Candidacy FAQ

Question: Who is eligible to earn an IAAO professional designation?

Answer: Anyone in North America who can meet the stated qualifications and requirements of a designation. The qualifications and requirements of each of our six designations are listed on their respective web pages.

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. Enrolled designation candidates do so at a reduced exam fee.

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

Answer: Yes, you may become a candidate. However, the experience qualification must be demonstrated by the time you apply to 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. See the Experience Qualification Guidance document for more details.

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 qualifications met before I become a candidate in the Professional Designation Program?

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

Question: How do I know which USPAP course to take? How do I know if the USPAP course I want to take is Foundation approved?

Answer: The 15 Hour National USPAP and 7 Hour National USPAP Update courses are developed by The Appraisal Foundation (TAF). IAAO provides these courses as Workshop 151 and Workshop 191, respectively. Workshop 151, or the 15 Hour National USPAP course, is required for candidacy. Candidates can complete this TAF course through IAAO or from any of TAF’s approved providers. Many real property appraisal organizations and schools offer USPAP courses. The provider of the course can confirm if they are approved by TAF. Some providers are listed on TAF’s provider list.

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 qualifications. Once you are an enrolled candidate, you will have five years to complete the program. 

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 visit our demonstration report page for information on how to submit your report.

Question: I am a candidate for the Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS) designation and am considering writing 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. Information and the requirements of the evaluation can be found in the Guide to the Assessment Administration Specialist Designation, located our demonstration report page

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

Answer: You may request a one-year candidacy extension by completing the corresponding form located on our candidacy forms page and paying the applicable extension fee.

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 qualifications. Candidates may challenge the examination at a reduced rate for any of the non-standards and ethics courses (151 and 171) 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 applicable designation's description to learn more.

Question: When can I take the master examination?

Answer: Candidates in good standing may apply to sit for the master examination after all other qualifications have been fulfilled.

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

Answer: Yes, IAAO has several scholarship programs available. 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 qualification on some of our designations. Higher education degree qualifications 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 qualifications 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 qualifications on some of our professional designations for select non-IAAO designations.  See the section "Equivalencies with Other Organizations" under each applicable designation's description to learn which non-IAAO designations are recognized and the credit granted for each.

If you 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.