CEBS: It’s an Amazing Day to Start!

CEBS: It’s An Amazing Day to Start!

Sometimes the hardest part of something new is just getting started. You’ve given it a lot of thought, and you’ve done your research—How do you know when the time is right to dive in? If you’re waiting for a sign, here it is: Consider the fact that you’re reading this blog a sign that the time is right to start earning your CEBS.

Here are a few pointers for taking your next step toward your brighter future:

1. GBA or RPA to start?

GBA or RPA to start? When getting started in the program, you’ll need to decide whether you want to begin with the Group Benefits courses or the Retirement Plans courses. Think about your previous experiences—Which area are you most familiar with? Lead with what you know, and you’ll be off to a good start. If you are brand new to the industry, I’d suggest starting with the Group Benefits courses: You’ll be in good company with over 75% of new registrants.

2. Give some thought to how you’d prefer to learn the material for your first course.

With the Study Guide and textbook, you’ll be ready jump right in with the self-study approach. Thinking you’d like added structure and support from an instructor? Consider enrolling in an Online Study Group With Instructor Support. These groups do not meet at a set date and time—Instead, you are able to log in anytime during the 12-week session to access the instructor’s notes, review and participate in the discussion boards, test your knowledge with the additional quizzes offered and more.  These groups are optional—They have an additional charge and can be joined at any time throughout the 12-week sessions that are offered three times per year.

3. Plan ahead so you set a goal for taking your course exam.

One of the best ways to plan is to keep in mind that you will need about 14-15 weeks of study-and-review time per course from the time you start your study to the time you are ready to take the exam. This allows you to cover approximately one module of study materials per week with about 3-4 weeks for final review. You’ve selected the course you are starting with, and you’ve planned to move ahead with self-study or an Online Study

4. Now’s the time to submit your order and be proud of your commitment.

Either enroll online at or submit the fillable PDF order form available on the website. Order your course materials (Study Guide and textbook), add the Online Study Group With Instructor Support if this sounds like a good fit for you and then select the testing quarter/window for taking your virtual exam. Submit the order, and our team will get started right away to get you all set up and send out your materials.

5. Remember to lean on your peers, fellow students and our team for support.

We’re here rooting for you as you work through each of the five courses to earn your CEBS designation. Send me an email with your questions at, call our Customer Service team at (800) 449-2327, option 3, to talk about your next step, or get to know us better by joining us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll meet you where it works best to support you, and we’ll be there clapping for you when you celebrate earning your designation!

Just remember that getting started is a huge first step. Give yourself a pat on the back for wanting to rise to the top with your designation and know that there is no time like the present to get started. CEBS —It’s in your future, and I know you’re ready to begin today.

Rachel Oliver, CEBS
Manager, CEBS Program Development at the International Foundation