Earning Designations


About the Program
Enroll in the new Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) program and earn the most respected designation in the benefits industry. You’ll learn from health and retirement curriculum – Streamlined core courses, laser-focused content and less breadth and more depth mean you can learn more in less time.

Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)
The CEBS designation is a credential that is recognized for the depth and relevance of critical knowledge achieved. It draws from the GBA and RPA curriculum to build a total benefits perspective and is achieved by successfully completing five required courses:

Group Benefits Associate (GBA)
For those working with health and other group benefits. The courses reflect the up-to-date and relevant information – including updates on health care reform – needed to effectively design, administer and communicate group benefits.

Retirement Plans Associate (RPA)
For those who work with defined contribution and defined benefit plans or are involved with the management of plan assets. The courses reflect the most current and relevant information needed to effectively design and manage retirement plans.

Study Options
Choose a study method and timeline that fits you. Consider your professional and educational experience with the content of each course – You’ll find a path that fits your needs for each course.

Each course Study Guide is designed to guide you through the content that will be covered on that exam. You will need a textbook and a study guide, which includes a printed copy of the Study Guide and access to an online environment with added digital features, including supplemental readings and a practice exam.

Instructor-Led Online Classes
Optional online classes complement the self-study approach with added instruction, guidance and community support.

Formal Classes
There are a few select locations that offer formal in-person CEBS courses.

CEBS Required Courses
Earn Your CEBS designation by successfully completing five required courses. We recommend starting with GBA 1 or RPA 1 and work toward earning your Group Benefits Associate (GBA) or Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) on your path to the the full CEBS.

  • GBA 1 – Directing Benefits Programs Part 1
  • GBA 2 – Directing Benefits Programs Part 2
  • GBA/RPA 3 – Strategic Benefits Management
  • RPA 1 – Directing Retirement Plans Part 1
  • RPA 2 – Directing Retirement Plans Part 2

For a complete description of course listings, visit the ISCEBS website at www.cebs.org


Society Fellowship

One year of Fellowship status is awarded to CEBS graduate members who pass one track of the continuing education examination, or two years for both tracks. This special distinction recognizes members who are committed to continuing their professional development by broadening their knowledge in employee benefits, compensation and key related areas. Fellowship is an excellent way to be recognized within your company, the Society and the benefits community.