Welcome to the premier payroll training programs offered by APA. These courses allow you to work within your own schedule to gain an advanced knowledge of payroll or to prepare for the Fundamentals of Payroll Certification (FPC) exam or the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) examination. They are based on the body of knowledge that payroll professionals have identified as the essential for certification preparation and general professional development.
This page provides an overview of the courses and instructions to guide you through them. It discusses the following:
- Course Availability
- Course Schedule
- Navigating the Course
- Adobe Reader
- Completing the Course
- Online Evaluation and Certificate Request
The online content, instructional activities, and your report are available as soon as you complete the enrollment process. They will remain available until
You can work through this course on your own schedule, while keeping the end date in mind. After the end date, you will not be able to access this course.
Navigation buttons appear on the left of your screen and are always available. Please review the buttons below to familiarize yourself with these directional tools.
|Overview||Read general information about the course materials and how to use them effectively.|
|Menu||The Menu button (on the left side of this screen) is your path to the online course materials and instructional activities. The course consists of seven modules divided into lessons. Clicking the link to each module will navigate you to a submenu, consisting of links to each lesson's print material, application activities, lesson quizzes, and a module game.|
|Glossary||Find definitions for key terms used in the payroll course.|
|Reference Tables||Federal income tax tables, Levy Exemption and other tables are accessible as popup screens during tests, quizzes, and applications so you may look up and calculate answers to questions. Also included in the Reference Tables is information about PayTrain, Inc.'s policies, which you will need to complete the Grand Tour applications.|
|Resource Center||Enhance your learning by taking advantage of additional tools and information as well as feedback opportunities. Included are additional tax forms not included in the Reference Tables navigation button.|
|Ask the Instructor||When you are enrolled in an instructor-assisted section, you will have access to the Ask the Instructor feature, which provides a private posting area to raise questions related to the content of the course.|
|Discussion Board||Students enrolled in a instructor-assisted sections have access to the discussion board, which facilitates communication between the instructor and participants. Participants and instructors can post and respond to messages.|
|Report||Throughout the course, you can see a report of your progress by clicking on the Report button at the left. It will show you a report of your pre-test score and your most recent score on each quiz and the post-test.|
|What's New||All information in the text and online for this edition of the course applies to the year 2013. Over the course of the year, changes may take place in federal rules and regulations related to payroll. The What's New button links you directly to a news area on the American Payroll Association's Web site, where you can access information on any recent changes.|
|Log Out||Log out of the program.|
You will need Adobe Reader, version 6.0 or newer, to access the Reference Tables in the left navigation panel, and the tax tables in the Resource Center. If you do not have a new enough version of Adobe Reader, click here to navigate to the Adobe Web site and download the Reader.
The Menu button (on the left side of this screen) is your path to the online course materials and instructional activities. The course consists of seven modules divided into lessons. Clicking the link to each module will navigate you to a submenu, consisting of links to print material, application activities, lesson quizzes, and a module game.
You will begin the course by clicking on Menu and starting with the pre-test. The pre-test helps you to measure your current knowledge of the different areas of payroll. It consists of 50 questions covering all seven modules of the course. As you answer each pre-test question, you are told whether your answer is right or wrong and what the correct answer is. At the end of the pre-test, you will see a report that shows your overall score and your score for each chapter. Your score on the pre-test is not used to determine your final score in the course but to let you know where to place the emphasis during your studies. At the end of the course, you will get a report that compares your post-test results with those of your pre-test so you can see your improvement.
To answer some of the pre-test questions, you must refer to government tax tables, which are available by clicking on the Reference Tables link.
All tests in this course include a timing feature, which tracks how much time you spend answering questions. The FPC and CPP certification exams allow approximately 1.2 minutes per question; a summary at the end of each test will compare your timing against the timing you will need to complete the certification exam in time. Tests and quizzes will not end if you use more time than the certification exam would allow.
Work through each module lesson by lesson.
- Read the lesson: Start by reading the lesson either in your print materials or online (through links to lesson content on the module menus). The online navigation includes a glossary that provides definitions of payroll terms.
