The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) was formed in Kansas City, Missouri in 1942. At that time, the organization was known as the National Secretaries Association. The name of the organization was changed in 1982 to "Professional Secretaries International" and in 1998 to the "International Association of Administrative Professionals." It is not a trade union for secretaries, but a non-profit, professional networking and educational organization. Currently, there are 500 chapters with 22,000 members and affiliates all over the world.
The mission of IAAP is "Enhancing the success of career-minded administrative professionals by providing opportunities for growth through education, community building, and leadership development." recognize excellence, set standards, and provide educational, networking, and professional development opportunities for those pursuing careers in the office administration field. Membership was initially offered only to those who held the title "secretary" and had worked in the position for a specified number of years, but now its membership includes people with a diversity of office and administrative support job titles, as well as various levels of experience.
In 1951, IAAP administered the first Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) exam, which has evolved through the years into a four-part certification test called the Certified Administrative Professional - Organizational Management (CAP-OM). IAAP also offers the Certified Administrative Professional - Technology Applications (CAP-TA) exam, focusing on the Microsoft Office suite of products. Depending upon an individual's level of higher education, an applicant needs between two and fours years of verifiable working experience as an administrative professional to sit for the exams.
In 1952, Mary Barrett, then-president of the National Secretaries Association, C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation, and American businessman Harry F. Klemfuss created a special Secretary's Day recognition, to acknowledge the hard work of the women in the office. The event caught on, and during the fourth week of April the holiday is now celebrated in offices all over the world. In 2000, the event was renamed "Administrative Professionals Week" to recognize people working in the administrative support field with other job titles such as receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, administrative coordinator, or administrative assistant.
The organization publishes a bi-monthly professional journal for its members entitled Office Pro. They also publish thea how-to manual:IAAP Complete Office Handbook. Each year, the organization hosts an international Education Forum and Annual Meeting (EFAM) and several regional conventions and seminars. The organization also owns and administers the only retirement community for administrative professionals, named Vista Grande near Albuquerque, New Mexico in the Southwestern United States.
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