The Path to Retail Pro Certification

The Path to Retail Pro Certification

We get many questions in the training department about the process of obtaining Retail Pro Certification. This article addresses the process and options for students who wish to obtain certification.

Retail Pro v9 Certification

While we do provide training for other versions of Retail Pro certification is primarily focused on Retail Pro 9 at this time. Other versions, including Prism, will be discussed below.

There are three different certifications available for Retail Pro 9:

  • Retail Pro Applications Expert (RPAE)
  • Retail Pro Systems Engineer (RPSE)
  • Retail Pro Reports Professional (RPRP)

You may become certified in any or all areas. While most people seek to obtain full certification, meaning all three certifications, others are satisfied with becoming certified in only one area.

Each certification covers a different technical aspect of Retail Pro.

Retail Pro Applications Expert (RPAE) focuses on the core features and functionality of Retail Pro including point of sale functions, inventory management, and customers. As a Retail Pro Applications Expert, you have an excellent understanding of the front-end functionality including setup and configuration and day-to-day operations.

Retail Pro Systems Engineer (RPSE) concentrates on the back end technical functionality, including the use of ECM for data communications, Tech Toolkit for troubleshooting technical issues, and the Oracle database. As a Retail Pro Systems Engineer, you have the ability to plan and implement a Retail Pro rollout, troubleshoot and solve technical issues, and maintain peak performance.

Retail Pro Report Professional (RPRP) takes an in-depth look at the Report Viewer tool that allows business managers to analyze performance. Students also learn how to use an ODBC-compliant report tool like Crystal Reports to modify and customize out-of-the-box reports. As a Retail Pro Report Professional, you will understand how to modify analytical reports and distribute them across the company infrastructure.

If you plan on obtaining full certification (all three courses), you should take them in the order listed above.

Preparation Courses

To support each of these certifications, Retail Pro provides certification preparation courses online free of charge to current business partners and customers who are current with their Software Assurance membership.

Although the preparation courses are optional, they are meant to provide a comprehensive overview of the knowledge and skill required to become certified. From time to time, we see a technician who as so much hands-on experience that they are able to pass certification exams without taking the preparation course, but these are unusual exceptions.Even experienced technicians will benefit from the preparation course, if only as a review of those areas they don?t work with on a regular basis.

One question we are often asked is how long each of the training courses should take. These courses are self-paced and may be completed in as little or as much time as the employee needs.We can provide some guidelines, however, based on our experience with teaching live classes and working with online students.

The table below shows the average time it takes to complete each course, both online and in person. Keep in mind that we teach all three certification courses over a two-week period that includes time for completion of the certification exams.


Live Course

Online Course


5 days

1 - 4 weeks


3 days

3 ? 8 days


1 day

2 ? 4 days

The time to complete an online course depends on how much time the employee has to devote to training each day. Some partners will set aside 4 hours a day for training and expect the employee to complete work during the other time. Others allow the employee to work on training for a full 8-hour day. Obviously, the more time the employee has to train, the faster the process can be completed.

It?s also important to understand that students who complete the course homework and exercises have the greatest chance of success for passing the exams.During live courses, the student is expected to complete these assignments outside of class time. This accounts for the much of the ?extra? time it takes for an employee to complete an online course.

Certification Exams

To become certified, an employee must successfully pass two exams, a written exam and a practical exam.

  • The written exam tests the employee?s knowledge of the Retail Pro concepts. The questions are objective: true / false, multiple choice, or multiple select. There are no essay or open-ended questions.
  • The practical exam tests the employee?s ability to perform tasks in Retail Pro. This could be as simple as creating a new customer record or as complicated as setting up a tax structure for a store or subsidiary.

We generally recommend that students take the written exam and review the results before moving on to the practical exam.

The written exam is closed book. That means that the employee must complete the exam without referring to any notes, text materials, or by consulting with anyone else. The practical exam is open book. Students may refer to course materials and personal notes but may not talk to anyone during the exam.

While online certification preparation classes are free, there is a $100 (US) exam fee for each exam attempt. The same fee applies to every retake.

Exam Preparation

It is important to note that an exam may include anything covered in the certification prep course. This is another reason why it is important to review the course.

To prepare for a written exam, students should review the lecture videos included in the course as well as the exercise / homework questions. Demonstration videos and lab assignments will help the employee prepare for the practical exam.

Passing Score

A passing grade on the exam is 80%. Each question on the written exam is worth 1 point while each question on a practical exam is 3 points, which allows for partial credit in some cases. Students have 90 minutes to complete each exam, although written exams usually do not require that much time.

