Eligibility FAQs

The following Frequently Asked Questions relate to the submission and review of the required Eligibility Packet. For specific answers not found here, please email the Exam Administration Committee at admin@grantcredential.org.

+ What is the purpose of the Eligibility Packet and review?

The Eligibility Packet and review serve two purposes.

First, the GPC credential was developed to indicate recognition of high standards and successful experience as a grant professional. The review of eligibility documentation ensures that the individuals holding the GPC reflect those standards and experiences.

Second, reviewing the Eligibility Packet before an applicant sits for the exam helps to prevent novices from spending money unnecessarily. This would also apply to grant professionals who have been away from the field for many years, as the profession changes rapidly. The GPC Exam was designed for a grant professional with three to five years of experience in the field within the past five years. Test items within the exam pool are constantly reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure they are relevant to current practices. The move in 2012 to an electronic format also reflects the shift in the profession to electronic grant formats.

+ To whom should the three letters of reference be addressed?

All signed letters should be submitted electronically with the Eligibility Packet. You may address the letters to: GPC Eligibility Review Team.

+ Must my letters be submitted electronically? Can’t I just mail or fax them in?

Electronic submission of all eligibility documentation in a single PDF at once helps to ensure prompt and efficient review. Review Team members are located throughout the United States. They download your confidential packet as it is assigned to them.

+ Who reviews my eligibility information?

Each Eligibility Packet is reviewed by a team of peers; at least three fellow grant professionals who are GPCs consider each packet. The process is led by a GPCI Board Member, who protects the integrity of the review process. The names of reviewers are held confidential within the Review Team and the GPCI Board. Each team member is a GPC, has been trained in the use of the Eligibility Scoring Rubric, and has agreed to the confidentiality standards of the GPCI Board of Directors.

+ Can my packet be rejected?

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements of five grant awards in the last seven years and at least three years of employment in the last five years will not be approved to sit for the GPC Exam. As noted throughout the GPCI website, the exam itself was designed for a grant professional meeting at least these standards.

It is also possible an applicant may present a packet which does not meet the minimum number of eligibility points required, as detailed on the Eligibility Criteria and the Eligibility Scoring Rubric.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all required documents are submitted at once and the content presented meets the eligibility requirements. Applicants whose Eligibility Packets are not approved will be informed of specific reasons and will receive a refund of the Exam Fee, but not the Registration Fee.

+ Why does the number of successful grants matter rather than the dollar amounts awarded?

Grant professionals who work primarily in the corporate and/or foundation grant arenas may write dozens of grant proposals each year and bring in a six-figure return. However, a professional focused on state and federal funding may easily write five or six proposals, win just two or three and bring in $1 million or more. Setting the criterion at five awards in the past seven years is designed to provide balance.

+ I don’t have a college degree. Will I be penalized for not having a degree?

Many grant professionals enter the field through alternative means. Some of us were part-time employees of nonprofits who never quite obtained a four-year degree. Some moved into the grants world from an unlikely source – say as a professional artist who suddenly found writing proposals to be a real talent as well.

Therefore, the GPC eligibility process provides room for all. Eligibility Packet scores in areas other than education – experience with grants, professional development, and community service – can make up for the lack of a four-year degree. For additional information on the scoring range and point values, review the Eligibility Criteria page.

+ I’m not sure I want the world to know I’m taking the GPC Exam. I’d rather keep it quiet for a while. Is there public access to my identity and the contents of my Eligibility Packet?

The names of all exam candidates are confidential until the announcement of the GPCs. And then, only the names of candidates passing the exam are revealed. Eligibility Packet reviewers work independently and do not discuss the packets with other reviewers. The names of applicants and candidates are confidential and are not released at any point in the process. Names are not even shared with the GPCISM Board of Directors, other GPCs, GPA staff, or any others without a specific need to know (e.g., processing payments, communicating directly with candidates).

In addition, each GPC candidate is given a unique identification number when confirmed for the exam. Those who score the writing portion of the exam never see the list of names associated with the numbers. The GPCI Board of Directors, when validating scores in conjunction with a psychometrician, do not see the names of candidates associated with the scores; only the candidate's identification number is listed with the scores.

+ What are the most common reasons an Eligibility Packet is rejected?

Most submitted Eligibility Packets are approved. However, those that are not approved generally fall into these three categories.

  • Lack of professional experience. The GPC is a credential that confirms to employers a minimum of three years of professional experience within the field. That includes years of service and numbers of grants received.
  • Inappropriate letters of reference. Letters must be dated, signed, specific to the task, and from more than one employer or client.
  • Ill-defined job title and/or resume. The resume must clearly and obviously demonstrate the candidate’s work as a grant professional. While a candidate doesn’t have much option in changing his/her job title, the candidate is certainly free to update the resume to reflect specific responsibilities related to the grants field.