FAQs: NRF Foundation Training Update

Please check back weekly as we will continue to update this page with additional information.
Access our 7/23 webinar where we shared the latest details on the transition here.

Register as a Penn Foster training partner here.

Take a look at an overview of our updated learning concepts and exam blueprints for Retail Industry Fundamentals, Customer Service & Sales and Business of Retail: Operations & Profit.

Find Penn Foster’s w9 here.

Check out our simple tutorial guides on how to use the new Penn Foster portal, here

 

Q: What changes are occurring? 

A:  To help your students compete in our ever-changing world, we are updating our curriculum, exams and textbooks to match the skills required in today’s job market. We are also developing more robust support materials to make our trainers’ life easier. In making these updates, we have spoken with many of our current trainers to incorporate their feedback and have also convened industry experts to help update and validate the learning objectives and curriculum.

Q: Why did the NRF Foundation move all of its credentials to Penn Foster?

A:  To create easier access for you and more engaging content for your students, we’ve partnered with Penn Foster to bring all RISE Up credentials together in one place.   Penn Foster’s technology is helping us make RISE Up a fresh, immersive experience for learners and a better user experience for training partners.

Q: What is the timeline for this transition? 

A:  Our updated textbooks and exams – including all administrative and student features – will be available through Penn Foster by September 3, 2019. 

Our new online and blended learning courses will be available through Penn Foster by September 16, 2019. 

Q: How do I get procurement related paperwork (i.e. new vendor request form, tax-exempt status form, etc.) completed?

A: As Penn Foster will manage the billing process on behalf of the NRF Foundation- this includes Purchase Orders and invoices. Because of this, Penn Foster will become the new “Payee” for all future orders. For your records, Penn Foster’s W9 is here. If you have any billing questions or have any procurement related paperwork that needs to be completed (i.e. new vendor form, tax-exempt forms, etc.), please contact the Penn Foster support team at support@nrfriseup.com or call 800-986-6482.

Q: I use Retail Industry Fundamentals in my program.  How does this transition impact me? 

 A:  Retail Industry Fundamentals is staying on the Penn Foster platform. The core functionality will not change, but we are making important content improvements. Take a look at the overview of our learning concepts and exam here. We’re updating and revising the content to better highlight the possibilities of a career in retail, covering the skills required for an entry-level retail job, and providing the tools and confidence to be able to apply for and get a job.  We’re also adding engaging videos and updating the textbook to include new material, including how to:

  • Discover the opportunities and diversity of retail careers
  • Determine which opportunities align with learner goals, needs, and preferences
  • Build a career in retail based on the knowledge of a realistic career path and the necessary experience, training, personal commitment and education to support that goal.
  • Understand that the skills developed in an entry-level role in retail are transferable to many other roles and industries making retail an excellent way to start any career or career change

The learning objectives tested for on this new exam will remain similar. If you are currently teaching in the course, you can complete it.

The price for this updated version will remain $99 and the textbook will now be $65. A new blended version for $135 will include online content, the textbook and exam. A bulk discount of 10% will be available when purchasing 150 or more Retail Industry Fundamental credentials at the same time.

Q:  I use Customer Service & Sales in my program, how does this impact me?

 A: Customer Service & Sales will be moving from its current platform to the Penn Foster platform. Additionally, we’re updating the content of Customer Service & Sales with media and videos, new uses of technology, and enhanced information about the retail industry. We’re also updating the textbook. Customer Service & Sales will be available to be taken online, in the classroom or in a blended format.

 The learning objectives tested on the Customer Service & Sales exam will remain similar. Take a look at the overview of our learning concepts and exam here.

If you’re not already a registered training partner on the Penn Foster platform, you can create an account here. The Penn Foster platform will provide an improved user experience for both learners and instructors.

All existing Customer Service & Sales vouchers as of 9/3 will transfer to your new Penn Foster account with an extended expiration date of 9/2/2020. Until 9/3, you can use your vouchers as you have always used them. 

As part of the transition, Penn Foster will manage the billing process on behalf of the NRF Foundation - this includes Purchase Orders and invoices. Because of this, Penn Foster will become the new “Payee” for all future orders. For your records, Penn Foster’s W9 is here. If you have any billing questions or have any paperwork that needs to be completed, please email Penn Foster at support@nrfriseup.com.  

The price for this updated version will remain the same: $55 exam voucher, $65 textbook and a new online curriculum for $65. We will add a blended version for $155 that includes online content, the textbook and exam. A bulk discount of 10% will be available when purchasing 150 or more Customer Service & Sales credentials at the same time. 

Q: I use Advanced Customer Service & Sales in my program how does this impact me?

