Personal Property Specialist (PPS)

The purpose of the PPS designation is to recognize professionalism and competency in the valuation of personal property for tax purposes.

Professional designees may use this designation in conjunction with the valuation of a wide range of personal property as it is customarily defined in their assessment jurisdiction in accordance with IAAO's commitment to excellence.


    To qualify for the PPS designation, the following qualifications and requirements must first be demonstrated to be eligible to sit for the master examination:
  1. The candidate must have at least three (3) years of experience in appraising any class of personal property or in administering a personal property valuation system.
  2. The candidate must have credit for the five (5) following educational courses:
    1. IAAO Course 101: Fundamentals of Real Property Appraisal
    2. IAAO Course 102: Income Approach to Valuation or IAAO Course 112 Income Approach to Valuation II
    3. IAAO Course 500: Assessment of Personal Property
    4. IAAO Workshop 171 Standards of Professional Practice and Ethics
    5. Residents of the United States are required to take either IAAO 151 or a Foundation-approved two-day USPAP course. Examination cannot be challenged. Residents outside the U.S. must provide proof of passage of a course covering the particular appraisal standards that govern appraisers within their jurisdiction in lieu of taking either IAAO 151 or a Foundation-approved two-day USPAP course. In the absence of a local standard, USPAP is required. PPS candidates may take a Foundation Approved 15-hour USPAP-PP course.
  3. The candidate must have credit for additional course(s) and/or workshop(s) of at least forty (40) credit hours on appraising personal property. Non-IAAO courses/seminars/workshops may be credited towards the forty (40) credit hours if approved by the Professional Designations Subcommittee. In order for a course to count toward the PPS forty- (40-) hour requirement, it must consist of at least thirty (30) instructional hours and a final examination. Seminars/workshops must consist of a minimum of three (3) instructional hours with an examination preferred, but not compulsory. The candidate is required to include a syllabus of the course when requesting equivalent credit, except for courses that have been pre-approved.
  4. Prior to sitting for any exam or submitting any report under this section a candidate must be enrolled and in good standing in the PPS program. The candidate must have satisfactorily completed either:
    1. A personal property demonstration narrative appraisal report, using the recognized approaches to value, on a retail, service, or manufacturing business, or
    2. An eight (8) hour comprehensive case study examination. 
  5. The candidate must pass a four (4) hour PPS Master Examination. This examination can be given only after all other requirements have been met.
  6. Upon successfully completing the PPS Master Examination, the candidate must submit an affidavit attesting to his or her experience before the designation can be conferred.
  7. Those applying for candidacy after January 1, 2017, must, prior to sitting for the PPS master examination, hold an associate’s degree (or equivalent) or higher from an accredited college or university. In lieu of an associate’s degree, candidates must be a high school graduate (or equivalent) and satisfy one of the following options:
    (1) Complete a minimum of twenty-one semester hours of specific subject area coursework or pass College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams equivalent from an accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or higher. Subject areas include: English Composition, Economics or Finance, Geography, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics or higher mathematics, Accounting, Business Law, Real Estate Law or Valuation. Three semester hours equals ten points; 70 points are required.
    (2) A minimum of seven years of verifiable appraisal and/or assessment administration experience. One year of experience equals ten points; 70 points are required.
    (3) Any combination of education and experience specified in section G. (1) and G. (2) that equals 70 points.

The Case Study Examination

The Case Study Examination on Personal Property Appraisal is a 100 question, multiple choice exam designed to test a candidate’s proficiency in and mastery of the concepts deemed necessary for a PPS designee. Approximately half of the questions pertain directly to the information and data presented in the case study and require the candidate to apply knowledge and perform calculations; the other half are general appraisal questions.

IAAO case study examinations are an intense, in-depth experience unlike other IAAO exams. Designation candidates are expected to have a mastery of the core course material and its application to real world situations.


To prepare for this examination, it is recommended a candidate thoroughly study the demonstration problems, exercises and associated solutions, chapter reviews, quizzes, work problems, data, and information found in the basic core curriculum courses.

An optional workshop is available to assist in studying for this examination: IAAO Workshop 853 PPS Case Study Review Workshop. Although not a substitute for studying the course materials, this workshop assists candidates in what to expect from a case study examination, including a practice exam. It WILL NOT cover any and all topics and concepts that will be covered in the exam. This workshop is offered in the classroom or the workshop materials can be purchased for self study.

The case study exam can be taken at a location and time that is agreeable to both you and your proctor. Approved proctors are IAAO professional designees, specifically CAE and PPS designees. You can locate designees using IAAO’s Membership Directory. If necessary, other IAAO designees or arrangements, such as exam testing facilities, can be approved upon request.

Once you have secured your proctor and agreed upon the details, you can use the Designation Examination Application form to schedule your exam session. It is recommended that your application form, along with your payment, reaches our office at least three weeks ahead of your desired exam date; two weeks is required to ensure your exam date.

The Master Examination - PPS

The written master examination for the PPS designation is specific to the subject. It is a test of competence, testing the candidate’s knowledge of the specific subject. Specific instructions on the form and content of the examination are provided to the candidate prior to sitting for the examination. The examination is given only after all general and specific requirements have been satisfactorily completed. The examination may be administered by a proctor at any location and on any date; it is preferred that the proctor be a CAE designee or a designation holder in the specialty. However, the Professional Development Committee (PDC) may authorize a non-designee to proctor the examination. Proctors cannot be related to the candidate, nor may they proctor if there is any potential conflict of interest.

An oral examination may be required at the discretion of the PDC. A candidate failing a master examination is permitted to retake it after thirty (30) days.


Content provided for informational purposes only. IAAO’s Designation Program is governed by 
IAAO Procedural Rules. In the event of a discrepancy, the Procedural Rules prevail.