What is the CES Certification Program?
The CES Certification Program is a program benchmarked to ensure validation of the Freight Forwarders and exporters competencies and expertise needed to plan, deploy, support and service trade professionals. It provides professionals with the education and knowledge needed to succeed in today's highly competitive market.
What is the purpose of the CES program?
The program is built upon a set of key export regulatory requirements and legislations to provide the technical competency necessary to deliver freight forwarding services and exporting solutions.  Equipped by this certification, professionals will render professional and consistent trade services that benefit their companies and clients.
What are the benefits of being a Certified Export Specialist (CES)?
The CES program examines key industry-valued competencies. Upon completion of the program, students will:
  • Expand their knowledge of export procedures,
  • Keep current with recent changes affecting the export industry, and
  • Gain recognition and increase stature among colleagues and clients.
What is the location of the CES program?
The CES program is an online course available worldwide.  It provides opportunities for professional growth, networking and mobility. The program also offers individuals who have achieved the COF certification the ability to grandfather into the CES program without taking the course.
Who can become a Certified Export Specialist (CES)?
To qualify for this program you must be a trade professional with at least one year of experience in the U.S. export business including Freight Forwarders and Exporters.  The certification will be awarded once all modules are completed, and you pass the final exam.
CES Points
When are my CES credits due?
Effective July 2015, the renewal system has been updated from a fixed annual date to an anniversary date system.* All designees must complete their credits by the "Expiration Date" listed under the "Certifications" tab of their transcript. For instance, if your certification expiration date is "7/1/2016," you must complete your 20 required credits by 6/30/2016.  If you grandfathered into the program, please refer to the information available hereIf you grandfathered into the program or completed the course, please refer to the information available here.
*Note: If you work for an MOU company, your renewal is fixed on a calendar year basis, so your credits are due on December 31st each year.
If I attend a local seminar on exports or other government sponsored event, will that count towards my CES Point requirement?
Please submit a Form 100, event agenda and proof of registration to ei@ncbfaa.orgfor review and approval of credits.  The event approval fee of $25 is waived for any government sponsored event.
What topics are covered in the CES program?
The course examines several topics relevant to trade professionals in the export business including:
  • Export Controls Basics
  • Export Administration Regulations
  • Destination Country Controls;
  • State Department – ITAR, Office of Foreign Assets and Control
  • Other Government Agencies
  • Recordkeeping
  • Security
  • Payment Terms
  • Bookings
  • Air Freight
  • Bills of Lading
  • Destination Country Requirements
  • Marine Cargo Insurance
  • Export Licenses
  • ECCN Classification
  • Anti-Boycott Regulations
  • Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Export Violations
  • Export Quotations
  • Letters of Credit
  • Export Documentation
  • Carnet
  • Federal Maritime Commission Regulations

What will happen if I wish to withdraw from the course?
The NEI requires written notice of course withdrawals (email, fax or mail). There is a $50 administrative fee if the NEI receives written notice of enrollment cancellation prior to the NEI providing the student with a username and password. A refund of the tuition fees, minus a $50 administrative fee will be issued. Written notice must be sent to the NEI Coordinator at nei@ncbfaa.org.  
There is a $100 administrative fee if the NEI receives written notice of enrollment cancellation after a username and password has been provided. A refund of the tutition fees, minus a $100 administrative fee will be issued. Students may withdraw from the course at any time but no refund will be provided after the course has begun.
Students, who failed to complete the course or did not show at the final exam without a written notice, can reapply for the course and pay half price ($325 for members and $625 for members).  A tuition refund will not be offered to the applicant.
How can I apply for the CES program?
Applicants must follow the steps found here.
When is the application dates?
The CES course has on-going, open enrollment. You may submit your application at any time. Upon approval of your application and remittance of payment, you will be assigned the course in GISTnet; you have up to 1 year to complete the course and final exam (also online, although we do require students to provide a proctor).
What is the cost of the CES program?
The cost is $650 for NCBFAA & NEI Professional members and $1,250 for non-members.
How many lessons are there?
There are around 107 modules within the course. Each lesson consists of 3-parts, in sequence: Study assignment, assessment-for-learning, and assessment-for-record.
What is a study assignment?
This is a lesson with numerous glossary links and links to other resources, plus "check your understanding" question links following segments where there is an associated question.
What is an assessment-for-learning?
This is a “practice assessment" with immediate, question-by-question explanatory feedback. This can be taken any number of times, each time with questions re-sequenced, and a different mix/sequence of responses to choose from.  Most are recall, but some will involve simple case-method (i.e., a situation presented with questions that require interpretation, analysis or perhaps some type of look-up task).
What is an assessment-for-record?
This assessment has a short time limit for completion, and a passing score must be obtained to complete the lesson. The passing score is 75% (2 points for a correct response, -1 point for an incorrect response).
What happens after a student completes all lessons?
When a student completes ("passes") all lessons, he/she goes into a queue for scheduling of the certification exam, which will be proctored. Candidate must obtain at least a 75% score to pass.
How do I review in preparation for the CES certification exam?
A CES "lesson" disappears from "My Page" after it is completed, and the Block link disappears after all lessons have been completed.  The lesson study assignments used in the CES program are continuously available in the GISTnet Library, which you will have access to this throughout the time you are taking any portion of the CES training.  Some of you may also have printed out your lesson study assignments. Although you can review from these materials, there is a more efficient and effective way to review everything you have studied in preparation for the CES exam.
Simply review your assessments from each CES lesson which you can access under "view assessment history" link at the top of your GISTnet "My Page."  You will be able to see how you responded to each question, review the instructive feedback messages, and use the "back link" from the feedback message to return to the precise location in the study text which covers the topic.
Why is this the most efficient way to review? 
First, every key point in your study program is addressed in at least one question.  Second, the CES certification exam will consist of a random selection of these very same questions that you faced in each of your CES lessons. So reviewing your questions will be like a rehearsal for the CES exam.  Of course, in the process you must master the underlying subject matter because the responses to multiple selection question will also be randomly selected from larger pools of responses, some of which you may not have seen before.
Under "view assessment history" you will see both assessments-for-learning as well as assessments-for-record. Selecting the assessment number for assessments labeled "AFL" will open up the assessment with the full detail, including assessment questions, responses and the link to where the topic were covered in the lesson study assignment.  Proceeding in sequence by date you can very efficiently review all the possible questions you may face in the certification exam, together with supporting study material, definitions, etc. Note, however, that access to "view assessment history" will not be available during your actual CES certification exam, You are, however, allowed to us any notes or printed materials from the course during the exam.  You are not permitted to use any additional or outside sources, or the internet. 

CES Certification and Membership

While we understand the confusion, no. Membership and the CES designation are two separate things. The CES is a professional continuing education designation which you need to maintain by earning 20 continuing education credits and paying an annual renewal fee each year. You can be an active CES designee without being a member, which is not required. Membership can be received by being an employee of an NCBFAA member, or by joining as an NEI Professional Member, which is an individual membership. Members enjoy discounted rates on NEI courses and events such as webinars and G.TEC. If you have any questions about your membership status, please email us at nei@ncbfaa.org.
Questions about the CES Program?  
Please contact education@ncbfaa.org


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