Credentials for an Appraiser

When it comes to appraiser credentials, many people who love art, antiques or other categories of personal property seek accreditation to lure new buyers or sellers into their full-time sales company model. These models include estate sales, art galleries, auctions, or a private art collector or a antique dealer. Additionally, they find that their limited interest in the appraisal field does not translate to full-time appraising. Which means they may not be up to date on the methodologies needed to deploy modern standards, requirements or even compliant appraisals. Therefore, not all appraisers are created equal.

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All the professional appraiser organizations listed on this page require re-accreditation courses at least every 3-5 years. They also require Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) updates every 2 years. Dues are also paid annually. These costs do not include the large amount of costs associated with paid databases needed for large collections. It has becoming increasingly difficult for a part-time appraiser to be fully-equipped to professionally appraise estates or collections containing large varieties of property, not to mention recent governmental regulation and congressional oversight.

If you are seeking out an appraiser who represents credentials that cannot be confirmed by an independent source (usually the appraisal organization), then there is a good chance that you are not working with an appraiser who puts their appraisal practice first, they are likely not full-time, may no longer be credentialed or up to date with recent standards in the appraisal industry. Additionally, do not be confused by appraisers who put USPAP after their name as if they are accreditations. USPAP is not a credential or accreditation. USPAP is the content of a course by which one receives verification of completion which is provided upon passing the final test. One could compare it to learning the procedures of how to drive and passing the test. You get a license, but drivers do not put DL after their name.


The International Society of Appraisers (ISA), founded in 1979, is the largest of the professional personal property appraisal associations representing qualified and ethical appraisers who are recognized authorities in the United States and Canada.

ISA training courses are regarded as the most comprehensive in the industry, distinguishing ISA as the leader in methodology, theory, principles, practices and ethics. ISA’s members include many of the country’s most respected appraisers, consultants, curators, scholars, gallerists, estate liquidators, auctioneers, and dealers.

The Appraiser Association offers professional development in specific areas of property knowledge and connoisseurship through coursework, webinars and continuing education offerings at conferences. The four main divisions of ISA are: Antiques, Furnishings + Decorative Arts, Fine Art, Gemstones and Jewelry, and Machinery and Equipment.

Accreditation Levels – International Society of Appraisers

  • Candidate (n/a)

    ISA Member (ISA) 

  • Accredited Member (ISA AM)

   Certified Member (ISA CAPP – Certified Appraiser of Personal Property)


The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) was founded in 1936, considered the largest multi-discipline organization representing appraisers and is one of the eight major appraisal groups that founded The Appraisal Foundation (TAF).

ASA is comprised of Appraisal Review Management (ARM), appraisers of business, gems and jewelry, machinery and technical specialties, personal property, and real property. While they are considered the largest appraisal association of them all, the majority of their appraisers fall under the real property and business valuation segments of the appraisal field.

Accreditation Levels – American Society of Appraisers

  • Candidate (n/a)
  • Accredited Member (AM)


National Auctioneers Association

National Auctioneers Association (NAA) was founded in 1949, NAA is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to auction professionals. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the NAA represents the interests of thousands of auction professionals and auctioneers in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The NAA is an extensive network of auction professionals who share commonality through a strict code of ethics, educational programming, and resources.

Personal Property Appraisal

The professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute to qualified personal property appraisers who meet the educational and experiential requirements, adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. Graduate, Personal Property Appraisers (GPPA) must have passed the 15-hour USPAP course, 35 classroom hours, a detailed written appraisal report and at minimum two affidavits of appraisals. GPPA also requires 24 hours of continuing education every three years.

A Master Personal Property Appraiser (MPPA) must be a credentialed appraiser with the GPPA designation previously and exhibit the ability to appraise personal property and related assets. Designees learn to conduct a complete and appropriate appraisal and know the various factors that affect the value of appraised items. MPPA designees can specialize in antiques & estates, plant machinery & equipment, or construction and agricultural equipment.

Accreditation Levels

Certified Estate Specialist

A professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute to help professionals understand how to properly conduct the settling of estates when working with families, attorneys, and accountants. To maintain the CES (Certified Estate Specialist) designation, professionals are required to complete 21 classroom hours and complete 24 hours of continuing education every three years.

Accreditation Levels

Auction Marketing Management

Auction Marketing Management (AMM) is a professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute to help professional auctioneers understand today’s technology-based and traditional marketing. AMM designees, are required to complete 24 classroom hours, complete a custom auction summary report based on knowledge from the AMM course and 24 hours of continuing education every three years.

Accreditation Levels


WSET was founded as a charitable trust in 1969 to serve the growing educational needs of the United Kingdom wine and spirits industry which, at the time, primarily spanned import, distribution, and retail. The Vintners’ Company provided funding, and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust took over the education initiatives started by the Wine and Spirit Association of Great Britain. Throughout their history, WSET provides best-in-class education and qualifications to inspire and empower the world’s wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualifications maintain global recognition as the international standard in wine and spirit knowledge. From just three qualifications in 1969 their suite of qualifications has grown to nine dedicated programs. In 1994 their educational programs came to the United States. In 2001 the trust became an accredited Awarding Body with the first of our qualifications becoming recognized by the United Kingdom government with qualifications continuing to be updated on a three-year cycle to ensure their relevance to students and industry.

Accreditation Levels – Wine & Spirit Education Trust

  • WSET Level 1 (WSET1)
  • WSET Level 2 (WSET2)
  • WSET Level 3 (WSET3)
  • WSET Level 4 (WSET4 – Diploma)
  • Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)


The Missouri Auction School, which began in 1905, established the Certified Appraisers Guild of America (CAGA). The training each member is required to complete, includes the professional standards of personal property appraisal practice and appraisal report writing. Members have made a commitment to the Certified Appraisers Guild’s Code of Professional Ethics.

Special areas of emphasis in training include Internal Revenue Service appraisal requirements, estate and gift appraisals, charitable donation appraisals, bankruptcy appraisals, insurance appraisals, appraisals for divorce, and casualty loss appraisals. Also presented during the two-day certification course is our courtroom expert witness seminar with special emphasis on appraisals for courts and testifying in court.

Accreditation Levels – Certified Appraisers Guild of America

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