Everything you need to know about Certification

To gain certification you must meet the competencies identified in the Framework and attain 100 certification points tallied from Category A, B and C certification criteria. These include training courses including the Ethics for Complaint Handlers, conference attendance, supervisor reference, on-the-job- training, mentoring, literature reading, community activities, and/or peer references.

There is a fee of $165 per application. Additional fees for compulsory units may apply and membership to SOCAP Australia may also apply. Scheme service fees and charges are subject to change and you should check the SOCAP Australia website and the Scheme application form for current charges prior to submitting an application.

It depends on which pathway to certification you take and if you’ve already gained the work experience / training.  For some members, they’ve already done enough training or industry engagement to reach the level of points needed, so it will only take them an hour or two to fill out the application form and gather their evidence.  If starting you’re just starting your career or haven’t been engaging with the industry, you’ll need to complete some training, mentoring or other activities from categories A, B or C (see below).  Supervisors providing a reference letter should expect to spend 30 mins per applicant.

The application form asks you to list your relevant work experience and previous study, including study related to consumer affairs and complaint handling and other additional studies external to this field. Each application and request for recognition of prior learning will be assessed on an individual basis.

Assessment is based on attaining 100 credit points including training and submitting a supervisor’s reference which validates skills and competencies in the workplace.

You must attain 100 credit points taken from A, B, and C category points.

Category A (40 points each)
– Supervisor reference
– SOCAP Australia Ethics for Complaints Handlers (online module)

– Training course attendance and successful completion – coursework matched to the Australian Competency and Ethical Framework for Professional Complaint Handling provided by SOCAP Australia or external provider, if approved by SOCAP Australia
– SOCAP conference attendance and certificate of attainment

Category B (20 points each)
– On the job training
– Mentoring of workplace activity/team/individual – up to 10 hours within two years
– In house training
– SOCAP Community of Practice attendance

Category C (10 points each)
– Complaint/Consumer Affairs Literature
– Community activities
– Online Community activities
– Peer Reference

To reflect the requirements and standards of a professional complaint handler there are two compulsory units under the Certification Scheme. For complaint handlers with less than 12 months work experience in the industry this includes the Customer Service and Complaint Management 101 Course, and for applicants with more than 12 months work experience this includes the Ethics for Complaint Handlers Course.

Your application form should include all your completed materials and documentation so that once it has been received by SOCAP Australia it can be assessed following the internal assessment processes.

Once you have submitted your completed application and it has been successfully received by SOCAP, we will endeavour to process your application within 28 days.

SOCAP Australia and an independent assessment team comprising senior consumer affairs industry professionals assess all applications.

If your application for certification has been denied, SOCAP will contact you to discuss your application and requirements for re-applying.

Your certification must be renewed every two years, and in that time you must demonstrate that you have attained 100 continuing professional development points.

SOCAP will arrange for your skills and competencies to be assessed to determine workplace transferability.

Your certification is linked to you personally, not your employment status, or your employer. If you change employers during your application process you may choose to get your current, or former, workplace supervisor to undertake your Workplace Place Supervisor reference.

Once certified you can use the post nominal SOCAP CP, which reflects both certification and membership of SOCAP Australia and therefore your membership of SOCAP must be current. New members can take out membership on application for certification.

The SOCAP Australia Certification Scheme Handbook  has further information on the scheme, the application process and certification criteria. Further information is also available from the website, and the SOCAP Australia office. Email certification@socap.org.au or call 02 9167 8119.