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The GPC Exam is designed as a test for a “generalist” who is defined in broad terms as a person who is experienced and competent in the fundamentals of grantsmanship. Generalists may (and often do) possess proficiency at the mastery or distinguished level. The GPC credential demonstrates mastery and, therefore, is not considered appropriate for entry-level grant professionals.

GPCI works to identify grant professionals who display outstanding expertise and ethical
practices. This expertise is identified through the core competencies and skills that define the standards of knowledge and practice for our field. The standards are balanced between those working in government and in private sectors, and between the demands upon institutional, smaller nonprofit, and consultant practitioners. The Grant Professional Certified (GPC) is designed to identify individuals with broad-based knowledge and real-world experience in the field of grantsmanship.

Successful candidates will require minimum knowledge and skills related to all aspects of grant development and management, including but not limited to such areas as grant preproduction, grant construction, public sector funding, private sector funding, ethics and grant accountability.


In order to successfully pass the GPC Exam, GPCISM believes that the candidate must bring to the test a slate of prerequisite professional qualifications. These qualifications, described as criteria in attached web pages, represent four professional areas: Education, Experience, Professional Development, and Community Involvement.

Eligibility Criteria

GPC Exam eligibility is based on a point system that reflects the following four professional areas. The minimum number of points needed for eligibility is 120 points; a maximum of 170 points are available. This point system requires a successful candidate to have specific experience or activity in three of the four categories. Only one category – Experience – has a minimum required threshold that must be satisfied for eligibility.

Education: up to 40 points Candidates receive credit for formal postsecondary education from an accredited institution, including 20 points for an Associate degree and 40 points for a Bachelor degree or above.

Experience: up to 70 points GPC Candidates must possess a minimum of three years of professional experience in the grants field within the last five years as well as at least five successful grant proposals over the past seven years. These are non-negotiable elements within the GPC exam process. Experience may be documented in consecutive, sequential years or may include interrupted service within the profession. However, it must be clearly reflected within the candidate’s resume. Employment, which is synonymous with ongoing work as a professional grant consultant, also may include work as a mentor, educator or trainer.

Professional Development: up to 40 points Professional development activities must have occurred within the past two years and must clearly relate to your work as a grant professional. For example, if your resume relates your ongoing work with a youth-services organization, a three-day youth summit focused on project evaluation of youth-related programs would certainly qualify. However, a general session on the problems facing youth today might need additional explanation to relate the connectedness to your work. Professional development you lead – such as training in grant development – would also count here. Other qualified activities might include authoring a book or contributing to a journal or other professional publication.

Community Involvement: up to 20 points Community involvement is perhaps our broadest category and may include non-grant-related activities. The GPCISM Board of Directors believes grant professionals should and do participate actively in all aspects of their home communities and encourage this ongoing involvement. Examples of service might include ongoing work as a member of a nonprofit Board of Directors, pro-bono grant development or training/facilitation services, generic volunteer service (e.g., 20+ hours working on a committee to host a local gala or a Relay for Life campaign). Again, the activities need to be clearly stated in the Eligibility Packet.

GPCI adheres to principles of fairness and due process and endorses the principles of equal opportunity. In administering the certification programs, GPCI does not discriminate or deny opportunity to anyone on the basis of race, color, creed, age, gender, national origin, religion, disability, marital status, parental status, ancestry, sexual orientation, military discharge status, source of income, or any other status protected by applicable law. All candidates for certification will be judged solely on the published eligibility criteria determined by the GPCI Board of Directors.

For more information on candidate eligibility or to determine whether you are eligible to sit for the GPC Exam, please follow the appropriate links below.