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FAQ: Becoming a Professional Organizer

Frequently Asked Questions: Becoming a Professional Organizer

What is a Professional Organizer?
As defined by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO): "A Professional Organizer enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring organizing skills. A Professional Organizer also educates the public on organizing solutions and the resulting benefits."

What credentials are required to become a Professional Organizer?
There are no formal prerequisites for becoming a Professional Organizer. Many organizers enter the organizing profession because they have a natural organizing ability and a desire to help others. Some enter the profession because they have struggled with organizational issues themselves and want to share the solutions they have found. 

Are there formal education requirements to become a Professional Organizer?
The education and past work experience of Professional Organizers varies and no formal education is required to become a Professional Organizer. Many new organizers learn from industry veterans. Organizers of all experience levels also participate in teleclasses, webinars and conference sessions offered by NAPO. 

Are certifications available for Professional Organizers? Are they required?
Certification is not required to become a Professional Organizer. Opportunities are available for certification for the experienced organizer, and many training opportunities exist for new and experienced organizers alike. 

The Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®) certification is available through The Board of Certification for Professional Organizers (BCPO®)An organizer with the CPO® credential has passed a written examination administered by the BCPO® .
Organizers must be able to document 1500 paid client hours in the past three years to qualify to sit for the examination. Alternatively, organizers may document 1250 paid client hours and 250 substitute hours of education or professional development. 

The Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD®) certification is available through the The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD)An organizer with the CPO-CD®  credential has been educated in depth on the issues in chronic disorganization. The CPO-CD®  student spends 17-20 months of intensive time studying and applying this learning in practical application with current clients. In addition to the CPO-CD® credential, the ICD offers ten levels of certificates of study and four specialist certificates. 

The Certified Organizer Coach (COC®) certification is available through Coach Approach for Organizers. An organizer with the COC® credential has completed the Coach Approach for Organizers™ program. The COC® student must also work with a mentor coach, complete 100 paid client hours of coaching and receive two letters of recommendation from credentialed coaches. Alternatively, one letter of recommendation may be from a credentialed Professional Organizer. 

Golden Circle
NAPO Golden Circle members have been in business for at least five years and have been members of NAPO for at least one year. NAPO Golden Circle membership is NAPO's way of acknowledging the expertise and elevated level of experience of seasoned professional organizers. NAPO Golden Circle membership is indicated by the Golden Circle logo.

Additional certifications are available through training programs offered by professional organizers and related companies. These include the Clear and Simple Training and Certification, Eyes of a Stranger Training and Certification and Freedom Filer Training and Certification

What is NAPO?
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1985. NAPO is the premier national association dedicated to the field of organizing. NAPO serves its 4,200 members through education, networking, industry resources, and promoting the profession to the public. By joining NAPO, a professional organizer demonstrates commitment to the professional organizing industry. 

What is NAPO-St. Louis?
The St. Louis Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO-St. Louis), the 24th NAPO Chapter, was officially established in 2006. For more information on our chapter history, see our About page. 

What is NAPO?
Professional Organizers who are also NAPO members have agreed to be a part of a community of professionals in a new and growing industry. NAPO members enjoy an affiliation with like-minded professionals who can support, mentor, and educate one another. Clients who work with a Professional Organizer who belongs to NAPO can be assured they are dealing with a professional who adheres to NAPO's Code of Ethics, which include providing confidentiality and fair, independent pricing to clients. 

How do I join NAPO-St. Louis?
Membership is open to any Professional Organizer or prospective organizer who has already joined NAPO on a national level. To join, please visit our Apply for Membership page to fill out a membership application. 

I have a product or service for Professional Organizers. Can I use the Find an Organizer tool to contact your members?
NAPO-St. Louis is always interested in hearing about new organizing products and related services. However, solicitation via our website tool is strictly prohibited. 

If you believe that your product or service would benefit the professional organizing industry, we encourage you to consider becoming an Associate Member of our chapter. Please visit our Benefits of Associate Membership page to learn more about the benefits of associate membership and our Apply for Membership page to fill out an associate membership application.
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