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CAP Certification
Certified Administrative Professional  

Click here for a printable registration form.

Earning your Certification credentials demonstrates your aptitude as an administrative and office support professional. It reflects your achievement and commitment to excellence through life-long learning. It's an investment in your career that shows employers, coworkers, customers, and clients your commitment to the profession.

Earning and maintaining your Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) demonstrates your professional knowledge and mastery of vital competencies:

  • Indicates your dedication to your profession and initiative to stay current in an ever-changing marketplace.
  • Shows your employer you are a valuable member of the team committed to professional development.
  • Builds invaluable personal and professional confidence.
  • Provides new career opportunities and a competitive advantage over applicants without certifications.
  • Allows for the potential to earn a higher salary, receive promotions, and/or bonus.
  • College credit through Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

Certification is a cost-effective way to prove that your expertise is relevant and up to date. You're passing the industry's measurement of knowledge based on skill assessment and industry competency.

An assessment-based professional certification is earned by meeting several requirements differentiating it from other training or educational programs.

The four main components are:

  1. A required level of experience and education.
  2. Passing a rigorous exam.
  3. Exam is not associated with a particular program or course offered by the certifying body.
  4. Continued professional development through specific recertification requirements.

The CAP exam is administered throughout North America and select international locations twice a year. It is based upon a professionally developed and industry vetted Body of Knowledge (BOK).

The CAP Body of Knowledge has six domains, each with a specific Performance Outcome (PO) and is worth a designated percentage of exam content. Performance Outcomes are detailed, measurable competencies based on current best practices across a myriad of industries, which commonly employ administrative professionals. Most POs have sub-points that help to further breakdown specific areas of competency.

The domains represent the central and most significant information, skills, and goals the candidate should know to pass the exam.

CAP Exam Domains

  1. Organizational Communications (24%)
  2. Business Writing and Document Production (22%)
  3. Technology and Information Distribution (16%)
  4. Office and Records Management (15%)
  5. Event and Project Management (12%)
  6. Operational Functions (11%)


Click here to download the CAP Body of Knowledge.

Earning and maintaining your CAP is a three-step process. First, candidates must meet the eligibility requirements and submit an application. Once approved, candidates must sit for and pass the CAP exam. After the credential is earned, designees must maintain it by fulfilling recertification requirements every three years.

For detailed information please download the 2018 CAP Certification Handbook.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must meet specific education and administrative office support professional experience, which are:

  • No College Degree - 4 years of relevant work experience is required
  • Associates Degree - 3 years of relevant work experience is required
  • Bachelors Degree - 2 years of relevant work experience is required

All relevant work experience must have been earned within the last ten years.

What is relevant work experience? CAP certification is designed for office and administrative professionals who engage in some, if not all, of the following:

  • Communicate within the organization (both verbal and written)
  • Conduct business writing, including proofreading and editing
  • Maintain office functions and record keeping
  • Plan meetings, events, and arrange travel
  • Manage projects
  • Engage in or support human relations activities, such as hiring and compliance issues
  • Maintain budgets and basic accounting functions
  • Manage time and other resources for themselves and others
  • Utilize technology, including virtual and mobile, with strong computer and internet research skills
  • Coordinate communications between internal staff and/or external clients

If you meet one of the education and professional experience combinations above, you are ready to complete your CAP application.

Application Process

You must complete the current Certified Administrative Professional application to apply for the CAP exam. Membership with IAAP is not required for CAP certification, however members do receive discounts on the exam and exam materials.

If you are a new candidate applying for the CAP exam you will need to submit the following:
  • Completed Exam Application Form online or downloadable PDF
  • Completed Qualifying Administrative Experience Form (included in the PDF application) or upload a current resume
  • Copy of a college degree or a transcript if submitting less than four years' experience
  • Exam fee
  • Attestation to uphold the IAAP's Code of Conduct (included in application) which is a required attestation for all IAAP members and is now a required attestation for all persons earning the CAP credential regardless of IAAP membership status.

The IAAP Code of Conduct is posted on the IAAP website here.

If you are a retake candidate, you will need to submit only the following (if previous attempt was within three years):

All applications must be received by IAAP by the posted deadlines. When your application has been reviewed and accepted, you will receive an acknowledgment and your name will be entered on the roster of eligible candidates.

See a list of recent CAP Designees here. Tools to get your boss on board can be found here.