Certification levels & entry criteria

NZPPA’s Certification Framework

NZPPA certification levels can only be awarded if the payroll practitioner can show through the assessment process that they have fully completed the requirements of any previous certification level before they can progress to a higher level of certification.

NZPPA Certification levels:

  • Certified Payroll Technician (Entry Level) – CPT
  • Certified Payroll Practitioner (Intermediate Level) – CPP
  • Certified Payroll Specialist (Advance Level) – CPS
  • Certified Payroll Consultant (Advance Level) – CPC
  • Certified Payroll Leader (Leadership of Payroll) – CPL

Please Note: NZPPA Certification is not based on position title as title cannot determine payroll skills, knowledge and experience.

Certification caters for different payroll environments

Certification levels are not based on a payroll position title it is based on payroll skills, knowledge and experience. Payroll practitioners depending on the type of payroll environment may do some if not all payroll tasks but at different levels of complexity and NZPPA certification takes this into account.

For instance: a sole charge Payroll Officer may manage a complex payroll and cover all the requirements that a Payroll Manager may have responsibility for in a payroll team (minus the leadership of team members).

NZPPA Certification Levels

NZPPA Certification Levels: Certification Type Label Certification Level Certification description Qualifying Period
Certified Payroll Technician CPT Entry
  • Can run basic payroll processing steps, under supervision or within their prescribed authority.
  • or
  • Performs part of the payroll process, or other payroll tasks, under supervision or within their prescribed authority.
  • Understanding of Payroll Legislation
  • More than 6 months
Certified Payroll Practitioner CPP Intermediate
  • Can run a payroll end to end at an intermediate level under supervision or within their prescribed authority.
  • Excellent Understanding of Payroll Legislation
  • Over 2 years
Certified Payroll Specialist CPS Advanced
  • Senior Practitioner that manages payroll, end to end at an advanced level
  • Proficient Understanding of Payroll Legislation
  • Interacts at a senior level within the business
  • 3+ years CPP
  • More than 6 months in role
  • No direct reports
Certified Payroll Consultant CPC Advanced
  • Can implement & configure payroll processes and payroll system criteria and resolve complex payroll issues*.
  • Sound knowledge of audit and review processes to mitigate errors and risk
  • Proficient Understanding of Payroll Legislation
  • 3+ years CPS
  • More than 6 months in role
Certified Payroll Leader CPL Leadership
  • Meets all the requirements set at the previous certification levels (CPT, CPP) and may have consulting experience under CPC (optional)
  • Leads and manages staff in a payroll environment.
  • Sound payroll knowledge and experience that enables complex payroll issue resolution
  • Experience with implementing audit and review processes to mitigate errors and risk
  • Proficient Understanding of Payroll Legislation
  • 3+ years CPS
  • 1 or more direct reports
  • More than 12 months in leadership role

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