $100 to cover increased costs including shipping, staff time, and insurance for delivery of graduation items, plus the pro rata share of graduation ceremonies.
The total fee for graduation is then the normal $175.00 plus the additional $100.00 handling fee for a total of $275.00.
Because of potential liability, only the graduate will be authorized to pick-up graduation materials.
Graduates who choose to attend graduation ceremonies only will be assessed an additional $100.00 fee to cover hotel space rental for the ceremony, meal and refreshment costs, decorating, pro rata share of travel for staff and speakers, public address equipment, etc.
The total fee for graduation is then the normal $175.00 plus the additional $100.00 fee for a total of $275.00.
You need to obtain a signature from someone within your organization that oversees the County, i.e. Chief Administrative Office or a member of the Board of Supervisors, etc.
No. All conference attendance requirements must be completed before submitting your application.
Yes. Submit your application and note which courses are required in July. Approval for graduation is granted provisionally.
No. You can only use your experience beginning immediately prior to beginning courses and must meet the requirement for three years and a jurisdiction-wide election.
You will receive written notification from the Election Center in mid to late July.
A procedure for appealing denied applications is available. For this information please contact the Election Center at 281.396.4309 or e-mail
- How do I renew my CERA/CERV status?
- Where can I see the requirments for renewal?
- How often do I need to renew my CERA/CERV and what is the deadline?
- What happens if I miss the deadline for renewal?
- How do I know when my CERA/CERV will expire?
- Can I take a renewal course at the annual conference that I’m graduating at?
- What if I am unable to attend a required course or event during the renewal period?
- What happens when my Application for Renewal is approved?
Acess the Application for Renewal. You may also contact the Election Center at either (281) 396-4309 or email
You must renew every three years by December 31. If your graduation date is 8/13/2022, you should renew your status by submitting an Application for Renewal by 12/31/2025.
You will not be listed as an active CERA/CERV graduate until your renewal is brought up to date.
You can check your certification status on our website listing. This date is also noted on your CERA/CERV certificate. It is now also available on the My CERA/CERV page
Yes, you can take a renewal course at the annual conference that you are graduating at.
Failure to maintain continuing education and other requirements as specified in the PEP manual or by the Certification Board, will be grounds for losing your CERA/CERV/CEM status. Once the CERA/CERV/CEM status has been lost, you will have to make up courses missed and attendance at events missed in order to be re-certified. No substitutions can be made for required courses.
You will receive a letter confirming your renewal status from the CERA Administrator's office. The annual renewal recognition luncheon occurs every April at the Election Center workshop event. Renewal certificates and lapel pins are awarded at that time. If you are not able to attend the recognition luncheon, your certificate and lapel pin will be mailed to you immediately after the April workshop.