During some of the recent, rather spirited (to put it politely) discussions about the PPFA, the subject of certification was brought into the discussion, although tangentially. From some of the comments there and in the past, it seems obvious that there are quite a few questions about certification, and some misconceptions. I'd like to use this thread as an opportunity to answer any questions I can, as a member of the PPFA Certification Board. Our own Ellen Collins (the dear Bossy Ellen) is also a Grumbler, so you have 2/3 of the Certification Board on the Grumble. Between us we should be able to help or at least find answers for you. So just to get things rolling: The PPFA sponsors the Certified Picture Framer designation. To be eligible a framer has to have at least one year of hands-on experience in retail or wholesale picture framing. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions; the candidate has 3 1/2 hours to complete the exam. The questions lean heavily toward preservation framing and also include math, materials and procedures, care and handling of art, etc. There is no hands-on component. A successful framer who earns the CPF must keep it current by taking a recertification course every four years. This helps assure that the CPF is kept abreast of new knowledge. A CPF who is in good standing, taken at least one recertification course and has at least five years experience in framing may become a MCPF, Master Certified Picture Framer. The exam consists of two parts: submitted frames and a practicum. The candidate frames four pieces of artwork in advance, either his/her own or artwork supplied by the PPFA. All four are to be framed with the best preservation methods in mind. They are a work of art on paper, a needlework or textile, a canvas (to be stretched, not a canvas panel) and an object. During the exam they are taken apart by two examiners, examined and scored according to PPFA guidelines for preservation framing. Preservation and workmanship are the only considerations. While the examiners are doing their work, the candidate has 90 minutes to frame a piece of artwork (again, paper, canvas, needlework/textile or object) chosen at random. This is then turned over for examination and scoring. Almost forgot: Each of the four submitted pieces must have at least one advanced element used. Examples include French matting, fabric wrapped mats, fillets, stacked moulding, hand-finished moulding, etc. The candidates should use good design sense, but they will not be scored on design or aesthetics. This is not the framing competition. An MCPF is required to take the recertification class every four years and also three or more continuing education classes within those four years. That's why you'll see the MCPF logo or a CE next to some of the classes listed. For either the MCPF or CPF it is not required that the exam be taken again, unless it lapses completely. Then you get to start over. Ok, let the questions fly, but please keep it civil. I'm trying to help here.