GENERAL CERTIFICATION QUESTIONS
What is the purpose of MSPA offering certification?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)
Is it required?
No. The MSPA represents over 400 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, you are not 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…and in that regard, you might answer “YES.”(Back to top)
Am I guaranteed more work or higher pay if I am certified?
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, I would expect they 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)
Who will benefit most from the programs?
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.
I have always been told, “Do not pay to shop.” Why is this different?
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. Here’s another thing to consider: Veronica Karlsson, one of the founders of MSPA Europe, has written a great book on mystery shopping, if you buy her book, are you paying to shop? No, you are paying to learn.(Back to top)
How long is my MSPA European Certificate valid?
Your certificate is valid for one year , then this test will have to be retaken. We will keep you informed of the details. (Back to top)
Will the test change frequently?
Yes, we will be changing the test often to ensure the questions are fresh. We will also be monitoring to see if the test is too easy and looking at the pass/fail rate and making improvements as we go. Currently, a passing score is 80%.(Back to top)
Do all Mystery Shopping companies know about certification?
We have discussed this program with the MSPA members for a year 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.
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.
Some MSPA members have their own certification programs and I would expect them to continue using their own program and not focusing on the MSPA program. There is nothing wrong with that. (Back to top)
Can I get Certified if I do not have a credit card?
You can now pay for certification either via Paypal or with a credit or debit card. If you do not have a credit or debit card, go through Paypal to pay for the test. Note, the MSPA website is a secure site.(Back to top)
What if I fail the test?
If you fail the test, you are able to take it again in 30 days. You must pay each time you take the test.(Back to top)
Once I take the test, how do I notify the companies?
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)
These programs are 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 endeavour.(Back to top)
I have some questions?
If you are not sure what to do please re-read the instructions – they are very simple. If you still have a question please email to the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org It may take a day or two to get back to you
Please do not phone MSPA Europe, we will not be able to respond on the phone or take a message. (Back to top)