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Which administrative professionals' organization is the best one to join?

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Question:  “During my annual review, my boss suggested a membership in an administrative professionals’ organization. I've found a couple of them so far but am wondering if one is more reputable than another or has better benefits and resources. Any suggestions?” — Amy

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

JB October 5, 2017 at 9:52 am

I am considering joining IAAP as well and would like to know thoughts from those who have been or are a part of it today. I understand there have been many changes, so for those of you who are a part of it now how are those changes working out.


Heid August 21, 2017 at 9:39 am

Has the IAAP undergone all of it’s transition? Have there been improvements? I am considering joining again, however, do not want to waste my money. Thank you for any feedback.


Renee July 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.


Sheryl October 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Are there any government admin associations?


Dave Staten June 29, 2016 at 10:15 am

I am currently enrolled in the on-line PACE certification program through ASAP. Membership was free but the certification program costs $349 however, the courses are self pace and the certification exam is on-line as well. Great organization for administrative professionals looking for great tools, webinars (some free), conferences, etc. A newsletter with professional helps and profession updates and trends.


Shae Berghuis August 8, 2016 at 6:46 pm

Hi Dave,

How is the PACE program? What is it teaching you? Do you feel its worth the $349?



Kathy October 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

Last year I looked into both iaap and tnaoap and came to the conclusion that tnaoap http://www.tnaoap.org was the better choice for me. I love how I was able to complete everything online. The online study guides, and practice exams were great, and taking the actual exams online rather than having to go to a testing center was much better for my schedule. I would highly recommend it as a two year member.


Uber Lurker November 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm

“Kathy” is a shill for this so-called professional organization.

**TNAOAP is a SCAM.** I’ve done the research…


R M July 16, 2015 at 12:07 am

I have been a member of IAAP for 5 years, including 3 as a local chapter president.

Jose is 100% right – IAAP is undergoing some major changes to it’s structure, and all local and divisional chapters have been dissolved. The goal is supposed to be to improve the organization, but the changes take away the one thing that made it very different from other organizations – local chapter with low cost professional development opportunities and local networking opportunities. Almost every other organization is web based, and offers webinars and an annual conference – now IAAP has become just like the other organizations. As you read all the earlier comments about IAAP, understand that it has changed DRAMATICALLY from the organization it was just a year ago.

My membership is up for renewal, and I am not sure that I am going to renew it. I am not sure that what the new IAAP has to offer is worth the cost of my membership.

In the new IAAP, the only options for professional development are $99 webinars (1/2 off if you are a member), and regional branch meetings, which, on an administrative assistant’s budget, I cannot afford to travel to in order to obtain professional development. I am the Executive Assistant for the President and CEO of a financial institution, and our company is VERY generous with paying for professional development. However, they don’t send administrative staff out of state. So, unless the regional meeting is in my area, my company won’t allow me to participate. As an Executive Assistant, my salary is probably higher than most administrative professionals, and I know this for sure – we don’t have the money to pay to travel to conferences, pay $1000+ for registration, and pay for hotels and other travel expenses on our incomes.

I’m disappointed to say that it now seems like the main focus of IAAP is to sell to its members: webinars, registration to it’s regional and national conferences, and even it’s publication “Complete Office Companion” is now only available as an online subscription – $199 for non members and $99 for members. Also, I believe that members get a discount on taking the Certified Administrative Professional certification exam.

I feel that the only real value to me of renewing my membership, other than saying I am a member of IAAP, is that it serves as a discount card. And since I either don’t want or can’t afford the items that are being discounted, it would be a waste of money.

Best of luck in finding a suitable professional organization. If you are looking for online training, you might consider ASAP http://www.asaporg.com/. Their membership is free.


Mandi October 20, 2015 at 8:53 am

I went with TNAOAP to build my resume. I didn’t have the time to attend the seminars that IAAP offered and I liked the online aspect TNAOAP offered. IMO


Kathy T. November 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I agree Mandi, Iaap is a very involved process. I also went with tnaoap and have found them to be wonderful. I have taken 4 of their certification programs and have been a member for a little over 2 years, overall a very good experience.


Uber Lurker November 10, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Thanks again, “Kathy”…glad “Mandi” could join you in your quest to shill for this made-up company.


Gigi May 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

My work server blocked the tnaoap. Have to agree with Uber. Thanks!

BW May 25, 2017 at 10:44 am

I too have been a member of IAAP – and am letting my CAP-OM certification lapse because I simply can not afford to get the required re-certification points. I loved the monthly ability to connect with other professionals like myself.. and the ability to get a minimal cost or in most cases free re-certification point. I feel as though the current trend is only to get as much money out of members as possible.. which is very sad..
Also – having my CAP-OM did absolutely nothing for my career.. so for me – it makes no sense to keep paying membership fees, etc to keep it. 8 hours of testing and many more hours of studying, and worrying about passing, all down the drain.. :(


KD July 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Sorry to hear that, BW. I honestly have long thought that there would not be much professional return for the money and time spent to get certified. I appreciate all the attempts of organizations and Admins to professionalize our career path and to standardize our skill sets, as other professional organizations in other field try to do. But I just don’t see the value in certification. For most admins, it does not pay enough money yet and most companies are not willing to reimburse for it. The good ones will for job development training, of course, but not for certificates. What you wrote just confirmed that belief.



