Program Details

Program Details  |  Exam Dates and Locations  |  Examination Content Outline  |  Recommended Reading List


Achieving the Certified Collegiate Retailer (CCR) designation demonstrates to your colleagues, your campus community, and yourself that you possess the necessary knowledge to successfully manage a college store and effectively provide expertise on collegiate retailing issues. It shows that you are among the leaders setting the tone and direction for the college store industry.


Prerequisites for Certified Collegiate Retailer Examination
Applicant MUST have: 

  • Three years college store management experience plus a bachelor's degree or higher in any discipline.
  • Five years college store management experience without a degree.


Application   CCR Application Form (PDF)

Candidates will be notified of eligibility to sit for the CCR exam within two weeks of application submission. Approved applications are valid for one initial exam and one re-examination, if necessary.


Appeals Process—Application

If an application is found to be inconsistent with program criteria it will be forwarded to the Certification Council for review. Candidates will be afforded due process for any appeal of a decision regarding their application. The process may include the NACS Board of Trustees, which reserves the right to make final decisions on all appeals.


Examination Fee

A non-refundable fee of $200 (NACS members), $400 (nonmembers), is due with your completed application. The examination fee covers the initial exam and one re-examination, if necessary - see additional stipulations under Re-examination. Direct billing is not available. Acceptable forms of payment include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and check.


Examination Dates and Locations

Test administrations are available several times each year. In some cases you may be able to take advantage on the on-campus test administration option. View the current list of examination dates, locations, and options.


CCR Examination

The examination is a knowledge-based, paper-and-pencil examination consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions administered in a single four-hour time frame. Questions are written based on the CCR examination content outline derived from the NACS collegiate retailing job analysis study and the NACS College Store Competency Model.


Preparing for the Examination

NACS and many industry-related organizations offer educational programs and resources that may help in your preparation and study. A list of recommended readings offers suggestions of books that cover many of topics addressed by the CCR exam. The readings include the College Store Retailing Series. This collection of books reflects the content outline scope and represents a structured program of self study organized around the industry's competency model. Additionally, candidates are encouraged to read industry magazines and newsletters. The CCR exam is developed according to the content outline, utilizes generally accepted industry practices, and assumes a basic understanding of applicable business and retail laws and regulations. The exam is not based on memorization and some questions may not be linked to specific books or reference materials. Candidates are responsible for demonstrating knowledge defined by the content outline and should prepare for the exam using those reference materials they deem appropriate and necessary.


Test Scoring and Reporting

All candidates will be notified in writing of their exam results. Successful candidates receive notification of their passing status only. Unsuccessful candidates receive a detailed score report identifying areas of strength and areas that may need improvement. No examination results will be reported over the telephone.


Pass/Fail Standard

The passing standard is a pre-determined standard of knowledge set by a criterion-referenced methodology (similar to setting par in golf). Using this methodology, there is no "curve" and candidates do not compete against each other. A panel of subject matter experts with direct college store management experience sets the passing score for the CCR examination. The passing score is based on an expected level of knowledge necessary for successful practice in higher education retail. Each candidate is measured against this standard of knowledge; performance of other individuals taking the examination is not relevant.


Appeals Process—Examination

Within 30 days after the results announcement of each CCR examination, unsuccessful candidates may request that their exams be reviewed. Decisions based upon the review may be appealed in accordance with due process. The process may include the NACS Board of Trustees which reserves the right to make final decisions on all appeals.



If a candidate fails to achieve a test score equal to or above the pass/fail standard, the candidate may take the test again during a subsequent examination period. Candidates have two years from their initial exam date in which to retest. However, retest exams can be scheduled no sooner than six months after the initial exam.


Recertification (Certification Renewal)

CCR designees are required to recertify every four years. A minimum of 60 hours of continuing education and professional development must be earned starting from the date appearing on the CCR certificate for the first renewal or from the date of the last renewal, whichever is applicable. The Certification Council reserves the right to review and adjust the number of hours needed for renewal and the point allocation for continuing education activities. Point allocation for some activities was changed effective Jan 1, 2009. Be sure to consult the recertification application for the most current point allocation in the year your renewal is due. Notification of changes to recertification point levels and allocation will be sent to all current CCRs. To assist you in tracking your continuing education and professional development activities for recertification, you may use the recertification log (XLS). This tool is provided for your convenience only and does not replace the need for complete documentation for all activities claimed for recertification. It is recommended that you maintain a file with documentation for each activity you plan to claim towards recertification. To apply for recertification, CCR's must complete and submit the CCR Recertification Form (DOC), must agree to and sign the Standards of Conduct (included in the recertification application) and remit the fee of $100 (for members) by December 31 of the renewal year.

Information and Assistance

Please contact us at

The National Association of College Stores | 500 E. Lorain St. | Oberlin, OH 44074 | phone (800) 622-7498 | fax (440) 775-4769
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