A note about coronavirus (COVID-19)

We know the COVID-19 situation is evolving quickly. We’re as concerned as you are about keeping our staff and our community safe, and we’re tracking the situation closely with the guidance of public health experts. All RISE Up materials continue to be available online so you can use the RISE Up program remotely with your students.  View our RISE Up Online Delivery – FAQs here and access NRF’s COVID-19 resources here.

RISE Up Online Delivery – FAQs

As you reorganize from traditional classroom courses, we can help you transition to remote delivery. All RISE Up materials continue to be available online.

We’ll continue to update this page with more information. We welcome your questions and thoughts anytime at RISEUp@nrf.com.


What online learning options are available?

All RISE Up credentials are available online:

  • Retail Industry Fundamentals: This certificate program teaches basic customer service skills and math skills to conduct sales transactions; it also covers the retail industry and its impact on the economy. 
  • Customer Service & Sales: This certification advances customer service and sales skills, including how to assess customer needs and close sales, understand the customer life cycle and maximize strategies to engage customers. 
  • Business of Retail: Operations & Profit: This certification covers merchandising, marketing, store operations, loss prevention and workplace safety; it will build skills to determine pricing strategies, calculate profits and understand how businesses succeed. 

Are you offering any cost saving during this time to help students continue to learn?

As a current partner, we’re offering you our online courses for free for a limited time.

  • If you need our introductory RISE Up Retail Industry Fundamentals course and exam, simply add the course to your cart. 
  • If you have existing exam licenses for our other RISE Up courses (Customer Service and Sales and Business of Retail: Operations and Profit), complete this form and let us know that you need online curriculum. We’ll get you access to the online courses free of charge.
  • We are also discounting additional products. Customer Service and Sales and Business of Retail: Operations & Profit online products will be offered at a 50% discount. All discounts are reflected in your RISE Up portal

How will RISE Up Credential Exams be proctored during remote learning?

In order to make virtual learning easier for all our partners, we have temporarily waived the requirement that our exam be proctored. Effective April 7 – June 12, students will no longer need to enter a password provided by the teacher when they are ready to take the exam. All other exam rules still apply: no cellphones, no textbooks, no additional resources, etc.

  • How can my students take the un-proctored exam?
    • You will enroll your students using your current seat licenses like you did before. We have removed the password requirement so that when students are ready to take the exam, they can access their Penn Foster learner account and start the exam. 
  • How are you ensuring that the test will remain secure?
    • This is a very high priority for us as well, so we are taking steps to keep it as secure as possible. The test will still be timed to 90 minutes. We will also still be super scrambling our test questions and responses so students will not have the same exams.
  • What are the requirements or resources my students will need in order to take this exam at home?
    • Students will need either a computer or a laptop, reliable internet access, and an updated internet browser (preferably Google Chrome). We want to remind everyone that students are not allowed to use their books, cellphones, or any other resources while taking the exam.
  • Can my students still get their accommodations?
    • Yes, you can still request accommodations for your students who are testing at home. We will do our best to provide everything we can, given the current situation. Please use the accommodations or additional time request forms as usual.
  • If I am not able to test my students, even with the un-proctored exam, will my licenses still be good next year?
    • Yes, the NRF Foundation is prepared to extend license expiration dates to accommodate those schools that are not able to continue testing virtually.

I was in the middle of teaching the RISE Up curriculum in the classroom. How can I switch to the online version?

All curriculum for RISE Up (Retail Industry Fundamentals, Customer Service & Sales and Business of Retail: Operations & Profit) is available online through your partner portal. The courses are self-paced, giving you and your students additional flexibility as you move from in-classroom instruction to remote learning.

I’m not concerned with my students earning credentials – I just want them to continue learning. Can I get the curriculum without purchasing exams?

Yes. All RISE Up materials are available a la carte or bundled.

Will the expiration date of my current testing vouchers be extended?

Yes. Our priority is to ensure that partners can offer the curriculum online so students can continue learning. We recognize the importance of the exams, and we’re working with our partners to figure out the best way to facilitate exams remotely. Expiration dates will be extended for your current testing vouchers.

Are the instructor guides available in an online format?

No. Instructor guides are currently available only in a textbook version. However, instructors’ Power Points are available in the “Resources” tile within your partner portal.

How can I supplement the online RISE Up curriculum?

NRF’s SmartBrief is a free, daily email newsletter with current retail industry news and trends that you can incorporate into your RISE Up lessons. Subscribe now for free.

My students have inconsistent or non-existent access to the technology needed for online learning. This was fine when we held classes in-person and they could use our computers and internet. Can they get hard copies of the textbooks instead?

Yes. The NRF Foundation will work with you to make sure any student who needs hard copies of the textbooks get them.