Here’s How to Become a Certified Payroll Professional

Here’s How to Become a Certified Payroll Professional

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) is a designation mostly used for payroll specialists who are in-charge of tracking employee time and attendance and gathering information to ensure on time release of paychecks. Being a CPP therefore verifies your competency in payroll management. However, to be a Certified Payroll Professional, you must be qualified to take the exam and pass it. Yet, the authorization process in the Philippines is hardly established which in turn discourages hopeful applicants.

Therefore, arranged below are steps you can follow to obtain payroll professional certification in the Philippines—from education to exam completion, and payroll workshops.

Certified Payroll Professional


Although the minimum educational background requirement for this field is a high school diploma, graduating with a degree in accounting or business administration is advantageous. It provides you the essential knowledge in financial accounting, tax preparation, and payroll processing.


You can also earn educational experience through payroll certification programs. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) accredit the Payroll Specialist course offered by Entrepreneurs Accounting Academy (EAA). It is a competency-based curriculum open for high school graduates and above that can be finished within four months. Another program is the Payroll Technician Certificate provided by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP). It is an online entry level course designed to formalize the payroll knowledge of those who are still inexperienced with the system. The program concludes after 26 weeks.

Enrolling in these programs will help you gain a basic understanding of the latest payroll systems and procedures. You can also obtain the needed payroll processing skills such as monitoring payroll, time reporting, calculating transactions, distributing wages and more.


Payroll workshops are similar to payroll certification programs. However, these are only conducted for a limited amount of time. These trainings are mostly attended by those who are already working, but people without prior exposure in doing payroll are also welcome. Companies that offer Philippine payroll services often organize free payroll workshops. CIPP also arranges a payroll workshop weeks before their CPP examination. Join payroll workshops and learn how to operate payroll software as demonstrated by the specialists.

Moreover, attending these payroll workshops can be beneficial to keep you updated on the latest developments in payroll systems. The certificates provided after every workshops are also a great addition to your qualification.


Whether you are a high school graduate or a degree holder or have a payroll program certificate, you still need work experience. Relevant work experience is the most vital requirement to qualify for the CPP examination. Choose a work that is related to payroll processes such as payroll consulting, payroll administration, payroll accounting, payroll reporting, and payroll production.


Although you can earn payroll certification from various professional organizations abroad, the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) in partnership with National Institute of Accounting Technicians (NIAT) is currently the only CPP designation body in the Philippines. They believe that CPP is the standard for payroll in the Philippines, thus, they prioritize the certification and secure the competency of Philippine-based payroll employees.

CIPP has a whole career progression outline starting from Payroll Technician Certificate (level 3) with no experience required; once completed, you may choose to progress to year one Foundation Degree Access Course (level 4) or year two Foundation Degree in Payroll Management (level 4-5). The former is the bridge course to their more advance programs while the latter is designed to ensure comprehensive payroll legislation understanding and management skills training. Both require at least two years of payroll work experience.


After obtaining relevant trainings, experiences, and payroll certificates, you can now submit your Certified Payroll Professional application to CIPP. After the organization verifies your eligibility, you will then be authorized to take the examination. CIPP and NIAT jointly administer the examination and testing centers.

Getting certified does not only mean gaining the CPP initials next to your name. The certification is also an official recognition of your knowledge and skills—making you an authorized expert in the payroll processing field.

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