 A:  We’re updating and enhancing our Advanced Customer Service & Sales curriculum. To better reflect the content covered, the new course will be called The Business of Retail: Operations and Profit. The Business of Retail curriculum dives into the business and economics of retail. It is designed for learners wanting to develop and hone skills related to retail operations, loss prevention, merchandising and marketing, the retail profit model, and navigating career planning. Take a look at the overview of our learning concepts and exam here.

The updated course is developed for high school students in business, entrepreneurship or other similar courses, or for frontline retail workers looking to advance to a first-line supervisory role. 

The learning objectives tested on this exam will be updated. In addition, The Business of Retail will have a standalone textbook and will no longer be a part of the Customer Service & Sales textbook.

If you’re not already a registered training partner on the Penn Foster platform, you can create an account here. The Penn Foster platform will provide a new and improved user experience for both learners and instructors.

As part of the transition, Penn Foster will manage the billing process on behalf of the NRF Foundation - this includes Purchase Orders and invoices. Because of this, Penn Foster will become the new “Payee” for all future orders. For your records, Penn Foster’s W9 is here. If you have any billing questions or have any paperwork that needs to be completed, please email Penn Foster at  support@nrfriseup.com.  

The price for this updated version will now cost: $75 exam voucher, $65 textbook and a new online curriculum product for $65. A blended version for $175 will include online content, the textbook and exam. A bulk discount of 10% will be available when purchasing 150 or more Business of Retail: Operations and Profit credentials at the same time. 

The NRF Foundation will contact each training partner that has Advanced Customer Service & Sales vouchers with an expiration date beyond 8/30/2019 to discuss their options. In the meantime, you can complete Advanced Customer Service & Sales through 8/31/2019.

Q: What happens to my existing Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers?

A:You will not lose any vouchers and you have a couple of different options.           

  • Option 1- Prior to 9/30, use your Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers as you have always used them.
  • Option 2- On 9/3, we can convert your Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers to the Penn Foster platform to the updated exam blueprint. 
  • Option 3- On 9/3, if you have a group going through the current curriculum and want to make sure that they are taking the same exam, we can convert your Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers to the Penn Foster platform as the existing, non-updated exam blueprint.

Contact Kyle Huie at huiek@nrf.com or call at 202-626-8198 to discuss your preferences.

Q: What happens to my existing Advanced Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers?

A: You will not lose any vouchers and you have a couple of different options

  • Option 1- Prior to 9/30, use your Advanced Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers as you have always used them. The Advanced Customer Service & Sales credential will still be awarded and recognized.
  • Option 2- If you plan to use your Advanced Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers after 9/30, we will transfer your existing exam vouchers to the new Penn Foster platform on 10/1 and extend their expiration window to 9/30/2020
  • Option 3- We can convert your Advanced Customer Service & Sales exam vouchers to Busines of Retails vouchers after 9/3

Contact Kyle Huie at huiek@nrf.com or call at 202-626-8198 to discuss your preference.

Q: Can I still offer Advanced Customer Service & Sales in the 2019-2020 school year?

A: Yes! We recognize you may already have your school year planned. You will be able to use your existing ACSS exam vouchers and purchase additional ACSS vouchers by calling  800-986-6482 until June 2020. After June 2020, no additional exam vouchers will be able to be purchased.

Q: When will the new Business of Retail curriculum and exam vouchers be ready?

A:  The Business of Retail textbook and exam will be ready by September 3. The online and blended learning courses will be available by September 16. 

Q: How do I set up as a new Penn Foster training partner?

A: To set up as a training partner, create an account through the Penn Foster platform here. Once you create an account you will be able to add your proctors and trainers, purchase credentials currently available, and view a variety of reports. 

Q: Are there resources available to help me navigate the new Penn Foster portal?

A: Yes, you can find a list of resources below with links to How To guides on each topic.

Q: What websites and email domains will be used to communicate with my trainer and/or students?  

A: Emails will come from the following addresses and may need to be “whitelisted”, depending on your organization’s email system: retail@pennfoster.edu, support@nrfriseup.com and reply@foundation.nrf.com. You can also “whitelist” those same website domains: my.pennfoster.com, pennfoster.edu, lpp.learnermanagement.com, and bigcommerce.com.

Q: I see Penn Foster talk about purchasing seat licenses, am I no longer purchasing exam vouchers?

A: Seat licenses and exam vouchers are the same thing, Penn Foster just uses new terminology and we will start refereeing to exams as seat licenses.

Q: Who do I contact for questions? 

A: For more information on curriculum and exam updates, please contact Kyle Huie, NRF Foundation’s Manager of Community Engagement for RISE Up. He can be reached at huiek@nrf.com or call 202-626-8198.

For inquiries on how to register as a training partner with Penn Foster or for any billing inquiries, including the completion of any procurement related paperwork (i.e. New Vendor Form)please email the Penn Foster support team at support@nrfriseup.com or call 800-986-6482.