Candidacy FAQ

Question: Must I be a member of IAAO to become a candidate in the Professional Designation Program?

Answer: Yes.

Question: I believe I have the knowledge to challenge an examination to gain credit for an IAAO course. Can I do so? Would it be advantageous to become a candidate prior to challenging the examination?

Answer: Yes. Any required course except for USPAP (Workshop 151) and Workshop 171 can be completed through challenge exam to gain credit towards a designation. Normally the IAAO member fee for a challenge examination is $150. As a candidate in the Professional Designation Program the fee is only $100 per course.

Question: I have not yet met the experience requirement for a designation. May I become a candidate?

Answer: Yes, you may become a candidate. However, the experience requirement must be met by the time you sit for the master examination.

Question: How do I submit my experience for candidacy?

Answer: Complete the required IAAO Candidate Experience Record form to demonstrate your experience.  Along with this form you may submit optional, supporting documentation, such as a resume or letter from your employer. 

Question: What proof do I need to provide to show my diploma or degree? 

Answer: We accept a scanned copy of a diploma or degree certificate or school transcript that denotes the diploma or degree awarded. You may supply a degree higher than the one required, such as a bachelor's degree in lieu of a high school diploma. Email your documents to

Question: Do I need to have all core course requirements met before I become a candidate in the Professional Designation Program?

Answer: No, you may enter the candidacy program without completing all of the required coursework. Once you are an enrolled candidate, you will have five years to complete all the requirements.

Question: At what point in the process am I required to become a candidate in the Professional Designation Program? 

Answer: Candidacy is required before you enter the demonstration of knowledge project phase, which includes the demonstration report or case study examination requirements. Once you are an enrolled candidate, you will have five years to complete all the requirements. 

Question: I have heard that IAAO now only accepts a digital PDF copy of my demonstration appraisal report for grading. Is that true?

Answer: Yes, IAAO no longer accepts hard copies of demonstration projects. Please email Jarron Paronto for information on how to submit your report electronically.

Question: I am a candidate for the Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS) designation and want to complete an evaluation of a jurisdiction’s assessment practices. Does IAAO have any information to help me prepare the report?

Answer: Yes. IAAO offers the “Assessment Practices Self-Evaluation Guide” to assist candidates in writing the report. The book is available on the IAAO website under the Store tab.

Question: I am a candidate in the Professional Designation Program and nearing the end of my five year candidacy. I feel that I need a little more time to complete my requirements. What can I do?

Answer: You may request a one-year candidacy extension. Contact our office for more information.

Question: Can I use courses I've completed elsewhere towards earning an IAAO designation?

Answer: At this time IAAO does not recognize non-IAAO courses toward our designation requirements. Candidates may challenge the examination at a reduced rate for any of the non-standards and ethics courses to gain credit for the required IAAO courses. Further, holders of select non-IAAO designations and graduates of certain University of British Columbia programs are eligible to receive established equivalencies toward some of our designations. See the section "Equivalencies with Other Organizations" under each affected designation's description to learn more.

Question: When can I take the master examination?

Answer: Candidates may take the master examination after all other requirements have been fulfilled.

Question: Is financial assistance available to assist with the cost of membership and earning a designation? 

Answer: Yes, IAAO has a scholarship program. Please visit the scholarships page for more information. 

Question: Is it true that you no longer need a bachelor's degree to earn a designation? 

Answer: Yes, IAAO has established alternative requirements in lieu of holding a bachelor's degree and changed the degree requirement on some of our designations. Higher education degree requirements can now be satisfied by a high school diploma along with a defined number of years of experience, completing specified college-level courses, or a combination of both. See the requirements of each professional designation for details of what is accepted.

Question: Can I receive credit for a professional designation I've earned through another organization? 

Answer: IAAO grants equivalent credit towards certain designation requirements on some of our professional designations for select non-IAAO designations.  See the section "Equivalencies with Other Organizations" under each affected designation's description to learn which non-IAAO designations are recognized and the credit granted for each.

If you should have a question about the IAAO Professional Designation Program, you may contact Jarron Paronto via email or by phone at 816-701-8137.

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.