IAPO is the International Association of Professional Organizations. With IAPO Professional Certification and IAPO Master Professional Certification, we aim to honor individuals who are deserving of professional recognition in nontraditional career fields. (The word “field” refers to a specific profession or career.)
Shown below are a list of options which can count towards your professional certification. Each option has been given a point value. The minimum requirements to qualify for professional certification are:
IAPO Professional Certification: 60 points
IAPO Master Professional Certification: 100 points
If there is something that you believe should be counted as credit towards your professional certification but it is not included on the list below, please let us know by contacting email@example.com and we can determine a point value for it.
Life Experience Options and Points
The point values given below are for experiences in the field for which you are seeking professional certification. For example, if you are seeking Interior Decorator professional certification, you would receive the full point values shown below for being an interior decorating employee, business owner, manager, student, etc.
If you have experience in a related field, you can claim 60% of the point values shown below. So in the case of Interior Decorator certification, while a full-time year managing an interior decorating firm would be worth 30 points, you would be able to claim 60% (18 points) for a full-time year managing a home renovation business. However, no more than 50% of total points required (i.e. a maximum of 30 points for IAPO Professional Certification or 50 points for IAPO Master Professional Certification) can come from a related field.
If you’re not sure whether an experience is related to the professional certification for which you are applying, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and an Academic Advisor can give you an answer.
Work and Volunteer Experience
- Full-time work in the field as a business owner or senior manager – 30 points per year
- Full-time employment in the field as an employee – 20 points per year
- Part-time employment in the field – 5 points per 500 hours worked (example: if you worked an average of 20 hours per week over 50 weeks you could claim 10 points)
- Volunteer work in the field – 5 points per 500 hours worked
- Board of Directors service for an organization in the field – 5 points per organization per year to a maximum of 25 points
- Committee service in the field – 2 points per committee per year to a maximum of 20 points
- Work or volunteer experience in a related field – 60% of the point values shown above
Applicants may claim one degree and a maximum of 40 points in this category for IAPO Professional Certification or 60 points for IAPO Master Professional Certification.
- Ph.D. in the field – 40 points
- Master’s degree in the field – 30 points
- Bachelor’s degree in the field – 20 points
- Associate’s degree in the field – 10 points
- Successful completion of IAP Career College certificate course in the field – 5 points
- Continuing education in the field – 1 point per 10 hours to a maximum of 30 points
- Internship in the field – 1 point per 10 hours to a maximum of 10 points
- Apprenticeship in the field – 1 point per 10 hours to a maximum of 10 points
- Mentorship from a professional working in the field – 1 point per 10 hours to a maximum of 10 points
- Mentoring – 1 point per hour to a maximum of 10 points
- Teaching adults through recognized educational institution – 2 points per hour to a maximum of 30 points
- Academic scholarship received – 3 points
- Education in a related field – 60% of the point values shown above
Writing and Speaking About the Field
The following are points per each. Applicants may claim a maximum of 40 points in this category for IAPO Professional Certification or 60 points for IAPO Master Professional Certification.
- TED or TEDx speaker – 20 points
- Keynote speaker at national or international conference – 20 points
- Other speaking or leadership role at national event – 10 points
- Speaker at regional event – 5 points
- Speaker at local event – 2 points
- Author of book through traditional publishing company (author didn’t pay for publication) – 25 points
- Author of book which author has paid for publication with a rating of at least 4 out of 5 on Goodreads or other recognized site – 15 points
- Recipient of recognized book award – 5 points to a maximum of 15 points
- Article in peer-reviewed academic journal – 20 points
- Paper presented at conference – 10 points
- Hosting of national television show – 30 points
- Hosting of local television show – 10 points
- Hosting of podcast – 5 points
- Article or column published in national publication – 10 points
- Article or column published in local newspaper or magazine – 5 points
- Article or column published on website ranked in the top 1 million on Alexa – 5 points
- Professional blog post or vlog related to the topic– 2 points
- Writing and speaking in a related field – 60% of the point values shown above
Media and Other Recognition in the Field
The following are points per each. Applicants may claim a maximum of 40 points in this category for IAPO Professional Certification or 60 points for IAPO Master Professional Certification. Publications may be online or offline.
