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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Becoming an ISA CAPP is an Attainable and Worthwhile Goal

Steve Roach, JD, ISA CAPP
with Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg,
ISA CAPP, President
By Steve Roach, JD, ISA CAPP

Over the past few years in my appraisal practice, an increasing number of potential clients have asked if I’m certified. I’d explain that simply being a member of the International Society of Appraisers requires substantial coursework in appraising combined with practical experience in the objects being appraised, but the pesky question of being a “certified appraiser” kept coming up.

ISA’s Certified Appraiser of Personal Property – CAPP – is the highest level of membership in the organization, and applicants must prove competence by passing an exam, documenting 500 hours of appraisal experience and submitting an appraisal report or reports for peer review.

Even though my ISA AM status seemed sufficient for the needs of the individual projects, more gatekeepers are being told that they need to work with “certified appraisers.” In 2012, I started on the path to ISA CAPP with excitement and enthusiasm to spare. Then, life got in the way and I stalled because – as I’m sure many of you can relate – it was a challenge to expend time and resources towards something that didn’t have an immediate payoff.

Yet, each year at conference, when I’d see new CAPPs named at the awards luncheon, I’d think, I’ll start back up when I get home. It wasn’t until the Spring 2014 Board of Directors meeting that I saw my name on a list of uncompleted CAPPs. At that point I decided it was now or never and I started to study for my CAPP exam. For an added bit of accountability, I told fellow board member Karen Rabe, ISA CAPP, that I’d be a CAPP by the Assets 2015 conference.  Karen also leads ISA’s mentorship program, in case you need additional motivation to continue on ISA’s credentialing pathway.

The CAPP exam took the better part of an afternoon and, although it was challenging, it was a useful experience in that it forced me to refresh my knowledge on concepts that I didn’t use frequently in my appraisal practice, which focuses on rare coins and fine art.

Next came the submission of reports for peer review. That too was challenging, but thanks to the careful review of the three appraisers who donated their time and efforts to review my CAPP submissions – and the encouragement of Designation and Review chairperson Lorrie Semler, ISA CAPP – I made it through the process relatively unscathed and with a far better understanding of what makes a report excellent than when I entered the process.

The ISA CAPP process is not easy, but it is a meaningful activity that will test your knowledge of appraising. Especially as one progresses in a career, it’s harder to achieve tangible milestones. The ISA CAPP is a designation that is an attainable goal for an appraiser, and one that is certainly worthwhile to go for. 

Steve Roach, JD, ISA CAPP

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