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Certification Examination

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The Illinois Army National Guard can help you receive job certification

As a Guard member working in an important occupational field, you have received extensive training (service schools, correspondence courses, on-the-job-training) which has proved valuable in developing your professional skills. Certification Exams will allow you to demonstrate what you know and will help you to establish your professional credentials. By obtaining certification in your particular field, you will effectively demonstrate that you have the initiative and self-reliance required to advance toward higher skills and levels of responsibility.

Certification promotes association with civilian counterparts and provides an opportunity to both document your skills and to "translate" your military training into civilian terms; thereby making you more marketable in the civilian workplace.

DANTES has agreements with 30 nationally recognized certification associations. These societies allow their certification exams to be administered to members of the Illinois Army National Guard through the Education Services Office. Examinations are available in many skill areas. Click here for a complete listing of Certification Examinations.

Are all the Certification Exams funded by DANTES?

All 30 nationally recognized Certification Examinations are funded by DANTES on a reimbursable basis for members of the Army National Guard.

Steps to Success

Interested Guard members carry out the following steps in order to receive reimbursement for a DANTES-sponsored professional certification exam administered to them at either the Education Services Office or a national test center.

  1. Review the DANTES Examination Program Handbook Part III (Click here for handbook) which contains a list of all participating professional associations, their telephone numbers, and the Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) related to the exam.

  2. Determine your area of interest and contact the professional association for consultation, application, support materials, and study guides. We recommend that the applicant request fees for professional study materials as well as free guides. Pass rates improve with the use of subject-specific prepared association guides.

  3. Review the materials received, and determine your eligibility to sit for the test, complete the application and submit it along with the appropriate fees to the professional association. ONLY ACTUAL EXAM COSTS ARE REIMBURSED. Use the DANTES National Calendar of Certification Tests (Click here for Calendar) to check the list of exams and fees for each. (Registration fees, associations fees, or prep guide fees are NOT reimbursable fees.)

  4. Upon notification from the professional association of your eligibility to sit for the exam, the Guard member is to begin preparing for the Certification Examination. Any study materials are purchased at the Guard member's expense. Professional exams are difficult to pass and it is highly recommended that the candidate purchase any prep guides and study materials prior to sitting for the exam.

  5. The Guard member follows the information in the professional association packet, and works with the professional association in scheduling a test date at the Education Services Office. NOTE: The Guard member may decide to take the exam at a national test center suggested by the association; if this is the case, to ensure he or she is reimbursed for the exam costs by DANTES, the Guard member MUST ensure the national test center follows the instructions in items 6-10.

  6. The Guard member sits for and completes the test at the chosen testing site.

  7. Upon receipt of the examination results, the Education Services Office, or the chosen national test center, makes a copy of the score report as proof of exam completion and sends the original score report to:

Code 20J
6490 Saufley Field Road
Pensacola, FL 32509-5243

  1. Upon receipt of the ORIGINAL official certification exam results, DANTES verifies the payment request, and processes for reimbursement.

  2. After processing, DANTES sends the payment request to DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service). DFAS issues a reimbursement check directly to the Guard member at the Exam rate stated in the DANTES National Calendar of Certification Tests.

  3. National Guard Bureau provides funds to DANTES for reimbursement. Currently, Army National Guard personnel have one funded-attempt at passing any DANTES-sponsored certification exam. NOTE: The National Guard Bureau working closely with DANTES may change their policy for reimbursement in the future.

Certification, Licensure, and Exam Reimbursement Program

What is the Certification and Licensure Exam Reimbursement Program?

A reimbursement program for costs associated with earning a National or State certification or licensure.

How do I qualify?

Be an active drilling member of the ARNG.

What do I get?

  • Reimbursement of exam fee, registration fee and up to $500 for cost of preparatory courses and study materials.
  • Reimbursements are subject to the availability of funds and is first come, first served.
  • Costs for preparatory courses and study materials are only reimbursed if they are not currently available for free through Army e-learning or another source.
  • No retakes for which a passing score was previously received are acceptable for reimbursement.
  • Each part of a multiple step certification and licensure is eligible for reimbursement.
  • Medical and dental certification or licensure reimbursement is available to current ASR/AMEDD students or recent graduates. Recent graduates are eligible for reimbursement if the certification or licensure exam has been taken within one year of graduation.
  • Courses that are eligible for Federal Tuition assistance are not reimbursable through this program.
  • Example Exams:
    • Network Security Administrator (NSA)
    • Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)
    • Commercial Driver License (CDL)
    • Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM)
    • Project Management Professional (PMP)
    • National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP)
    • Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)
    • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
    • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
    • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

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