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APA’s PayTrain College & University® Program

As a payroll professional, you know how important it is to maintain your company’s compliance by keeping up with changing regulations and procedures. Staying current is important to your company’s bottom line and your career. 



The American Payroll Association (APA) has partnered with Bellarmine University to provide a solution to your training needs!

PayTrain Fundamentals

Learn the fundamental payroll calculations and applications necessary for individuals who are new to the payroll industry, those who support the payroll industry, and those who are preparing for the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) or Certified Payroll Professional  (CPP) certification examinations. Gain the knowledge and skills required to maintain payroll compliance and prevent costly penalties.

PROF 460 / 12 Thursdays / Sept. 17 - Nov. 19, 2015 / 6 – 9 p.m. / $749, includes $325 materials fee and access to interactive online applications ($799 after Sept. 7)

PayTrain Mastery

PayTrain Mastery is a continuation of PayTrain Fundamentals and provides students with an in-depth understanding of the advanced payroll topics necessary for payroll managers and supervisors. This part of the program is ideal for experienced payroll professionals seeking compliance training, professional development, or CPP certification preparation. (To qualify for CPP certification, candidates must have earned three years of payroll experience in the five years prior to taking the exam.)

PROF 461 / 12 Thursdays / Feb. 11 - Apr. 28, 2016 / 6 – 9 p.m. / $849, includes $325 materials fee and access to interactive online applications ($899 after Feb. 1, 2016)


Tamara Hart Goodman, CPP, has earned a Master’s of Science in Business Communication. She has more than 20 years of payroll experience across multiple industries.

Who Should Enroll

  • Experienced and entry-level payroll professionals
  • Managers and supervisors providing strategic payroll management
  • Sales professionals and consultants serving the payroll industry 
  • Systems analysts and engineers writing payroll programs
  • Payroll service bureau client representatives

You Will Gain

  • A foundation of knowledge for starting or advancing your payroll career.
  • Improved job performance by increasing accuracy and compliance. 
  • Access to a network of peers to learn about payroll practices in other organizations.
  • Solid grounding in compliance issues related to tax and regulatory information. 
  • Preparation for the FPC and CPP exams.
  • Recertification credit hours (RCHs) or continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain FPC or CPP credentials.

Benefit to Your Employer

Organizations that provide payroll training to their employees through APA’s PayTrain College & University® program will see a significant return on investment.

  • Understanding of complex regulatory requirements helps prevent costly noncompliance penalties 
  • Professional development increases employee loyalty and productivity  
  • Local course offerings provide an opportunity to train multiple employees without the time and expense of travel and time out of the office
  • Employees receive live training without significant travel and time away from work

Course Components

Printed Workbooks - The text is divided into seven modules:
  • Module 1: Payroll Concepts 
  • Module 2: Payroll Calculations 
  • Module 3: Fringe Benefits 
  • Module 4: Payroll Reporting and Employment Taxes
  • Module 5: Record Keeping and Payroll Practices 
  • Module 6: Payroll Accounting 
  • Module 7: Management and Administration

Online Components
The online components are essential to the learning process. These interactive tools will help participants determine their initial level of knowledge, create a study plan based on individual need, reinforce their studies with games, application exercises and tests, and track their learning through progress reports. The online portion of the course consists of the following components.

  • Overview: The overview will guide you through the program. 
  • Pre-Test: The timed pre-test, comprised of 50 multiple-choice questions, will measure your existing level of payroll knowledge by topic, and help you develop an efficient study plan. Correct answers are provided after each question.  
  • Lesson Quizzes: After reading each lesson from your workbook, complete the related lesson quiz to test your comprehension and retention of topics studied. Correct answers and links to the appropriate section of text are provided after each question.  
  • Module Game: On Track provides a fun and interactive way of reinforcing learned materials at the end of each module.  
  • Application Exercises: A number of application exercises, including Excursions, Whistle Stops, and Grand Tours, will help you apply the concepts learned in the text to a series of job-based scenarios. Correct answers and links to the appropriate section of text are provided after each question.  
  • Course Game: Keep the Train on Time (Fundamentals), The Great PayTrain Robbery (Mastery), and Workin’ on the Railroad (both courses) provide an entertaining and challenging review of the topics covered by the entire course.
  • Final Test: The timed final test, consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions, covers content drawn from the entire course. Correct answers and links to the appropriate sections of text are provided after answering each question. The final test results will measure the progress you’ve made throughout the course and will provide an indication of areas that require further study.
  • Online Glossary: Accessible any time during the program, the pop-up glossary allows you to look up definitions of terms without leaving your current activity.
  • Reports: Track your course progress through a reporting feature that compares your pre-test and final test scores.

APA’s Certificate of Achievement

Students who successfully complete both the Paytrain® Fundamentals and Payroll Paytrain® Mastery courses will receive a Certificate of Achievement from the American Payroll Association, the premier association for payroll professionals and the recognized source of payroll education in the United States.

Bellarmine University will award a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of each individual course.

Certification Information

Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC)
The FPC is a certification credential for payroll beginners and service and support professionals. The exam is open to all those who wish to demonstrate a baseline of payroll competency. Click here for more information.

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
The CPP is a certification credential for those with some experience in payroll. To qualify for CPP certification, candidates must have earned three years of payroll experience in the five years prior to taking the exam. Click here for more information.

Other Resources

“Taking the PayTrain College & University course brought everything together. The interactive piece and live instruction makes the payroll content relate to real-life situations. Paytrain provides detailed information on how to work through problems and the ramifications of payroll laws and regulations. PayTrain did it for me. If you want to pass the CPP exam, I recommend PayTrain.” Sherry Levels, CPP Payroll Specialist Texas Westmoreland Coal Company


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