Jose August 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I have been a member of IAAP for four years. I have enjoyed it. As Rick mentioned IAAP is currently undergoing some changes to the structure of the organization. Not all of the membership support the changes. The local chapters and state chapters are being abolished and there will no longer be monthly chapter meetings. At chapter meeting we have networked, had events where we listened to speakers, taken educational seminars, etc. If that would be an issue for you keep that in mind before you join.


Rick June 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

I chose IAAP. IAAP has been around for 73 years. Not many can lay claim to that. I have been a member since 2008. They are currently undergoing some changes to make the organization even better. They also offer certification and soon will offer online study and support for the exams. Great people, Great Organization!


Kristy March 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I joined ASAP (American Society of Administritive Professionals). It is free to join and you get monthly newletters via e-mail; lots of helpful tips. They do offer classes for a cost if you are intrested, some webinars, and even an annual conference. They are not pushy about participation. Instead, they give you the tools and information needed; letting you take the initative to participate acording to your schedule and financial means.


Lori May 18, 2017 at 9:44 am

Be careful here because they sent an email that infected my computer. Nothing like starting the day with a call from IT Security says “TURN OFF YOUR MACHINE NOW!!”


Barbara Yuson April 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Does anyone know of any administrative association that specializes in Colleges/Universities?


wendy October 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Try the IAAP website. They provide scholarships with colleges. http://www.iaap.org


Cherie April 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Wendy, I believe Barbara meant if there was an organization that caters to administrative professionals who work at colleges and/or universities.

I would also be interested in finding that information out.



Robin Moore March 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I am a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals and have been for the last four years. It is a wonderful organization that allows you to opportunity to network with your administrative peers and also offers you a chance to become certified in the administrative field by taking an exam (the exam in given twice a year). Their website is iaap-hq.org and they are located worldwide.

Good luck in whatever organization that you choose to become a member of.


Amy February 17, 2009 at 10:52 am

If you are a legal administrator or work in a law firm environment as I do, I would look into the ALA (Association of Legal Administrators). The ALA is a wonderful National organization and has Chapters all over the country.
Go to ALA.org.



Eddi January 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I’ve been a member of IAAP for about ten years. If you do not have a local chapter, which currenty I do not, you can still be a member-at-large.


Sandra Lachance January 5, 2009 at 11:41 am

I, too, am a member of IAAP (Profile Chapter) and recommend it highly. Here’s the URL if you want to check it out! http://www.iaap-hq.org/
Chapters hold local meetings, then, in my case, GNED (Greater New England Division) holds training seminars and annual meetings which are great for networking. Highest level is International and each level has it’s own website packed with useful information. Hope you decide to join!


Lila January 3, 2009 at 8:04 am

I agree with all the above. I have been an IAAP member for 4 years and recently received my CPS designation (Certified Professional Secretary) through this organization. This is a widely recognized and respected designation for administrative professionals. It shows your employer you are dedicated to your profession and think of it as a career and not just another job. Go to their website and browse http://www.iaap-hq.org/index.htm


sita horn January 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I agree IAAP is a very supportive, informative, and innovative organization to become one of their members.


Myrna Baumgart CAP December 29, 2008 at 10:51 am

The IAAP professional membership is only slightly more than $100 per year. If your supervisor has suggested joining, maybe the company will pay your annual dues. It’s worth checking out. I’ve been an IAAP member for just about 5 years and have found that the networking and leadership opportunities have helped in my job. The Admin Pro Forum is also a great supplement to my IAAP membership.


Sherri December 21, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I’ve checked in to a couple but they cost hundreds of dollars. I work for a non-profit agency which is currently trying to eliminate a deficit so I couldn’t possibly ask for a $600 admin membership. I’m happy with what Admin Pro provides.


Samantha December 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm

I would recommend the Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals (http://www.theaeap.com/). They have a very helpful monthly newsletter, member discounts on things like rental cars, and a forum. They also offer online classes at a good rate – I took an Administrative Assistant Fundamentals course for $99.


LINDA December 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Shannon – if you are reading this – you should look into this. IAAP is a great organization. Perhaps one of your goals could be to research the membership


Kathy December 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm

You should look into the International Association of Adminstrative Assistants (IAAP)


Melody December 19, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I concur. The IAAP is a wonderful organization. I have been a member for four years and not only is there great networking and education, they provide lots of leadership opportunities. The headquarters website is http://www.iaap-hq.org.


Rhonda M. Strong December 19, 2008 at 12:57 pm

If you can only afford one organization, I highly recommend the Interantional Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). This organization has monthly local meetings and occational state meetings and international meetings. Having local meetings gives members the opportunity to develop personally and professionally in a supportive environment. You have the ability to grown and learn at your own pace remembering that you only get out of it what you put into it. The more involved you are, the more you really get out of your membership. I’ve learned advanced leadership and other professional skills that I would have never learned in my day-to-day job. I would welcome additonal discussion if you would like to email me at rmstrong@eastman.com. (I also belong to a couple of other professional organizations, but IAAP is the best, by far.)


Lisa December 19, 2008 at 12:54 pm

I suggest IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals. They are a great team and learn.


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