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Association of Office Professionals

Certification for Educational Office Professionals

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The Professional Standards Program certification requires at least four years of full-time* work experience, at least two of which must be at an educational institution. In addition to the PSP requirements listed on the NAEOP website, only classes, workshops, etc., that are no more than ten years old at the time of application are allowed for USM’s Education Enhancement Policy.

*Full-time is considered 30 or more hours per week. If working less than 30 hours per week, then six (6) years of part-time work is needed with a minimum of three (3) years of part-time work in an educational institution is required.

PSP Certificate Requirements

Certificate Level Work Experience Education/
Association Responsibility
Basic 4 years 210 Clock Hours 10 Points
Associate Professional 4 years 300 Clock Hours 10 Points
Advanced I 4 years 390 Clock Hours 10 Points
Advanced II 4 years 480 Clock Hours 10 Points
Advanced III 4 years 570 Clock Hours 10 Points
Associate Degree 4 years Associate Degree + 60 Hours 10 Points
Bachelor Degree 4 years Bachelor Degree + 60 Hours 10 Points
Master Degree 4 years Master Degree + 60 Hours 10 Points
Doctoral Degree 4 years Doctoral Degree + 60 Hours 10 Points
Recertification   60 Clock Hours 10 Points


In-service includes college classes, workshops, seminars, institutes, and conferences. These hours are cumulative for the first five certificate levels; after that, it is listed per certificate. USM requires that some of these hours come from the Core Curriculum list. The table below lists how many courses are required from the list for each certificate.

Certificate Core Curriculum Classes
Basic 3
Associate Professional 4
Advanced I 5
Advanced II 6
Advanced III 7

College courses are counted as 15 clock hours per semester hour. So, for the Basic certificate, three courses at three semester hours each will count for 135 of your clock hours.

The University also requires that at least 30 in-service hours be sponsored by an association for educational professionals, such at USM AOP, MAEOP, or NAEOP.

Events and non-core curriculum classes should be submitted to NAEOP for approval prior to participation. This ensures that you know what will and will not be accepted when working on your certification.

Association Responsibility

Association Responsibility is earned through membership and participation in professional organizations.  At least five points must be earned from a local, state, or national NAEOP-affiliated organization. The table below shows how points are earned.

Association Membership 1 point/year (up to 3 points/year)
Committee Membership 1 point/committee (per year)
Committee Chair 2 points/committee (per year)
Elected Officer 2 points/office (per year)
Workshop Presenter 2 points/workshop

Membership in USM Staff Council can be used, however, most other committees on campus are considered job-related and not accepted for the program.

Any hours or points submitted above the minimum for a certificate will carry over for your next application.


PSP certificates are valid for five years. After five years you need to upgrade to the next certificate or recertify at your current level. Recertification required 60 in-service hours and 10 association responsibility points. Recertification is not accepted as part of the Education Enhancement Policy.


After obtaining the Advanced III certificate or higher, participants can apply for the Certified Educational Office Employee (CEOE) or Certified Educational Support Employee (CESE) distinction. This distinction does not expire, but is not accepted as part of the Education Enhancement Policy.

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Association of Office Professionals
118 College Drive #5181 Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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