Students who do not pass an exam will be provided with feedback to help them study Any exam may be taken an unlimited number of times until the exam is passed.

Enrolling in an Exam

Students should request an exam through their Business Partner Training Administrator who must authorize the exam fee prior to enrollment.(Customers and individuals who wish to take a certification exam must pay the exam fee in advance.)

Once you are enrolled in an exam, you will be sent an email with instructions about how to access the exam online. Retail Pro uses an online proctor system. This system will record you during the exam as well as take a screen capture. This is to ensure that you do not use outside materials or consult with others during the exam.

The online proctor system also allows you to take the exam at any time that is convenient for you. We do not schedule an exact time or date for the exam.Once you receive the notification that you have been enrolled, you can complete the exam whenever you are ready.

Taking an Exam

Before taking an exam, please follow all of the instructions for preparing your system for the exam, including downloading Retail Pro and the exam data files. Once your exam begins, you will not have time to configure your system for the exam.

You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. The time remaining is displayed on the screen during the exam. At the end of the time, the exam will close even if you are not finished. Please leave time to review your answers. For your convenience, questions can be marked for review. You will have an opportunity to review these questions as long as you are still within the 90 minute time period.

The best approach for a question you are unsure about is to give your best answer and mark it for review. Using any available time at the end of the exam, review these questions and mark your final answer.

Retail Pro will be notified that you have completed your exam. If you are taking a practical exam, you will be provided with instructions for sending files to Retail Pro for grading. Please follow the instructions completely. Missing or incorrect exam files will delay grading.

Grading the Exam

Before we can grade an exam, your proctor videos must upload to our system. This is an automated process so there isn?t anything you have to do. However, it may take up to 24 hours for these videos to load. Once we receive the videos, it usually takes about 24 hours to grade your exam and send you results. If we have any questions about your exam, we will contact you.

Occasionally, there may be a delay in receiving your proctor video. In these cases, we usually grade your exam and send you provisional results. Unless we identify irregularities with your exam, this will be your final result once your video has been verified. You will only receive notification if there is a problem. A provisional result is counted as a final score.

You will be provided with feedback on your exam. If you do not pass, your feedback will include topics or areas you can review. We do not include copies of the exam or the specific answers.

Exams are randomly generated. You may or may not receive the same questions on a retake exam. If we indicate that you should study a particular area, it is not a guarantee that a question on that same topic will appear on your retake exam.

Should you feel that we made a mistake in grading your exam, please bring it to our attention immediately. We are willing to give the benefit of the doubt in many cases and can have someone else review the exam results to ensure fair and accurate grading.

Do not uninstall Retail Pro or change the state of a computer on which you use Retail Pro for an exam until after we send you final results. We often ask students to resend exam files. If your exam files are no longer available, you may have to take the exam again.


Retail Pro will automatically send you ab electronic certificate once you successfully pass both the written and practical exams for a particular area. Your Training Administrator will also be notified. Certificates are also available online at (for business partners) and (for customers) when you log in to your training history.

Please contact if your training records are incorrect.

Congratulations! Once you successfully certify in one area, you can move on to the next.

Retail Pro v8

Currently there is no certification exam required for Retail Pro version 8. Becoming certified in version 8 is simply a matter of completing the online training course. (Version 8 courses are only available online.)

There are two courses that must be completed for certification in version 8:

  • Retail Pro Application Specialist (RPAS). Similar to the Retail Pro Applications Expert certification, the Application Specialist certification indicates that you are proficient with the front-end features and functionality of Retail Pro.
  • Retail Pro Certified Technician (RPCT). Similar to the Retail Pro Systems Engineer certification, the Certified Technician certification indicates that you have an understanding of back end functionality including ECM and Tech Toolkit for troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Please note that we no longer issue certificates for version 8 courses. Your training records, however, will reflect completion of the course.

Retail Pro Prism

Currently, there are no certification exams for Prism although there will be in the future. In order to best understand Prism, however, we recommend that you follow the courses in the following order:

  • Retail Pro Prism Systems Engineer (RPPSE). This course will show you how to install Prism and configure it for use in your network environment.
  • Retail Pro Prism Applications Expert (RPPAE). This course will walk you through the core features and functionality in Prism.

Without installing and configuring Prism first, you will have a difficult time completing the RPPAE course, so we recommend you start with the RPPSE course.

In the future, we plan to release certification exams similar to v9.


If you have questions about the Retail Pro certification process, please email us at




Published on Feb 2, 2017 in Training & Certification


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