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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Importance of Designations

Many of our members are in the process of earning or enhancing their ISA designations. I would like to shed some light not only on the importance of but the benefits of our designations.

When you first join and are going through the steps of attending ISA courses, three to five letters after your name may not seem like a big deal or an important goal. However, the best way I can think to prove this wrong is by asking you to put yourself in the shoes of your client or potential client. They may not know about USPAP, ISARWS, or even the slightest hint of what a qualified or trained appraiser is, but they do realize that professions have certain levels of achievement. When you take the steps and go through the proper channels to earn your designations, you tell not only these potential clients, but your competitors that you care about your business and the service that your provide. It shows you take pride in your work and value not only yourself but those you serve. Those letters after your name may not seem like much, but they are proof positive that you have taken the time and put forth the effort to ensure that you are at the top of your game.

Leon Castner, ISA CAPP, the Director of Education touches on this, “Our quest for academic and professional excellence is not just a responsibility, however. It is a benefit. You will find yourself quickly advancing in knowledge and skill that can be gained in no other fashion. You will find yourself growing in stature and wisdom, often absorbing much without great effort, just because you are part of this family. You will also find opportunities not available to those outside our society, i.e. conventions, webinars, chapter meetings, forum discussions, and networking. It’s part of being connected to a team that thrives on and strives for educational enhancement. So begin your journey with excitement and anticipation. Participate fully in all we have to offer. Your cultivation and enlightenment is our aim.”

Take pride in the time and effort that you have put forth to enlarge your understanding, deepen your knowledge, and enhance your expertise. If you have not yet taken full advantage of all the educational opportunities that ISA has to offer, do. Register for a course, take a webinar, get involved with your local chapter and watch yourself grow--not only personally but professionally. Your business will as well.

Michelle Stearns
ISA Education and Credentialing Coordinator


  1. Nice, but to add more depth to your post briefly list the levels and requirements. Next, how to contact you. Just a suggestion to help with the process.

  2. Thanks, Tom. Michelle can be reached at For an overview of the credentialing levels, visit