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General Certification Questions

Intro to Mystery Shopping Course
The Intro Course is your introduction to mystery shopping.  You can earn your Intro certification and become a shopper member of MSPA-NA for one price of $25.  To become a member and take the course Click Here and learn of all the shopper member benefits!

New courses will be available in the coming months! Check back soon for details.
The goal is to offer education to shoppers. We have heard from shoppers for years that they are ignored and there are no programs for them since they are Independent Contractors. The goal for the entire MSPA this year is education. These certification programs allow us to help you make personal and professional improvements for yourself and your industry. (Back to top)
No. The MSPA represents more than 250 mystery shopping companies worldwide. We do not know of any company who will not hire you (assuming you are qualified) if you are not certified. However, each company has the right to do as they see fit. If you are a good shopper for a good company, the MSPA does not see you losing shops because you are not certified. However, it may help you get your foot in the door with other companies and expand your business…  In that regard, you might answer “YES.”(Back to top)
No, however the certification may give you an edge with some companies. Imagine two shoppers in the same town, with the same experience and work performance. One is certified and one is not. All other things being equal, the certification sets one shopper above the other with some companies.
If the same scheduler has a reliable shopper who has done excellent work in the past, we would expect the mystery shopping company would give that reliable shopper the job over a person who has never done any work for the company, but is certified. Again, the difference is if all candidates have the “same” qualifications, the certification may give you an edge with some companies. (Back to top)
Anyone who wants to learn. Knowledge is priceless. The people this program will help most are shoppers who are relatively new to the industry. They have the most to learn. It is also helpful for shoppers wanting to open the doors with more companies. Again, assuming all applicants are the same and one is certified, the certified shopper has set himself or herself apart. They will of course have to prove themselves and work themselves up the ladder like everyone else, but they at least got in the door.(Back to top)
We agree with that. You are not however paying to get more shops, you are paying to learn more about an industry that is changing every day. You may learn some tricks to help you work smarter and do your work in less time. You may not have booked more shops, but you are taking less time to do your current shops. Time is money as well.(Back to top)
We have discussed this program with the MSPA members since its inception and have received their input. We also sent out information to all MSPA members asking them to inform their staff. We cannot guarantee you that all companies have shared the information with every employee in their company. Did they tell the schedulers and forget to mention it to the receptionist? Maybe so. They may also have temporary personnel who do not have knowledge of the programs.
Also keep in mind that not all mystery shopping companies are MSPA members. If you called a non-MSPA member about certification, they will have no idea what you are talking about.
Currently, a passing grade is 80% but if you fail the Intro to Mystery Shoppiong Certification Course, you are able to take it again in 30 days. (Back to top)
Since you are an independent contractor, any and all expenses directly related to your business including seminars should be tax deductible; always consult with your tax advisor to ensure you address deductions appropriately. Certification only strengthens the case that you are running a business.(Back to top)
Please e-mail the companies and let them know you are certified. Do not call them! They will need your e-mail address and your certification number to verify your status. Many companies have already added a space on their shopper profile pages where you can go in and add your certification number yourself. Many systems have also added places for you to add your information. NOTE – your certification number is case sensitive and to verify your status, you need to use the same e-mail account you used to take the test.(Back to top)
The Intro to Mystery Shopping Certification Course is being offered for shoppers to fill a need. The certification is in no way required but in our attempt to raise the bar for our entire industry, this is a small step forward. We hope that you join the growing number of shoppers who see education and networking as a worthwhile endeavor.(Back to top)

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