A .pdf version of the following FAQ can be downloaded here
What are my choices for becoming certified in the travel industry?
There are two certifications available for travel industry professionals. Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) is available for front line industry professionals who sell travel.
Certified Travel Manager (CTM) is for supervisors and managers wanting to earn a professional designation. Five years of industry experience which includes two in a manager/supervisor position is one of the requirements for CTM.
How long does it generally take to complete the program?
Once enrolled, candidates have up to two years to complete the program. Experienced counsellors may take less than a year as they already have the 1800 hours of work experience required.
Are all steps mandatory in order to become certified?
Yes. Representatives of the travel industry have determined what occupational standards items are best assessed by certain methods. Since only a portion of the standard is assessed through the Knowledge Exam (for example), there can be no exemptions.
Must the steps be completed in the order presented?
It is strongly recommended that you follow the process as laid out on the website. Experienced counsellors may be completing several steps at the same time.
How can I enroll to become certified?
Enrollment is a simple process. E-Mail Kulsum Murtaza at ACTA who administers the certification process for both CTC and CTM. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once Kulsum Murtaza receives your request for enrollment she will begin the process for you and send you the information that you need to get you on your way.
How much does it cost to earn the CTC designation?
The total cost for the bundle package for ACTA Members is $225.00 plus tax and for non ACTA Members the bundle package fee is $375.00 plus tax.
You also have the option to pay step-by-step for the CTM program. For a detailed breakdown of the fees, please refer to the section “Costs for CTC Certification” found on our website, http://acta.ca/travel-counsellor-certification
Once I’m enrolled, can I cancel and get a refund?
Yes, provided that the exam has not been booked, ACTA will refund you the entire amount less a $25 (plus tax) admin fee for any cancellations made within 10 days of your enrollment. If cancellations are made outside of the 10 days, there is a cancellation fee of $100 plus tax. Please note that scheduled exams and workbooks are non-refundable.
Once I am enrolled how do I register to write my exam?
Exams must be booked at least two weeks in advance. Choose the date and time that you want to write your exam and email the information to Kulsum Murtaza: email@example.com. You must also submit your proctor’s application form at this time for approval.
Can I write a paper-based exam?
No, the exam is only available in an online format.
How do I prepare for the exam?
For the Knowledge Exam there are several tools available including: Study Guide, *Practice Exam and Prep Guide. Candidates may also review the National Occupational Standards for Travel Counsellors (available for purchase in both PDF and hard copy). To order preparation material, please email Kulsum Murtaza at firstname.lastname@example.org . *For ACTA Members as well as students and instructors from Endorsed Schools: the Prep Guide and Practice Exam are included in the bundle package. They will be sent to the candidate immediately upon enrollment.
I have a previous version of the Study Guide. It is still relevant?
It depends. We recommend that you purchase the most recent version. To verify, please contact Kulsum Murtaza at email@example.com
What percentage do I need to pass my exam?
For the Knowledge Exam – pass level is on a “sliding scale” around 72%. Each individual question has its own pass percentage depending on which questions are pulled for the test the pass mark may vary slightly.
How do I know if I’ve passed or failed my exam?
You will receive an email notification from emerit - the exam administrator - within the same business day as completing the exam, letting you know your score is available. To review your exam results, you will need to log on to the emerit website with your username and password that are provided to you by your Proctor on the day of your exam. If you passed, ACTA will send you an official pass letter via email within 10 business days.
If you were unsuccessful, ACTA will officially notify you via email. We recommended you review the details for a breakdown of your score on the emerit website. This will help you prepare for your next attempt.
Can I get a copy of my completed exam?
No, for the security and integrity of our exam process, we do not disclose exam forms. A breakdown of your score will be provided in the exam details found in your emerit profile.
What are my next steps if I fail my exam?
Re-writes for the Knowledge Exam are available for an additional fee of $100 plus tax. Future exam re-write dates should be booked at least two weeks in advance. Once you have set up an exam date, time, venue and Proctor, please contact Kulsum Murtaza at firstname.lastname@example.org
If I’m unable to write my exam, can I reschedule it?
Yes, however, there is a rescheduling fee of $25 plus tax. No rescheduling permitted within 24 hours of the original exam date. Exams cannot be rescheduled without notifying ACTA office during regular business hours: 0900ET to 17:00ET from Monday to Friday.
Do I get a refund if I am a “no-show”?
No, there is no refund if you’re unable to attend the day of your exam.
What if I decide not to write my exam?
Exams are non-refundable.
Can I appeal my score if I do not receive a passing mark?
No, appeals are not accepted. Please note that all exams are computer graded.
If I cannot find a Proctor, how can I write the exam?
Unfortunately, you need to have a Proctor in order to write the exam. A Proctor can be a person from any industry who does not have any conflict of interest with you. For a detailed definition of a Proctor please refer to the second page of the proctor’s application form
Who pays my Proctor?
