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 Is being MSPA Silver or Gold Certified Worth It?
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2010 :  05:13:12 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yes, you must already be Silver certified before you can get the Gold certification.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Bev Shopper
Contributor

CA
USA
69 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2010 :  5:07:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just became Silver certified by MSPA. I'm so excited!!

I've been putting it off only because I've been so busy shopping and wasn't sure it was worth the time. After reading your discussions about it, I felt that perhaps there was something for me to learn in taking the test. There was.

For the most part, it was common sense, things I already know from life experience. But there were some things that I was unsure about and it gave a definitive answer on, which I appreciate knowing.

I'll see now if it gives me any advantage as far as getting good jobs, but either way I appreciate the knowledge that I gained from taking the test.


Bev
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2010 :  05:19:16 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Bev! Make sure to update your profile with the companies you work for to include your new code.

Here is a link to the topic on companies you can include.
http://forum.volition.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=586&SearchTerms=update,

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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TeresaWDEG
Member

South East Los Angeles County, CA
USA
36 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2010 :  2:01:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I cant tell the difference the rate of pay or jobs received between the time I was uncertified and after being silver certified. I have been trying to become gold certified since April 7. I will update when I know if it was worth the dollars, effort and time.


Specializing in the suburban cities of South East Los Angeles County
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2010 :  4:20:45 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Teresa, remember to check out the companies that recognize certification and register to work for them. Otherwise, you probably won't see any change.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Jennifer B
Trainee

CA
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2010 :  12:55:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi All,

I've been reading this forum for years and you all have been so helpful!

I have been Silver Certified for a few years now, but wanting to go Gold as well. Is the live workshop better than the DVD or as the DVD is the core of the training, would it just be better to purchase the DVD and take the course on my own time?

Also, is there a master list of companies who prefer Gold Shoppers out there?

Thanks!

Jennifer

Jennifer B.
MSPA Silver Certified
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IrisT
Member

MI
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2010 :  05:36:11 AM  Visit IrisT's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Being Gold certified is only worth as much weight as the MS company you want to work for gives it. Some companies consider certification valuable, and some don't care. There are companies that will send prior notices to Gold shoppers before assignments are posted, and sometimes companies I don't currently work for contact me to try and recruit me. I think that all of these things will eventually come about if you are serious about MSing; however, it would probably take longer for shoppers who are not certified.

IMO, the class was entirely common sense. I happened to be in the area where the class was being conducted at the time, and the expense is tax deductible, so I decided to take the class. I also want to share for anyone interested in staying at the hotel when you take the class ~ I stayed overnight in the hotel where it was being held because of the other work I had. The hotel rate that I got online was LESS than the overnight rate MSPA was offering to attendees.

Iris
MSPA Gold Certified
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Terren
Valued Contributor

Brandon, FL
USA
120 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2010 :  6:26:41 PM  Send Terren an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I too have noticed a difference between not being certified and certified, while it is not financially in my cards to become Gold right now, it is a goal I am going to work for.

GOLD *x1z1xl*
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GloriM
Member

Las Vegas, NV
USA
24 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2010 :  7:05:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Now that they offer the Gold Certification workshop via the DVD, it is so convenient to be able to complete the course through the comforts of your home.

I really enjoyed the DVD and found alot of the information was a great refresher course.

I highly recommend to those who are considering to complete their Gold certification to do so as it only makes you a more educated shopper.

Glori Mauro
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping in Las Vegas
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Rene-R
Valued Contributor

Phoenix, AZ
USA
171 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2011 :  11:41:26 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Personally I have not seen a difference in the number of shops I get every week.

HOWEVER, I do think both silver & gold would be a great thing for a beginning shopper to do. There is a lot of info in there that you can avoid learning 'the hard way' if you know it from the outset.

I would HIGHLY recommend that any beginning shopper start with a few small shops, to see if they like it & can handle the level of detail, then do silver & gold to really ramp up their knowledge.


Gold shopping metro Phoenix & airports everywhere, since 2005. ~ Have Video equipment, will travel!
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2011 :  12:43:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The 2011 IMSC conference in Florida (May) will have a whole day of workshops for new shoppers. In my experience, the most useful things that I learned in my Gold Certification Workshop in 2005 (as a newbie) were from the interactive sessions, where seasoned shoppers gave their answers to questions like, "How can I get a name when there is no name tag?" and "How can I remember so many details?" Experienced shoppers had so many good, and different ways of handing these matters that there seemed to a solution to fit just about any need. New shoppers should consider signing up for IMSC conferences as an integral part of their training to be more productive and profitable shoppers.

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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MelissaSiet
Contributor

Granger, IN
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2011 :  3:18:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am so excited to see there is a DVD for GOold certification, I have been Silver certified for 5 years, I am going to go for it!

Melissa
Certified Gold :)
Serving Indiana-South Bend, Mishawaka and some surrounding areas
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SandiA
Star Contributor

USA
495 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2011 :  12:04:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've had several schedulers tell me that when they get applications, they go down the list and assign to the first Gold Certified shopper they see.

