WHEATON, IL – The most renowned and respected trade organization in custom closet and storage design is proud to announce the launching of its industry’s first-ever Designer Certification Program.

The Association of Closet and Storage Professionals has created this three-tier certification program, the first of its kind available specifically to the custom closet and storage design community. The program’s main objective is to assist designers in marketing their skills, promoting their achievements, and defining their careers to both consumers and employers as the true, established professionals in this competitive and specialized design field.

“This long-awaited Storage Designer Certification Program will most certainly prove to be a real asset to the industry,” said Diana Augspurger, Immediate Past President of the ACSP. “It will be the first time that custom storage designers are officially recognized and rewarded for their hard work and professional achievements.”

Designer Certification will be awarded at each of three certification levels - Registered Storage DesignerSM, Certified Storage DesignerSM, and Master Storage DesignerSM. Certification is based on five career-defining criteria: knowledge, experience, education, client recommendation, and design.

“The program’s three certification levels will help the consumer to identify a knowledgeable, experienced industry professional, rather than searching in the dark,” Augspurger said. “The more experience and knowledge the designer has, the higher his or her certification level.”

The program is not only an asset to the consumer, but also to both the job-seeking designer and the potential employer. “With this program, designers will be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors that have not achieved certification status,” Augspurger explained. “They will be able to market these credentials to any company in the industry when seeking employment.”

Qualifying designers will be certified for a two-year term and will be required to renew their certification every two years. There will be a fee charged to apply for certification at each level and to renew certifications. The application process will be managed by the Executive Director and administrative staff of ACSP. The evaluation of the design challenges, examination requirements, and portfolio requirements of the certifications will be made by a Certification Committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the ACSP. Each application for certification will be assigned a unique number so that all applications remain anonymous throughout the evaluation process. The Committee will use an objective grading system for the design challenges portion of the requirements based on meeting the client's requirements as defined, using the space efficiently, and using the materials properly.

“It is vital to the program’s success that the certification process be completely objective and impartial,” said Augspurger. “We worked extremely hard to put this system in place to ensure fairness and legitimacy of the program.”

Successful candidates for each of the levels will receive an Official Certificate of Recognition from the ACSP and will be licensed to use the appropriate designation and mark on their business cards, stationery and marketing materials. In addition, all ACSP certified designers will be listed on the ACSP website and the listings will be searchable using various search terms. Press kits will also be provided to certified designers so that they may announce their certification status to media outlets in their respective markets.

The program will be officially launched at the 2011 Closets & Home Organization Conference & Expo taking place on February 23-25 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC.

About the ACSP

Founded in August, 2005, the Association of Closet & Storage Professionals (ACSP) is a trade organization comprised of custom closet and storage companies and individuals that design, sell, manufacture, and/or install home closet and storage systems. The organization was established to create a unified voice for the custom storage industry, build a professional image for its members, and provide a valuable, credible source of information for the storage consumer.

SOURCE: Assn. of Closet and Storage Professionals

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