ACTA does not pay for a Proctor. Should your Proctor decide to charge a fee, the fee is negotiated between you and your Proctor. A Proctor may wish to supervise your exam without charge as a favour or a goodwill gesture.
Is there anything that I can bring with me to the exam? ie. calculator, pencil,…
Yes, you can bring a battery powered calculator (no cellphone calculators permitted). However, you’re not allowed to bring cell phones, paper, pencils, pens, atlases, dictionaries or food/drinks.
How long is the exam?
The maximum allotted time is 4 hours. You do not have to stay for the entire duration if you complete your exam ahead of time. You may leave as soon as your exam is submitted.
When should I arrive for my exam?
It’s better to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your set exam time. If you arrive late, you will not be given additional time.
What if I arrive late for my exam?
If you are more than 20 minutes late and you are writing in a group setting, you will not be permitted to write your exam. In this case, you will need to notify ACTA immediately and reschedule your exam date for a fee of $25 plus tax.
Can I leave the exam session at any point (ie. for washroom breaks)?
Once the exam starts, you cannot leave the room until you finish. If it’s an emergency, please notify the Proctor.
1800 HOURS OF WORK EXPERIENCE
At what point should the tracking of my 1800 hours of work experience be submitted?
When you are completing the final administrative procedures required for your CTC, you can submit proof of your hours.
What constitutes the 1800 hours of work experience?
travel industry experience covers the paths to earning 1800 hours of experience.
What credits are applied for the various training initiatives in the industry?
Please refer to the credit chart . You will note that 1 credit = 1 hour of relevant experience. You can track up to 450 hours. The remaining 1350 hours covers your required work experience.
For students, keep in mind that you can deduct 180 hours from the 1800 hours upon graduating from a travel and tourism program. However, the 180 hours is included within the maximum allowed 450 hours of relevant experience.
How can I track my work experience?
If you’re an experienced agent, you can ask your supervisor to submit an official letter verifying your hours.
I’m new in the industry and I’m working on acquiring my industry experience. How can I track relevant experience (i.e. webinars) in order to submit my hours?
The tracking sheet can be used to help you track your relevant experience.
Can past experience be applied prior to my enrolling in the CTC program?
Yes, you can track your experience earned for one year prior to enrollment. All experience must be directly related to the travel industry.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION CHECKLIST
How do I get the Performance Evaluation checklist?
You will need to forward the Performance Evaluation Request Form and Checklist (http://acta.ca/Media/Default/CITC%20PDFs/TCC-Performance-Evalution-Request-Form-e.pdf ) to your supervisor. Once completed, your supervisor needs to submit the forms to Kulsum Murtaza at email@example.com .
Who does my evaluation?
Your office manager or supervisor. In the case of home based agents, your head office/administration office will assign who your evaluator will be.
Why is the performance checklist necessary?
The performance checklist qualifies the skills necessary to be a travel agent. By completing and submitting the checklist, your manager is verifying that you have the skills necessary to be a certified travel agent.
COMPLETION OF CERTIFICATION
I’ve completed all the steps, now what?
ACTA will send you an official letter confirming your certification via email. Your Regional Manager will then contact you regarding your annual dues for your professional designation. The dues will be prorated according to the effective date of your certification. Once payment is received, you will receive your Certified Travel Counsellor certificate, a CTC pin and full use of your designation!
You will then become a “Certified Member” of ACTA and will be required to maintain your CTC designation via payment of annual dues. Renewal notices will be sent to your home address in November or December of every year.
The following is a list of benefits you can enjoy as a Certified Member of ACTA:
Marketing Positioning and Visibility
• Eligibility to display the CTC/CTM designation and logo. Make a statement to consumers and the industry about the commitment you made in earning your professional designation.
• Opportunity to be listed in the ACTA Travel Directory for Certified Professionals working in an ACTA Member Agency.
• Opportunity to benefit from ACTA’s Strategic Priorities of Promotion of the ACTA Travel Professional with a campaign specifically for Certified Travel Counsellors/Managers.
• Opportunity to be elected as a Regional Council Member representing CTC/CTM.
• Opportunity to be elected to the ACTA Board of Directors representing CTC/CTM on a National level.
• Receive our bi-weekly electronic newsletter, ACTAVision, keeping you up-to-date on current events and what’s happening in the travel industry.
• Access the Members Area of our website, which offers more detailed information on the issues ACTA is working on.
• Receive a complimentary subscription to Canadian Traveller Magazine.
• Find ACTA on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter providing another alternative to keeping in touch with the industry at all times.
• Network with peers at ACTA events including forums, golf tournaments and social functions.
• Priority space will be extended to Certified Professionals on ACTA Educational FAM trips.
• Access to ACTA On Demand webinars and live industry webinars facilitated by ACTA.
• Special reduced rates on ACTA Educational FAM trips.
• PLUS, receive a complimentary ACTA ID Card featuring over 140 partners offering you industry discounts! (subject to meeting the eligibility requirements for all ACTA ID Cardholders)