SandiA
Celebrating 14 Years in the Biz!
MSPA Gold Certified since 2003
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CathyStucker
Contributor

Sugar Land, TX
USA
75 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2011 :  7:52:01 PM  Visit CathyStucker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Several companies recently provided comments about why they value MSPA certification and how they recognize certified shoppers. You can read what they had to say at http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com/why-you-should-be-mspa-certified. Although this does not include every company that rewards certified shoppers, it gives you an idea of what MSPA companies think about certification.

Answers ranged from giving certified shoppers first access to assignments to giving them the best shops to paying a bonus to certified shoppers. It does make a difference to many companies.

Hope to see some of you in Irvine on March 12th for the next live Gold Workshop!

Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"
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Nicole P.
Valued Contributor

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  04:30:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CathyStucker

Several companies recently provided comments about why they value MSPA certification and how they recognize certified shoppers. You can read what they had to say at http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com/why-you-should-be-mspa-certified. Although this does not include every company that rewards certified shoppers, it gives you an idea of what MSPA companies think about certification.

Answers ranged from giving certified shoppers first access to assignments to giving them the best shops to paying a bonus to certified shoppers. It does make a difference to many companies.

Hope to see some of you in Irvine on March 12th for the next live Gold Workshop!




I find it interesting that Mike Green, the CEO of my FAVORITE MSC, responded like he did on your blog. That is due to the fact that last fall, on a different forum than here on Volition, he stated something very close to that "silver or gold gets a shopper's foot in the door...After that, it is their work that gets them the job."

I do not see these statements as being mutually supportive, and further, I do not see this as fully supporting certification. I see it as "some certification will get you your first shop with us. After that, it is your work you have turned in to us that will determine whether or not we give you jobs."

I have no issue getting jobs from them, and they have little but fine dining in my area. I only have silver; I do not feel the need to get gold.

I guess my work is good enough to not have to spend good money after bad. I am thankful for that. I hope to continue shopping for CI FOREVER. They are the best, and I cannot say enough great things about them.


Nicole
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MelissaSiet
Contributor

Granger, IN
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  1:51:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I plan on going to the Gold certification training in Toledo in June, not because I need more work, but thought it would be good to meet other shoppers and msc! I am excited

Melissa
Certified Gold :)
Serving Indiana-South Bend, Mishawaka and some surrounding areas
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CathyStucker
Contributor

Sugar Land, TX
USA
75 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  2:22:17 PM  Visit CathyStucker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Nicole, I have been told by several mystery shopping companies that there are shops that are offered first to certified shoppers. In working with those companies, certification does make an ongoing difference.

I can not speak for Mike Green, but maybe what he said was that certification will not get you future jobs if you do not do a good job. It might open the door and get you the first shop, but bad shoppers will still be passed over or deactivated--even if they are certified. And if a company has a relationship with a non-certified shopper, they are not going to dump them for an unknown certified shopper. Just a guess, based on some things I have heard Mike and others say in the past.

Certification is not required by any company, but it can help you get jobs, especially with companies where you do not yet have a history.

Cathy

P.S. I agree that CI is a great company. I love working with them!

Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
370 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  3:54:31 PM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
CI's log in page states the Ohio workshop date is June 06 2011, but the linked MSPA shows 06-11-2011. Please share which is correct.

Bob
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CathyStucker
Contributor

Sugar Land, TX
USA
75 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  4:05:45 PM  Visit CathyStucker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
The Toledo workshop will be on Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"
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Nicole P.
Valued Contributor

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  01:09:44 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CathyStucker

Nicole, I have been told by several mystery shopping companies that there are shops that are offered first to certified shoppers. In working with those companies, certification does make an ongoing difference.

I can not speak for Mike Green, but maybe what he said was that certification will not get you future jobs if you do not do a good job. It might open the door and get you the first shop, but bad shoppers will still be passed over or deactivated--even if they are certified. And if a company has a relationship with a non-certified shopper, they are not going to dump them for an unknown certified shopper. Just a guess, based on some things I have heard Mike and others say in the past.

Certification is not required by any company, but it can help you get jobs, especially with companies where you do not yet have a history.

Cathy

P.S. I agree that CI is a great company. I love working with them!



I believe you, Cathy. Certainly there are firms that do use certification, and some, extensively. What I find interesting about that is that it often entails doing a job I would not want to do nor would do for the pay offered, even as a proven commodity with a certification. What Mike Green said, essentially, was that cert gets your foot in the door, but won't keep you there if the work is not up to their standards, and that it is the work that will get you jobs in the end, even if certification is was got your foot in the door.

I am willing to go on my laurels, so to speak. I have enough history with enough good MSC's that I do not need to do lower paying jobs that entail a lot of work and require me to pay for Gold. YMMV. I am sure it does differ from mine, since you do training for the MSPA.

That is what makes the MS world go round, though. We each figure out our business strategy, and work it to our best.




Nicole
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