CCC/CCE Certification – What’s the Value?

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With all the different certifications in the project management arena, one can get overwhelmed trying to make the best decision.

After all, there is a significant investment of time and cost involved with each certification. It is important to weigh all the options and apply the correct logic. We were taught how to make decision trees during our PM training, which included the “do nothing” option. I have met many of people that simply said it is not worth it only to be passed up for an opportunity later on in their career.

For contextual purposes, I obtained my B.S. PM degree in late 2007…then the PMP in early 2008…finally a M.B.A in mid 2010. I find it rewarding to use a certification process to hone and apply concepts learned during academia to my job. I have strong experience in implementing and maintaining a EVMS and integrated performance management system using Primavera P6/Deltek Cobra. I recently accepted a promotion as a Program Management Analysis III. In this role I will work on government contracts in a cross functional capacity between B&P, pricing, operations, HR, finance, accounting, and project management and controls during all phases of the project.

So I have decided to investigate the Certified Cost Consultant? (CCC?) / Certified Cost Engineer? (CCE?) as a complimentary certification to the M.B.A. and as a distinguishing certification that is valued in both government and commercial sectors.

I am asking the PM Student knowledge base to provide their personal perspectives, experiences, and advice regarding the CCC/CCE certification and other certifications that may be worth investigating.


From the AACE International web site:

What is a Certified Cost Consultant? (CCC?) / Certified Cost Engineer? (CCE?)?
Since 1976, AACE?s CCC/CCE? has recognized several thousand certified individuals as Certified Cost Consultant? / Certified Cost Engineer?. AACE?s CCC/CCE? is independently accredited by the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) and the International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC). The intent is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of cost and management criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualifications. The CCC/CCE? requirements reflect the sophistication of individuals in today’s cost and management industry and it fairly measures their knowledge, experience and adherence to best management practices.

CCC/CCE? certification distinguishes cost and management professionals who have the knowledge and skills that impact the bottom line. AACE certification ensures a high quality standard.

Summary of CCC/CCE? Certification Process
Candidates for the CCC/CCE? designation must meet these minimum requirements:

  1. Experience requirements
    At least 8 full years of professional experience, of which up to 4 years may be substituted by a college/university degree. Related degrees include: engineering, building construction, construction technology, business, economics, accounting, construction management, architecture, computer science, mathematics, etc.
  2. Submit application and fees
    AACE Members US$350.00 Non-Members US$500.00, subtract $50 for the early fee. Submit the application, work/education verification and fees, at least 40 days before the next regular exam date to be scheduled at an exam site.
  3. Submit professional paper
    Regularly scheduled exam candidates: The minimum 2500 word technical paper must be submitted electronically to aace staff before the registration deadline.
  4. Pass the examination
    To become a CCC/CCE?, a 70% passing grade must be achieved on the 7-hour exam as determined by the Certification Board.The exam is totally multiple-choice questions. Two parts are open book, two parts are closed book. Effective Spring 2010, they are as follows:

    • Part I – Supporting Skills & Knowledge – open book
    • Part II – Economic Analysis – open book
    • Part III – Project Management – closed book
    • Part IV – Cost Estimating and Control – closed book

    Part I consists of 50 multiple-choice questions.
    Parts II, III and IV consist of two sections each. The first section has five compound questions which contain 7 multiple-choice questions each. You will choose to answer only TWO of these compound questions, resulting in answering only 14 multiple-choice questions for the first section of each part. The second section of each part, consists of 20 multiple-choice questions.

We recommend that your technical paper topic be something with which you are already familiar, such as a project you have done at work. The chosen topic is not as important as your ability to communicate through your paper. Be sure to follow the ?outline? described in the Certification Brochure the structure does count toward the final grade of your paper.