The Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) Designation

Each year I strive to learn new skills, acquire certifications, serve in a leadership position, seek additional responsibility, or volunteer in some way to enhance my resume. Even though I have held my current positions as an executive assistant and college educator for over a decade, I have always wanted to keep my resume relevant and up to date. You never know what opportunities might be around the corner. I choose to be prepared and ready!

Several years ago I made it a goal to work towards a certification available through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).  The Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) designation is a professional certification designed for administrative professionals.

The IAAP certification can offer many benefits to your career such as:

  • Potential to earn a higher salary or bonus
  • Improve your overall professional qualifications
  • Acquire new knowledge in areas related to your career
  • Demonstrate a commitment to your career

The CAP is a 3 ½ hour computer-based exam that includes nearly 300 questions that focuses on the following areas: Communication, Organization and Planning, Information Distribution, Records Management, Physical and Information Resources, Document Production, Financial Functions, and Human Resources.

When I decided to apply to take the CAP exam, several of my co-workers decided to take it at the same time. We formed a study group and met on Saturdays for several hours for several months. We were committed to passing the exam. Preparing and studying for the exam provided me the opportunity to take a new journey towards professional development with my co-workers and to study subject areas that I had not studied in college. The study group was a great support in passing the CAP exam.

I subsequently completed the Organizational Management (OM) designation testing process and passed the exam.  The Organizational Management (OM) is a specialty that can also be earned in addition to the CAP certification.

This achievement demonstrated to my employer that I was a career-minded administrative professional. If you are interested in learning more about the CAP, visit IAAP’s website.



  1. I agree, Stacy! Getting certified was one of the best professional decisions I’ve made! Don’t get me wrong – the CAP and OM exams were stressful and more difficult than I expected, but proper preparation helped me to nail both tests. For anyone wondering about the TA certification, it was SOOOO much easier to obtain than the CAP-OM. 🙂

  2. I first received the Certified Professional Secretary’s designation in 2005 and then the CAP in 2007. I have since recertified twice. I am proud to hold those designations and it did make a difference when I was the chosen candidate at my current employer. I will be 60 years of age by the time I am required to certify again but intend to end my career as a CAP-OM, meaning I will need to recertify one more time.

    Congratulations to anyone striving for excellence in the admin world by receiving these prestigious designations.

    1. Carol, thanks for sharing your comment and encouraging others to strive for excellence by working towards a certification.

      1. Great question. The resources available today are different from when I took the exam. The exam has been revamped. I know IAAP is getting ready to launch a study guide. I also know that Marie Herman offers some great resources. You can reach out to her via her website at: Marie would be a great resource for you to ask questions. I hope that helps.

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