To be eligible to sit for the CPO® examination, a candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements. BCPO® is required to audit a certain percentage of all applications. In the event of an audit, the candidate must be prepared to provide supporting documentation for these requirements.
Up to 250 substitute hours of the required 1,500 can be earned via college degrees, continuing education courses or professional development activities in the organizing field. Substitute hours may also be earned via organizing related writing and speaking engagements, or relevant paid work experience prior to becoming an organizer and accrued in the three years prior to the application date, as detailed below.
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 following substitute categories:
For each course, the candidate may claim the actual hours attended, to a cumulative total of 250 hours. Sixty minutes of coursework is equal to one credit hour regardless of any number of continuing education credits (CEUs) another institution may have awarded for completion of the course.
25 hours credit per full-time year (maximum 3 years or 75 hours credit.) Experience must include the same criteria for teaching, transfer, or demonstration of organizing skills as described in the 1500 hours requirement.
10 hours credit per year (maximum of 5 years or 50 hours credit) for military service.
After initial certification, recertification is required every three (3) years. To recertify, a CPO® must assert to continuing practice as a professional organizer, pay the Annual Maintenance Fees(AMF), and either (a) earn 45 eligible continuing education units (CEUs) during the 3-year recertification period or (b) retake and pass the CPO® examination.
If a CPO® chooses to recertify by examination and fails, certification is immediately revoked. Provided the candidate meets the current eligibility requirements for initial certification, he or she would be eligible to submit a new application to take the current examination as a new candidate future examinations.
The annual maintenance fee is currently $70 per year. Each CPO® will automatically receive an invoice prior to his or her anniversary date each year.
Patty Kreamer, CPO®
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