NACHA Accreditation Program Frequently Asked Questions

NACHA offers two national accreditation programs. Invest in your professional development and hone your skills by choosing the payments accreditation that is right for you.

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 LogoAAP_200_HS  APRP-Logo-TM

Primarily ACH Network 

Credential signifies comprehensive knowledge of all areas of ACH, a deep understanding of and experience in one or more specific ACH subjects and a broad knowledge of concepts that relate to the payments system as a whole.

Encompasses Entire Payments Ecosystem

Credential signifies comprehensive knowledge of risk management strategies, concepts and mitigation techniques within the payments ecosystem, including checks, wires, ACH, emerging and alternative payments systems, and cards (debit, credit, prepaid)

AAP Topic Areas and Weights (Exam Blueprint)

Rules & Regulations (25%)
Risk Management (15%)
Technical Standards (11%)
Operational Process & Flow (28%)
General Payments Overview (13%)
Marketing & Products (8%)

APRP Topic Areas and Weights (Exam Blueprint)

Fundamentals of Payments Risk Management (27%)
Payments Risk Management Controls (22%)
Payment Systems (16%)
Physical & Information Security (13%)
Regulatory Environment (12%)

Payments Risk Policy & Governance (10%)

How do the AAP and APRP Programs differ? How are they similar?

The primary difference between the AAP and APRP is the scope of the two exams. An AAP is an expert in all aspects of the ACH Network, including a basic understanding of other payment types as they relate to the ACH Network. An APRP, meanwhile, demonstrates comprehensive risk management knowledge across all payment types. The Risk Management section of the AAP exam focuses on risks related to the ACH Network, whereas on the APRP exam, the Fundamentals of Payments Risk Management includes all payment types including the ACH Network. The Rules & Regulations section of the AAP exam may contain Regulation E questions concerning error resolution specifics, while questions on the APRP exam related to Regulation E might focus on broader compliance risk.

How do I decide which credential to pursue?

If you work solely on matters related to the ACH Network – in operations, sales, risk management or similar – you should consider the AAP Program. If your position has a larger scope outside of the ACH Network, such as strategy, product development, or treasury sales, then the APRP credential may provide a greater benefit to you and your organization.

If I am already an AAP can I become an APRP?

Yes! The addition of the APRP credential signifies your expertise in risk management of all payment types. 

Exam Registration

What are the exam registration fees & key dates?

Each program has their own registration fees and key dates.

AAP Fees & Dates
APRP Fees & Dates

How do I register to take the exams?

All exam registrations include a complimentary handbook to help you prepare. Online registration is available and is the preferred method.

AAP Online Registration       AAP Registration Form

APRP Online Registration     APRP Registration Form

Continuing Education

How do I maintain my AAP status?

Learn about AAP continuing education credit requirements.

AAP Maintain Status

How do I maintain my APRP status?

Learn about APRP continuing education credit requirements.

APRP Maintain Status

Additional Information

What are the program policies?

Read the AAP and APRP Program Policies.

AAP Program Policies
APRP Program Policies

Who can I contact?

We know embarking on a new accreditation is huge and celebrate your commitment. We want to help you navigate the process and answer any questions you may have. Simply email us at and a knowledgeable NACHA staff member will be happy to assist.

AAP & APRP Exam Planning & Scheduling

What should I bring to the exam?

Bring a picture ID, including a signature, as well as EITHER your confirmation email from PSI or your Authorization to Test letter. You are not permitted to bring personal belongings (such as hat, coats, cell phones or purses) into the testing room. You do not need paper or pencil; these will be provided by the testing facility.

Can I change my exam date, time or location?

You may change the test date, time or location, for free, up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled test. After that point, you cannot change your test particulars. 

Can I defer my exam?

Candidates who find they’re not ready to take the exam may defer to the next scheduled examination window. NACHA must receive any written deferral request ten business days prior to the opening of the testing window, and the request must include a processing fee, currently $125.

What is the passing score for the exams?

The passing score is disclosed only as pass/no pass. Individual scores are unavailable to exam candidates.

When do I receive my results?

Candidates will be informed of their exam results (pass/no pass) immediately following completion of the exam. Within six to eight weeks of the test window’s end, successful candidates will receive their accreditation certificate from NACHA. Unsuccessful candidates will receive a report on general topic areas requiring improvement.

When can I start using my credential?

Upon receipt of a passing result, you may immediately begin using your new payments credential.

I didn't pass the exam. Can I retake it?

If you are unsuccessful, you may retake the exam as many times as necessary during subsequent testing periods, provided you pay the registration fee for each new examination.