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Certified Professional Organizer® Eligibility Requirements

The Board of Certification for Professional Organizers

To sit for the Certified Professional Organizer® examination, a qualified candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Agree to adhere to the Code of Ethics for Certified Professional Organizers.
  • 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.


Paid Work Experience

Work experience must, through client collaboration, transfer, teach and/or demonstrate organizing skills. Paid work experience may include, but is not limited to:

  • on-site organizing
  • coaching
  • consulting
  • training
  • virtual organizing
  • interactive workshops
  • speaking engagements

Substitute Hours

Candidates may claim up to 250 substitute hours toward the 1,500 required work experience hours. These substitute hours can be earned via:

  • college degrees
  • relevant paid work experience prior to becoming an organizer
  • military service
  • continuing education units (CEUs)
  • professional development activities in the organizing field
  • organizing-related writing or speaking

A full list of substitute hour categories can be found in the BCPO Handbook. 



Eligibility Tracking


Note: Candidates must be prepared to document all hours, both paid work hours and substitute hours. 


Candidates are encouraged to track their paid work experience hours in accounting software or a spreadsheet. Candidates intending to submit substitute hours (e.g., CEUs, degrees) are encouraged to track and document these as well. 


It is recommended that client contact hours be tracked as they are accrued. Many candidates track their hours via their accounting software or you can use one of these Work Experience Tracking logs.

This will help you stay on pace with your weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.


Determining Continuing Education Course Eligibility

Courses must meet the following criteria:

  • at least 60 minutes long 
  • a live course, (whether in person, by phone, or online) or an online learning module or recorded teleclass/webinar that provides proof of attendance/completion
  • a course that provides skills and knowledge in organizing or productivity and that allows one to better serve your current and potential clients


Ineligible Courses
Courses related to starting, building, growing or administering one's own business are ineligible as CEUs. Examples include:

  • marketing
  • finding clients
  • choosing an organizing specialty
  • exploring different business models
  • branding

These are extremely important courses, and BCPO highly recommends that candidates take them in order to improve their 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.



Exam/Eligibility Audits

BCPO is required to audit a certain percentage of qualifies candidates who pass the exam. Candidates are randomly selected for audit. In the event of an audit, candidates must be prepared to provide documentation to support their eligibility for initial certification. 



For Additional Information download the BCPO® Handbook.


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