assistant certification and designation options


In the ever-evolving administrative profession, a topic of recent interest has been training, certification, and designations. Many top-notch organizations are looking to the future with an eye towards optimization and growth. They’re carefully considering what they will require of their administrative team and want to move them towards higher levels of training and education. 

This means assistants need to be paying attention and stay ahead of the curve. 

In today’s competitive workplace, where it’s easy to get lost in the crowd, employers want administrative and executive assistants who are true professionals—people who are committed to the administrative profession as a career choice, willing to invest in their growth, and eager to go the extra mile to expand and prove their capability. 

The Differences Between Administrative Assistant Training, Certifications, and Designations

I believe in all training, learning, and education. Embarking on any mission to obtain more education is usually an endeavor that pays off. It demonstrates you take your profession seriously and like to learn. Many successful leaders inquire about continued learning and education during interviews for various administrative positions. They also ask whether the interviewee has taken workshops or classes in the administrative profession.

In terms of content and requirements, the critical difference between training, certifications, and designations is usually found in the responsibility placed upon the attendee. Some pure training courses require no testing or validation of knowledge gained as a result of the course. On the other hand, certification programs and designations typically do require some additional assessment that allows the attendee to demonstrate what they’ve learned and what skills they’ve honed or now possess. 

Typically, the difference between a professional certification and a professional designation amounts to time and money spent. Designations usually require a more significant investment of both. Certifications are obtained through associations and meeting specific requirements.

Some assistants may feel like completing a certificate or designation program isn’t an option for them because:

  • It’s cost-prohibitive.
  • It takes too much time.
  • They don’t feel qualified.
  • It won’t matter.


While those concerns may feel daunting, I passionately believe that professional certifications and designations are industry marks of excellence. They are immediately recognizable and say to others, “I take my career seriously.”

Seeing yourself as an investment will increase your value. You’ll walk into any workspace with the confidence that you are more than capable of performing with excellence. Ultimately, the payoff of the administrative assistant certification cost can’t be denied.

Administrative Assistant Certifications & Designations Available Online

Office Dynamics offers an online administrative certificate program and curriculum-based designations. You may be hesitant to obtain an administrative assistant certification online, but online options can serve as a stellar substitute.  

Here is a quick overview of our offerings:

Star Achievement Series®

After participants complete Levels I and II of the Star Achievement Series®, they can apply to earn the CEAP Designation (Certified Executive Administrative Professional.)

The CEAP is a curriculum-based designation awarded to individuals who complete all eight classes in Levels I & II, meet program objectives, actively participate in class, complete the Star In Action™ essay, and obtain a letter from their leader stating observed changes in behavior and processes.

Having a CEAP Certified designation sets an individual apart as a strong performer. 

designation for assistants

CBS (Certified Business Skills) Designation

After a participant completes Level III of the Star Achievement Series®, they have the opportunity to add a CBS Designation to their CEAP designation (CEAP-CBS), thus demonstrating they have developed key business skills.

This designation represents the pinnacle of the Star’s journey. When a participant receives this designation, they’ll find themselves amongst distinguished company.

World Class Assistant™

The World Class Assistant™ Certification and Designation can only be earned by participating in the learning activities throughout the class, demonstrating that you understand the concepts taught, writing a professional development plan, passing the quiz, and going through an approval process. 

Executive Support Series™

Our Executive Support Series™ consists of 16 modules that teach you the skills and nuances that will transform you into the successful partner you want to be and that executives yearn to have! It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just joined the profession or are a seasoned vet: This Series is designed to be impactful no matter how many years you have under your belt. You will walk away with a solid game plan and the know-how to implement it.

Executive Assistant Certification Designation

Once completed, you will receive the Certified Executive Strategic Partner designation from Office Dynamics. CESP is a “specialized” designation for administrative professionals that communicates you are a highly trained, highly skilled, professional who supports executives, key leaders, directors, and the management team.

Is an Administrative Assistant Certification Worth It?

Getting certified or earning a special designation you can put after your name, on any resume, and on your LinkedIn profile, demonstrates you’ve not only made a choice to complete a rigorous program of study, but it also shows you are investing in your own excellence. Here are just a few of the many benefits that may come your way after completing a professional certification:

  • You build confidence. Having that certificate on your wall sends a positive message to everyone with whom you work.
  • You earn more money. Certified administrative assistant salaries, in some companies, increase in tandem with the level of education and training received.
  • You gain new skills and competencies. Today’s garage startups will be the industry standard next year. You need to become – and remain – competitive.
  • You broaden your perspective. When you grow, you gain insights that allow you to approach your work in a new, fresh way. You think more creatively and strategically.
  • You master your time. When you decide to go the second mile for your career, you learn how to harness free time and focus it on creating a better future.
  • You decide to value yourself more highly. It takes effort to gain a certification, but it’s so worth it!
  • It proves you can compete. In this competitive job market, you need every tool and resource in your toolkit.


All of these translate into skills you need to be successful in the workplace. Hiring managers look for these traits and so do C-Suite executives when interviewing for a new assistant.

How Beneficial Are Certificates of Completion for Assistant Training?

Normally, attendees receive a Certificate of Completion for attending a seminar, workshop, or online course.  Some webinars and other events offer it as well. There is certainly value here because these completion certificates indicate that you seek out and obtain quality ongoing education. A hunger to learn alone is worth so much.

Always remember though, it is not a document, paper, degree, certification, or designation that makes a World Class or Star Assistant. I have seen many assistants who have a designation from a well-known association that are not star performers in their job. No piece of paper can guarantee success, a salary increase, new title, or a promotion. It still boils down to what someone does with what they learn. You must not only have the aptitude, but you also need the right attitude. 

Office Dynamics Curriculum-Based Designation Courses for Assistants

Download Our Designation Courses Comparison Chart

This chart will assist you in comparing all three Office Dynamics Designations. CEAP, CWCA, and CESP.


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