- Complete the online applications. Applications relate to specific skills and areas of knowledge that facilitate mastery of payroll skills. There are three types of applications:
- Excursions, which are not judged, ask you to respond to a payroll scenario in essay format. After submitting your response, feedback will be provided by supplying you with a suggested response. Your response to each Excursion question will be saved so that you can revisit the Excursion later and review or change your answer. If you wish to start over with your answer, you may highlight and delete the text from your earlier entry.
- Whistle Stops provide a scenario and ask you to complete one or more payroll calculations related to the scenario. Hints and feedback guide you in completing the Whistle Stop and developing payroll skills. Whistle Stops may be repeated several times, with different numbers appearing in the exercise each time.
- Grand Tours present a scenario and data in an always-available popup background, and ask you to complete an activity in a series of questions, such as filling in a form or completing an entire paycheck calculation. Each question provides guidance with hints and helpful feedback. Grand Tours may be repeated several times, with different numbers appearing in the scenario each time. In some cases, you will be asked to refer to PayTrain, Inc.'s policies in order to answer questions. PayTrain Inc.'s policies can be found by clicking on the Reference Tables link.
- Take each lesson quiz: Each quiz helps you check your understanding of the lesson and decide whether you need further study. The length of the quizzes vary based on the length and complexity of the lesson. After you answer each question, you are told whether your answer is correct or incorrect and what the correct answer is. You also see a link to related information that will take you directly to the part of the module that deals with the content of the question. To answer some of the questions, you must refer to government tax tables, which are available by clicking on the Reference Tables link. You can retake a quiz as often as you want. This provides you more practice with the lesson concepts. How you do on a quiz does not impact your final score in the course. Quizzes are a way for you to measure your progress and determine if you need to study a lesson more.
- Play the module game: On Track Each module includes an On Track game that presents questions from the module in a fun format. To answer some of the game questions, you must refer to government tax tables, which are available by clicking on the Reference Tables link.
Course Games: Workin' on the Railroad, Keep the Train on Time, and The Great PayTrain Robbery
Workin' on the Railroad presents a set of 24 cards, face down. Turn the cards over two at a time to match each term with its corresponding value. When you have matched all the pairs, the railroad will be completed. Workin' on the Railroad helps you to memorize some of the facts associated with payroll knowledge.
Keep the Train on Time, a course game for Fundamentals of Payroll and PayTrain Fundamentals, presents questions from throughout the course in a fun format. Your objective in Keep the Train on Time is to answer questions quickly enough to ensure the train arrives in time to deliver payroll to employees. You don't want to be late with the payroll, do you?
The Great PayTrain Robbery, a course game for PayTrain and PayTrain Mastery, presents questions from throughout the course in a fun format. Your objective in The Great PayTrain Robbery is to answer questions accurately to keep the train ahead of the robbers, who want to steal your payroll. There are five levels to complete before you achieve the title of Global Director of Payroll.
The main menu will display how many people have completed the game, having achieved the title of Global Director of Payroll. Will that number include you?
To answer some of the game questions, you must refer to government tax tables, which are available by clicking on the Reference Tables link.
When you have completed all seven modules and feel confident in your understanding, take the post-test. The post-test consists of 50 questions covering the course content across all modules. After you answer each question, you are told whether your answer is correct or incorrect and what the right answer is. You can also link directly to related content to review the content the on which the question is based. At the end of the post-test, you will view a report that compares your pre-test and post-test scores on each of the seven modules as well as your overall score for each test. To answer some of the post-test questions, you must refer to government tax tables, which are available by clicking on the Reference Tables link.
Once you have achieved an 80% score on the post-test, you will have passed the course and will receive a certificate honoring your achievement. You can take the post-test as many times as you want until you achieve the passing score of 80%. Each time you retake the post-test, you see different questions, and each time your last score is erased and your new score is saved. Your most recent score is available to you on your report.
When you have completed the post-test, a link will appear providing you an opportunity to provide us your feedback on the effectiveness and ease of using each course.
If you are using PayTrain or Fundamentals of Payroll, and you have passed the post-test with a score of 80% or better, you may complete an online request to create a completion certificate. You can store the certificate to your computer, and will be able to print at any time once it is created. (PayTrain Fundamentals and PayTrain Mastery users may request a printed completion certificate from their instructor.)
It's time to get started! With these courses, the American Payroll Association has brought you premier programs. Use them to advance in your current job and future career.