Becoming a Certified Outsourcing Professional


Looking for that career edge? The Certified Outsourcing Professional designation can distinguish you as a leader in the field of outsourcing and global services. It powerfully demonstrates that you possess the experience and knowledge required to design, implement and manage outsourcing initiatives that have a high probability of achieving an organization’s intended outcomes.

This professional designation, which focuses on the management process of outsourcing itself, is equally valuable to you whether you’re working as a customer, service provider or advisor. Developed by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, the certification program promotes an environment where all of the parties to an outsourcing business relationship have a common and shared professional knowledge, approach and commitment to mutual success.

Although I invite you to attend a complimentary Certified Outsourcing Professional Preparation Class via Webcast to find our more about certification, this article provides a brief explanation about the process. (Classes are offered frequently. The next one runs on May 23 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time.)

How To Become a Certified Outsourcing Professional

To become a Certified Outsourcing Professional, you must demonstrate your professional capabilities through a combination of:

  • Comprehensive work experience in the field of outsourcing as demonstrated by your actual accomplishments on one or more projects for one or more organizations.
  • Knowledge through completing a case-study analysis and/or a series of open ended questions.
  • Education through successful completion of the Certified Outsourcing Professional Master Class and/or by holding a relevant post-graduate degree.

Applications are reviewed and scored by a certification committee.

The process of becoming a Certified Outsourcing Professional begins with completion of the online application. In completing the application, you’re asked to:

  1. Identify the specific outsourcing projects you have successfully worked on.
  2. Map the activities you’ve performed on those projects against the Certified Outsourcing Professional standards.
  3. Have a sponsoring executive for each project review to sign off on the work you’ve done.
  4. Provide information on your professional training, including advanced degrees and completion of the Certified Outsourcing Professional Master Class.
  5. If needed, demonstrate additional knowledge through the completion of one or more case studies or open-ended essay questions.
  6. Review and agree to the Ethical and Business Practice Standards for Outsourcing Professionals.

All of the information required is provided online. You can log on to this site and access your application for updating and editing at any time. Once the application is complete, you submit it electronically. Peer review is generally completed within 30 to 60 days, and successful candidates immediately receive their certification award. Continuing education is required to keep the certification in force.

Are You Qualified?

Certification isn’t limited to individuals who have worked in only certain types of outsourcing, within select industries or in only certain countries. In fact, by providing a common framework for outsourcing success and a common lexicon that all professionals in the field share, the certification helps ensure consistent, high-quality results across the industry and around the world.

Generally speaking, if you’re somebody who has worked on all stages of multiple successful outsourcing projects for multiple organizations, you can achieve certification based on current experience alone. If you have less experience, you can achieve certification through additional education and other opportunities provided to demonstrate your knowledge of the field.

The application requires a $500 non-refundable fee, and you have up to 18 months to complete the application once begun. This provides tremendous flexibility for you to begin the process immediately and then complete your application over time.

Detailed information on the application process and certification requirements is available by downloading the “Guide to Becoming a Certified Outsourcing Professional.”

Your peers look forward to welcoming you to the ranks of the certified!

Useful Links

Sign up for the complimentary Certified Outsourcing Professional Prep Class webcast

Download the “Guide to Becoming a Certified Outsourcing Professional”

The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Certified Outsourcing Professional Program

Ethical and Business Practice Standards for Outsourcing Professionals