NMRA logo Achievement Program PD logo

Click Here for a list of Potomac Division AP Certificate Holders

Click Here for a list of the Potomac Division Master Model Railroaders

For those that are new to the hobby or just wanting to know more about the National Model Railroad Association’s Achievement Program (AP), the Potomac Division provides the following information concerning the AP.

The Potomac Division AP Coordinator is Mat Thompson who is a Master Model Railroader (MMR number 645) who makes himself available to answer questions about the AP. He will either answer, get you an answer, or put you in touch with someone that can answer your question. You can contact him at 703-743-1895 which is his Potomac Division email. or at Achievement-Program@potomac-nmra.org which is his Potomac Division email.

Participation in the AP is voluntary and all NMRA members are welcome and encouraged to participate in it. The AP helps you learn about railroading by providing you a journey through a series of activities that allow you to learn and master the many crafts and skills necessary in the hobby of model railroading as well as learn about the various aspects of a real railroad. As an incentive you will be awarded an AP achievement certificate when you complete each category acknowledging your achievement.

Complete information on the NMRA AP and its requirements can be found on the NMRA AP web page. When you read the requirements they may appear harder than they actually are. But in reality they are very achievable and if you experience difficulty there is lots of help available from several AP related websites, groups, fellow AP participants, and the Master Model Railroaders have been there and done that that can explain how to meet the requirements.

 What you will find on the NMRA Achievement Program web page?

The web page provides a discussion of the AP program and all of the requirements and instructions necessary to prepare a certificate application package, including the necessary forms, for each of the eleven certificate categories.

A link to web page that contains additional links to a series of articles referred to as “The Master’s Series”. This series of articles provides practical guidelines on how to meet the requirements of each of the eleven AP categories. Although the articles were written in the 1991-1993 time frame, much, if not all, of the information presented in them is still relevant. In addition the NMRA designated the year of 2008 as the “Year of the Master Model Railroader” from which additional articles that were published in the NMRA’s Scale Rails magazine were written concerning the AP are available for reading through links to them.

AP judging is conducted by an NMRA member of at least one of them has already earned a certificate in the area being judged. It may also be done by a team of NMRA members of at least one has already earned a certificate in the area being judged with the other team members being NMRA members without a certificate in the area being judged. Thus a good source of advice for meeting the specific requirements for a specific AP certificate would be an AP member that has earned the certificate in question.

A Special Note concerning publication points for Author Certificate:

The Author achievement certificate is earned when an individual earns a total of 42 points from publishing a combination of materials.  In general, an article in a divisional newsletter, such as the Potomac Flyer, earns 1 point per page.  However, section 1.D of the Author achievement program requirements states that material published on public electronic forums, such as the internet, earn credit at the same rate as Region publications.  Since the Potomac Flyer is published electronically and is available on the Potomac Division's web site, then articles published in the Potomac Flyer can earn region publication points, or two points per page.

However, the articles published are still considered division publications and section 1.A states that no more than half of the total required points (21) may be claimed for Division or 100% NMRA club publications.  In addition, section 1.D says that no more than half of the total required points (21) may be claimed for electronic publications.

For example:

You are working towards your Author certificate.  You have published a total of 13 pages of articles in the Potomac Flyer, and all of the Potomac Flyer issues are electronically on the Potomac Division web site.  If an electronically published page is two points, then in theory, the 13 pages would earn 2 x 13 = 26 points.  However, since only half of author points can be earned from divisional publications, then only 21 author points can be earned for the 13 pages of division publications.

Also note that any articles published on the web page under Neat, Nifty & Cool (NN&C) would also earn points at the rate of two points per page, but because they are division publications, they would be subject to the point limitation above.