Should a Virtual Assistant Be Certified?

Resources and Tools for Virtual Assistants

5 Key Steps to Your Success as a Virtual Assistant
eBook written by a successful virtual assistant to help you get starting on your own business.

As you read up on being a virtual assistant or look at websites of virtual assistants, you may note that many of them claim to be certified virtual assistants. Is this really necessary?

No, but it doesn't really hurt anything either. In fact, it can make you more credible.

The thing that matters most as a virtual assistant is that you are well educated in the areas in which you want to specialize, and that you are professional. Certification is one way to demonstrate this, and this is why many virtual assistants choose to become certified.

There are a variety of places that will certify you. This may or may not include a test for you to take. Some will certify you based simply on your verifiable experience. And of course, it costs money. It does cost money to go over your work history or design and administer tests, after all.

Whether or not you choose to get certified as a virtual assistant is up to you. Some clients will have heard of certified virtual assistants, and so strongly prefer them. Others will have heard only that a virtual assistant can be very useful, and so have fewer expectations.

The International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) offers a few options for certification:

  1. IVAA EthicsCheck™
    You are assessed in various areas relating to ethics, such as billing issues, privacy, conflict of interest and so forth. If you take the test, you agree to adhere to their Code of Ethics for EthicsChecked™ Virtual Assistants.

    If you are an IVAA member, you can take the test for $45, or $70 for non-members, as of this writing.

  2. IVAA CRESS™ - Certified Real Estate Support Specialist
    For virtual assistants wanting to work in the real estate industry. This test assesses your skills, including real estate terminology, ethics, confidentiality and privacy issues.

    If you are an IVAA member, you can take the test for $45, or $70 for non-members, as of this writing.

  3. IVAA CVA - Certified Virtual Assistant
    This is their big certification. You must be a member in order to take the exam. The test covers your word processing, bookkeeping / accounting, data management, web design and/or graphic design, writing and editing, and digital literacy, along with ethics issues. You get up to 3 takes of the exam, which is given in multiple parts.

    You must have been a member of the IVAA for at least 90 days and be in good standing in order to take this test. It costs $150, unless you've already taken the EthicsCheck certification, in which case it is $120. Once again, that's as of this writing. Prices can change. may be a little simpler to deal with. They don't do testing; instead they go over your work history. While they don't have an ethics test, they do have a code of ethics they require all virtual assistants displaying their certification to adhere to.

You fill out the application on the site to be reviewed for either their Professional Virtual Assistant (PVA) or Master Virtual Assistant (MVA) certification. They require a fair amount of information, including your work history, diplomas or graduation certificates, or coursework transcript, Brainbench transcript and three professional references. The review of your history to determine if you can get the certification is $75.

Please note that I am not associated with either IVAA or There are merely two of the companies I am aware of that do certification for virtual assistants. I would love to hear opinions on these two companies from working virtual assistants, especially if they could be shared here.

On the other hand, if you want to rely solely on your skills and not on certifications, think about which ones you are really strong in, versus the ones that could use improvement. You can take courses at your local community college to improve your skills in programs such as Excel, PowerPoint, Dreamweaver and so forth, or skill such as organization. You can test at Brainbench to show that you have the skills you claim.

Back to virtual assistant main page.


More Virtual Assistant Articles

Who Can Be a Virtual Assistant?
Is this an easy field to get into? Can you just declare yourself to be a virtual assistant and start finding clients?

What Do You Need to Work as a Virtual Assistant?
Hey, you have a computer. Do you really need much more equipment to do a good job as a virtual assistant? Really?

Where Are All the Clients?
Getting your first clients can be pretty tough. There are a variety of ways you can get things started so that you can quickly build your virtual assistant business.

Copyright © 2003-2018 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Feedly
Home With the Kids on LinkedIn

Are you ready to work at home? Subscribe to learn about blogging and other ways to earn money from home.


Home with the Kids
Has Been Seen On...

Yahoo! Finance

Top Work at Home Job Resources


Free Mini-Course
Find out if becoming a general transcriptionist is the right career choice for you. This all-inclusive online education system will teach you general transcription.

Career Step
Want to be a medical coder or transcriptionist? Career Step provides quality training for people wanting to enter these fields and more..

Employers Start Here
Employer FAQ
Job Seekers Start Here
Job Seeker FAQ


Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.