The MSPA’s certification program has now passed 50,000 certifications! MSPA has issued a press release announcing this milestone. There are a few other interesting facts about mystery shopping contained in it, too:
The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), the world’s largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality through the use of mystery shoppers, has reached a new milestone with 50,000 silver and gold certifications awarded to mystery shoppers.
The number of certified mystery shoppers throughout the United States and Canada has been steadily increasing since the program’s inception in November 2002. Approximately 10,000 certifications have been awarded in the past eight months.
The MSPA designed the certification program in an effort to improve the quality of mystery shoppers throughout the industry. The program is a tool for mystery shoppers who want to improve their skills and learn new techniques and tips for conducting mystery shopping evaluations.
“The MSPA certification program has been very successful since the beginning. MSPA members have noted a strong and continued trend in which certified shoppers are consistently returning more complete, accurate and detailed reports,” said John Swinburn, Executive Director of the MSPA. “One main goal of the MSPA is to improve the caliber of shoppers and enhance the quality of their services for the industry – the certification program certainly helps achieve that.”
The certification program covers all aspects of mystery shopping, including how to obtain shopping assignments, techniques for conducting evaluations, tips on improving evaluation reports and the positive impact mystery shopping can have on business operations.
The MSPA estimates there are approximately 1.5 million mystery shoppers in North America and 250,000 internationally. Currently, there are more than 47,500 Silver-certified shoppers and more than 2,500 Gold-certified shoppers.
Though certification is encouraged, it is not a requirement to be a mystery shopper. For more information about becoming a certified mystery shopper, visit http://www.mspa-na.org/certification.
Although 50,000 certifications have been issued, if the estimate of 1.5 million mystery shoppers is in the ballpark, it means that only about 3% of shoppers are certified. Certification is not required by any company, but it is recognized by many, giving certified shoppers a competitve edge.
Is it worthwhile to you to have a credential that is (1) recognized by many of the top mystery shopping companies and (2) only held by about 3% of your fellow mystery shoppers?
Cathy Stucker is the author of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual.