C(k)P - Certified 401(k) Plan Professional

C(k)P Curriculum Overview:

The curriculum of The Retirement Advisor University and pathway to earning your C(k)P® Designation consists of courses, which are separated into three progressive levels of knowledge and skill. These knowledge levels are:

  • Level 1 – The Fundamentals
  • Level 2 – Advanced
  • Level 3 – Expert Application

Each knowledge level is separated into four “Areas of Study”

  1. Technical Competence
  2. Optimizing Plan Outcomes
  3. Management and Business
  4. Sales & Marketing

Getting Started

Each Candidate begins their study with the Level 1 Curriculum. Candidates with previous experience and knowledge in the retirement plan industry may attempt to “test out” of the Level 1 Curriculum by successfully completing the Level 1 Test Out Examination.

The decision to take this examination be based upon a solid understanding of the retirement plan industry and the topics/courses listed in the Level 1 Curriculum. Candidates who attempt this examination but do not successfully complete it may attempt it again.

C(k)P® Designation: The C(k)P® Designation is awarded when a qualified candidate completes all three Levels of Curriculum, successfully attends an educational session at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education, and passes the C(k)P® Designation Examination.

TRAU Learning Platforms

The curriculum for The Retirement Advisor University has been developed to deliver the topics and materials needed to acquire the C(k)P® Designation, and the skills it represents, in an effective and efficient style. The learning experience is a blend of classroom and asynchronous learning, applying most of the standardized forms of instruction available in the modern world.

Instructor-led Classroom:

Classroom courses are conducted at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, CA and other select locations. Classroom instruction sessions require three to five days attendance.

Group Study Sessions (GSS):

Classroom sessions which can be attended to enhance the learning experience are held regionally around the country. These are 2 day educational events which cover the Level 2 and Level 3 TRAU curriculum in an in person format. The GSS are intended to help prepare candidates for taking the Designation Exam. Best user experience is obtained by attending a GSS after completing the Level 2 and Level 3 curriculums online, and prior to attending a TRAU campus session at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education.

While not recommended Candidates may attend a GSS in lieu of taking the Level 2 and Level 3 courses online, and/or attend after a having attended a campus session.

Instructor-Led Virtual Classroom:

Live web casts are conducted many times throughout the year on various topics. Candidates are required to attend a minimum number of live virtual classroom sessions each year.

Online Classroom:

Online courses, or E-Learning courses, are required during each segment of certification and are a major component of TRAU® coursework delivery. Online learning environments permit a full range of interactive methodologies at the same time permitting access to vast amounts of data.

Independent Study Groups:

Independent Study Groups are organized by C(k)P® Candidates, many times, during the classroom sessions, or organized after a Group Study Session. The Independent Study Groups are an informal part of the TRAU community, initiated and organized solely by C(k)P® Candidates. These Independent Study Groups can meet locally, virtually, and by phone and can enhance the learning experience and create relationships that last a lifetime. Many Candidates find it beneficial to be part of a local, regional, or virtual study group to share knowledge and experience.


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