To sit for the Certified Professional Organizer® examination, a candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements:
Qualified candidates must have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent.
Qualified candidates must agree to adhere to the Code of Ethics for Certified Professional Organizers.
Qualified candidates must be prepared to document a total of 1,500 hours (an average of 9.6 hours per week) of paid work experience in the three (3) years prior to applying to take the exam. This paid work experience may include, but is 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.
To determine whether a class/course is eligible, use this checklist: Is this class...
• at least 60 minutes long?
• a live class/course (whether in person, by phone, or online)
• an online learning module or recorded teleclass/ webinar that provides proof of attendance/ completion?
• a class/course that provides skills and knowledge that allow you to better serve your current and potential clients? If the class meets all three of these requirements, it is likely to be eligible.
Does the course content provide the potential to improve your clients’ situations? Course topics related to starting, building, growing or administering your own business — such as marketing, finding clients, choosing an organizing specialty, exploring different business models, and branding — are not eligible.
These are extremely important courses, and BCPO highly recommends that you take them in order to improve your business building skills. However, BCPO certification is for organizing and productivity, so, like all credentials that follow accreditation standards, the CEUs must be related to the certification skill itself — organizing and productivity.
Up to 250 substitute hours of the required 1,500 can be earned via college degrees, relevant paid work experience prior to becoming an organizer, or military service - all of which can be accrued at any time prior to applying for the examination (that is, not limited to the previous three years). Substitute hours may also be earned via continuing education courses or professional development activities in the organizing field, or organizing-related writing and speaking engagements, if accrued in the three years prior to the application date. If substituting the full 250 hours allowed, candidates must be prepared to document all hours, both paid work hours and substitute hours.
Candidates may claim a maximum of 250 hours of credit towards the required 1,500 hours of paid work experience from one or more of the substitute categories. A full list can be found in the BCPO Handbook on page 9.