Absolutely unbelievable. NAPO has a knockoff – there’s a for-profit venture calling itself a society that certifies organizers by requiring its “certified” members to take a 12-module course, an 11-module course, fill out a form and get three testimonials. Certification never expires. Absolutely unbelievable.


I don’t dare name it; I can’t afford any lawsuits. BUT HECK NO. That’s not competency, that’s nonsense. NOWHERE does the website go into the details of the courses. Nowhere are the sources of the materials revealed. Organizing isn’t “I never lost my pacifier when I was a baby (although I could name a colleague for which that might be true  you know who you are…) so if I take a few hours of business education, throw in a couple of minutes of how to measure a room, read body language and give a pep talk, I’m good.”


New members of the non-profit National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) are required to take three hours of coursework just to move from “Provisional'” -“Gee, I think I’d like to do this” – to “Professional” – “Yea, this is cool!”. Certification involves a 125-question written exam, drawn from a suggested reading list of 39 books. The exam is prepared by a Certification-Board-convened committee of Organizers working in tandem with a company which ONLY prepares exams with qualified, quantified results. It also involves being able to document 1,500 hours of work, because there’s a 10% chance you’ll be audited as an applicant. And Certified Professional Organizers® are on the hook for 15 hours of continuing education per year, which is a HECKUVA large part of why I joined the non-profit Institute for Challenging Disorganization, my second professional society, awesome classes. And there’s a 10% chance of  being audited upon recertification application. AND WHO IN THE UNIVERSE considers a client testimonial to be a part of the certification process???? WHO can’t name a dozen different ways to convince a client to give a testimonial????

Certified Professional Organizer medallion

July, 2017


“A great pair of shoes can make a $20 outfit look like couture, and a poorly constructed pair of shoes can make couture look like a cheap knockoff.” Nina Garcia, maybe from Nina Garcia’s Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion

About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®

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