CAP Certification/Exam

2018 Exam Details, Dates and Deadlines

Exam Dates

March 28-April 15, 2019

September 19 - October 8, 2019

Application Due Date

February 28, 2019

August 16, 2019

Late Application Due Date

March 14, 2019

August 30, 2019

Exam Scheduling Begins

February 25, 2019

August 19, 2019


Number of questions: Approximately 300
Format: Multiple-choice
Length: 3 1/2 hours
Modality: Computer-based
Testing Provider: Assessment Systems

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:

  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 seven 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 Communication   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%


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.



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 

  •  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.

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.


Updated CAP Exam Body of Knowledge (BoK)

Find the updated IAAP CAP Body of Knowledge (BoK) here:


The CAP Exam BoK details all of the Performance Outcomes (PO’s) that the CAP Exam sitter has to know in order to pass the exam.  The BoK is organized within 7 Domain areas and presents the most up to date knowledge that an administrator should know to be highly effective within the workplace.      


Exam Development

The CAP Program follows certification industry best practices to create and update the CAP exam. Subject matter experts, IAAP members, and practicing administrative professionals are involved throughout the process, which is overseen by highly trained assessment experts and a psychometrician.

A Job Task Analysis (JTA) study is the foundation for the examination specifications and when approved become the new Body of Knowledge. The Body of Knowledge specifications will be reviewed by the CAB and any necessary adjustments will be made before giving their approval.

The CAP exam is based on the CAP Body of Knowledge, which is developed by practicing professionals, business educators, and conducting a JTA study. The Body of Knowledge has a select number of domains, each with specific Performance Outcomes (PO), worth a designated percentage of exam content. PO are detailed, measurable competencies based on current best practices across a myriad of industries, which commonly employ administrative professionals. They represent the central and most significant information, skills, and competencies the candidate should know in order to pass the exam.

All examination forms will be assembled in accordance with the examination specifications. All test questions shall undergo a preliminary question analysis prior to release of the test results. Any question that does not meet accepted statistical criteria shall be reviewed by the CAP Exam Commission, which will determine whether the item should be: (a) scored “as is,” (b) scored with an alternate key(s), or (c) scored as correct for all responses. Exam Scoring. The passing standard shall be set using a criterion-referenced methodology. The CAP Exam Commission will approve the passing score. Whenever examinee volumes permit, equating will be used to maintain the passing standard across different examination forms and to statistically adjust scores, as necessary, to compensate for differences in difficulty across examination forms.


Composition of CAP Exam Commission:

The Commission is comprised of 10-11 persons, two Certification Administrative Board (CAB) members and 9-10 CAP designees selected by the Manager, Certifications. Members are representative of the certified population, demographically, geographically, industry, and length of time certified.

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