- Recipient of noteworthy international award – 30 points
- Recipient of noteworthy national award – 20 points
- Recipient of local award – 5 points
- Subject of Wikipedia page – 10 points
- Certification by international organization – 20 points
- Certification by national organization – 10 points
- Certification by local organization – 5 points
- Main subject of national newspaper or magazine article – 20 points
- Quoted in national publication – 5 points
- Main subject of local newspaper or magazine article – 10 points
- Quoted in local publication – 2 points
- National television appearance – 10 points
- Local television guest or interview – 5 points
- National radio guest or interview – 5 points
- Local radio guest or interview – 2 points
- Podcast guest – 2 points
- Testimonial letter from client or employer – 5 points
- Testimonial quotation from client or employer – 2 points
- Media and other recognition in a related field – 60% of the point values shown above
The following are points per each. Applicants may claim a maximum of 20 points in this category for IAPO Professional Certification or 30 points for IAPO Master Professional Certification.
- Professional website – 5 points
- LinkedIn page with relevant professional experience – 2 points
- Other current (updated within prior week) professional social media account – 2 points
- Professional membership in professional association – 5 points
- Student or associate membership in professional association – 3 points
- Professional presence in a related field – 60% of the point values shown above
Applicants may claim up to 15 points for the following types of clients worked with while applicant was a business owner or manager.
- Client in the Fortune 1000 or comparable international list – 5 points
- Client in the Inc. 5000 – 3 points
- Client that is a government department or agency – 3 points
- Client that is a recognized charitable organization (listed in a directory such as Givewell, Charity Watch, Charity Intelligence, etc.) – 3 points
Other Life Experiences
If there is something not on this list that you believe contributes to your professional expertise, and assists in showing you are deserving of professional certification, please let us know by contacting email@example.com and we can determine a point value for it. For example, someone applying for professional certification as a Travel Consultant could receive credit for travel to a variety of destinations.
Applicants may claim a maximum of 20 points in this category for IAPO Professional Certification or 30 points for IAPO Master Professional Certification. Applicants who do not have sufficient points in the other certification categories (Work and Volunteer Experience, Educational Experience, etc.) may have the option of earning Master Professional Certification through our academic program option.
If you don’t yet have enough life experiences to qualify for IAPO Professional Certification or IAPO Master Professional Certification, you may be able to earn Master Professional Certification through an academic program. Currently, IAP Career College offers an academic option for Master Professional Certification in 18 career fields. Please note that all academic programs require completion of a Master Project which is expected to take 120 hours of work (equal to three full-time work weeks), or about half the time recommended for writing a traditional college Master’s thesis.
Documenting Your Experience
When you submit your application for professional certification you will be asked to upload documents to: (1) list your life experiences and points, and (2) verify your life experiences.
Life Experiences and Points Form
The first document you will need is a simple list of your life experiences and their point values. The point values for different types of life experiences are listed on this web page. To prepare your list, use one of the following fillable forms (in PDF or Word format) which you can download to your computer to complete at your convenience:
If you use the Word form, it may ask you to click a button to “Enable Editing” after you open it. Be sure to save your IAPO Life Experiences and Points Form to your computer, and remember where you have saved it so you can upload it when you submit your Application Form. If you are using the PDF form, you may need to click “Save As” to save it to your computer, and we recommend saving while you work.
Documents to Verify Your Experiences
When you submit your application for professional certification you will also need to upload documents to verify your experience. You may include your resume or curriculum vitae (CV). However, additional documents are needed for proof of experience, and may include either or both of the following:
- Annotated list of web links (e.g. to your business website, media coverage, online articles, blog posts, Wikipedia page, LinkedIn, other social media, podcasts, etc.) If a password is required to access any web pages containing information that supports your application, please include the login information and password.
- Scans of relevant documents (e.g. diplomas, certificates, transcripts, employment verification letters, business license, awards, testimonial letters, print articles, photographs, etc.) If one or more of your supporting documents are online, please include the web address or URL(s) in the annotated list of web links described above.
All documents must be submitted electronically (we do not accept hard copies) and each applicant is responsible for providing documents in a standard format such as PDF. Documents that are not in English should be translated or include a notarized statement describing what is in the documents, signed by both the applicant and notary.
Once you have assembled your documents, go to the Application Form for Professional Certification.