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Life Experience Qualifications
Apply by September 30, 2023
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IAP Career College offers certification through IAPO, the International Association of Professional Organizations, for individuals who have worked to establish themselves as professionals in one of the fields for which we provide career education.
Applicants who provide evidence of their career-related experience may be recognized with IAPO Professional Certification (IAPOC) or IAPO Master Certification (IAPMC) in their career field. See the careers in which we offer professional certification.
IAPO now also provides professional certification to applicants in the career field of their choice, with the exception of professions that legally require certification or licensing to be provided solely under the authority of a government body or other organization. All applicants must confirm they have read and understood this requirement.
On this page you will find information about career-related life experiences that may qualify you for professional certification and how to document your experience. This page also includes links to downloadable forms you can use and a link to the application.
Life Experience Options and Points
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 Certification: 100 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.
Experience in Related Fields
If you have experience in a related field, you can claim 60% of the point values shown below. Using the example 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.
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 Certification) can come from a related field.
If you’re not sure whether an experience in another career field is related to the professional certification for which you are applying, please email email@example.com 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 work in the field as a business owner or senior manager – 1.5 points per 100 hours worked (for example, if you worked half-time for a year, or an average of 20 hours per week over 50 weeks, you could claim 15 points)
- Part-time employment in the field – 1 point per 100 hours worked (for example, if you worked half-time for a year, or an average of 20 hours per week over 50 weeks, you could claim 10 points)
- Volunteer work in the field – 1 point per 100 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 Certification.
The academic field must be relevant but the field name isn’t required to be identical. For example, someone applying for Life Coach Professional Certification could receive full points for a Psychology degree.
- 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 where you are the professional mentoring a junior person – 1 point per hour to a maximum of 20 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 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 related to the topic– 2 points
- Professional YouTube video 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 Certification. Publications may be online or offline. A maximum of 2 testimonial letters or quotations may be claimed and each must include the first and last name of the individual giving the testimonial, company name (if applicable), and city.
- 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 (maximum of 2 accepted and must include first and last name, company name if applicable, and city of each individual giving testimonial)
- Testimonial quotation from client or employer – 2 points (maximum of 2 accepted and must include first and last name, company name if applicable, and city of each individual giving testimonial)
- 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 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
If you don’t yet have enough life experiences to qualify for IAPO Professional Certification or IAPO Master Certification, you may be able to earn Master Certification through an academic program. Currently, IAP Career College offers an academic option for Master Certification in 18 career fields.
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. We can award points only for experiences which are supported with evidence.
While you may include your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), that alone is not sufficient proof. Additional documents from recognized authorities (e.g. government departments, educational institutions, professional associations, etc.) are needed for proof of experience. To prove each of the experiences for which you are claiming points, you must 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 login information with a temporary 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.
Your application and supporting materials will be reviewed by personnel from International Association of Professions Career College which administers the IAPO Professional Certification and IAPO Master Certification programs.
APPLICATION FEE: The application fee for IAPO Professional Certification is $197 U.S. and the fee for IAPO Master Certification is $297. This fee may be tax deductible as a business expense. IAPO MEMBERS SAVE 33%: Use coupon code IAPO for a 33% discount off the regular application fee.
Once you have assembled your documents, go to the Application Form for Professional Certification. If your application is unsuccessful, your application fee will be fully refunded.
Register for the Life Experience Qualifications
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Easy changes and cancellations
It’s easy to change or cancel your course registration. See our FAQ page for details.
It’s easy to change or cancel your course registration. See our FAQ page for details.
REGISTRATION FEE: The Life Experience Qualifications, including all services and benefits, is valued at $797 U.S. As this is a new program, the course is currently being offered for a reduced fee depending on your starting date.
For 2023, the course is scheduled to be offered once per semester. The registration fee for the course is $. This fee may be tax deductible as a business expense, and is fully refundable if your application is not accepted for any reason.
If the course is full, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified when a new course date is scheduled.