**Note from Diane: I was thrilled when Bethany said that she was willing to write about her journey to sit for the GPC exam. I hope her story inspires you and prompts you to consider your future professional development, whether it be a certification or other next step.
Over a year ago I started the process to sit for the Grant Professional Certification (GPC) exam. It is a generalist exam that measures nine core competencies and skills of the grant profession through a 160 multiple choice section and a 90 minute writing prompt section. It is a professional certification, not a certificate of participation or an assessment-based certification, meaning if I pass the exam I can put GPC following my name to indicate I have satisfactorily met the requirements for certification. It is equated to passing the bar for lawyers or accountants becoming CPAs.
Through involvement with the Grant Professional Association (GPA) and #GrantChat, a weekly Twitter chat about grants, I came to understand the importance of becoming a Grant Professional Certified. Becoming a GPC demonstrates commitment to the profession, experience in the profession, and extensive knowledge of the profession. I knew this was something I wanted to do for me and my career.
I applied for a GPC Scholarship through the Grant Professionals Foundation to cover the cost of the exam last September and was awarded the scholarship last November! The scholarships are open once a year and “open to any individual interested in applying and eligible to sit for the exam.” After being awarded the scholarship, I completed the eligibility quiz and submitted an eligibility packet before I was allowed to sit for the exam. I spent hours and hours studying, reading blogs and books, and attending webinars. As of two weeks ago, all the work is over.
I had lots of people including many GPCs cheering me on through the whole process. A support system is so important. Knowing that these grant professionals who have gone before me and become GPCs were encouraging me on made such an impact.
I greatly expanded my knowledge of the grants profession through the process of preparing to sit for the GPC exam. I know I am a better grant professional today because of it. Now, the waiting begins to find out if I passed.
Have you thought about sitting for the GPC exam as a step in your professional development? Why or why not? We’d love to hear! Share your thoughts with us via social media or via the comments section of the website.