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What is a Certified Professional Organizer®?

Certified Professional Organizers (CPOs) have proven industry proficiency by demonstrating they possess the body of knowledge and experience essential to professional organizing and productivity consulting.

The CPO® credential identifies professional organizers who’ve documented a specific number of paid hours that include transferring organizing skills to the client, and passed the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers (BCPO®) examination. The credential provides the organizing and productivity industry a way to elevate its professional standards.

Find a Certified Professional Organizer®

Why Hire a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO)®?

CPOs embody a professional ideal that includes a proven level of knowledge, an ethical approach, and requisite experience. Professional organizers who have successfully completed the steps of becoming a CPO® have shown they are committed and serious about their work. By maintaining CPO® status, they are demonstrating a strong commitment to ethics and education.

All CPOs have agreed to adhere to the BCPO® Code of Ethics for Certified Professional Organizers®. This enhances individual performance because CPOs are held accountable to the Code in more than one way. CPOs made aware of an act or omission of another CPO® in violation of the Code are required to report it to the Professional Practices Committee. Complaints may also be filed by the public.

BCPO Exam Eligibility & Recertification

Candidates must complete 1,500 hours of paid client work during three years prior to applying for the certification exam. These work hours may include, but are not limited to: on-site organizing, coaching, consulting, training, virtual organizing, interactive workshops, and speaking engagements, which, through client collaboration, transfers, teaches, or demonstrates organizing skills. Up to 250 substitute hours of the required 1,500 hours can be earned through other accomplishments as outlined in the eligibility requirements.

Recertification is required every three years to maintain the credential. Recertification requirements include earning at least 45 qualifying continued education units (CEUs) and payments of annual maintenance fees. A CPO® may also opt to re-take and pass the exam to recertify instead of recertifying through CEUs.

Qualifying Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

For a CEU to qualify as a substitute hour towards eligibility to take the exam or towards recertification, it must be:

  • About a subject which will help better serve the CPO’s (or CPO® applicant’s) current or potential client base.
  • At least 60 minutes long in order to equal one CEU. Beyond the first hour, time is counted in half-hour increments. (A one hour and 15 minute class is 1 CEU, a 2 hour and 47 minute class is 1.5 CEUs, etc.)
  • A live class (attended in person, by phone, or online) which provides proof of attendance or participation, or a non-live class (recorded teleclass or webinar, or online module) which requires you to earn a certificate of completion.
CEU-eligible courses may be taken through colleges, universities, community programs, education course companies or other entities which offer classes in subjects such as learning styles, organizing skills, psychology, space planning, financial organizing, coaching, ADHD, architecture, elderly issues, productivity, Feng Shui, ergonomics, systems analysis, technology, hoarding, communication, student organizing, traumatic brain injury or any other subject which will help CPOs better understand and work with their clients.

NAPO Conference sessions, NAPO University, or teleclasses and conference sessions from a variety of complementary associations such as the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD), or the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) may also be used as CEUs if, as with all submitted courses, they meet the BCPO’s CEU eligibility requirements.

More information about CEUs can be found in the BCPO® Handbook.

The CPO® Accreditation Status

BCPO® follows the accreditation guidelines set forth by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). CPO® is the only professional organizing credential that follows the NCCA accreditation guidelinesBCPO® is in the process of qualifying for full accreditation. The rigorous BCPO® standards and criteria will continually improve the practices and core competencies of the organizing and productivity industry.


For more information about the CPO® Program, click on the BCPO® logo to access our Handbook!
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