We've gathered some of the most common questions that we get asked and assembled the answers for you. If there is something that isn't covered here, just email us and we would be happy to answer your questions.
Becoming an Organizer
What is a professional organizer?
The Association and Membership
What is POC?
Becoming an Organizer
What is a professional organizer?
A professional organizer provides information, products and assistance to help individuals and businesses organize to meet their needs. Professional organizing professionals guide, encourage and educate their clients about the basic principles of organizing by offering support, focus and direction.
Could I be a professional organizer?
Professional organizers come from every background imaginable. In addition to basic administrative and business skills as well as organizational skills, there are several traits and qualities that are required. A professional organizer needs to be:
A people person - To communicate easily with all types of people.
What are the benefits of being a professional organizer?
There are countless benefits to pursuing a career as a professional organizer, but these are the ones we hear time and time again:
Flexibility - Professional organizers are able to set their own hours, and you can easily start your business on a part-time basis.
Okay, I'm sold. Where can I take some classes or get training?
If you are considering a career as a professional organizer, we highly recommend you to take the teleclass "Should I Become A Professional Organizer?" This course will answer all your questions about the field of professional organizing. You should check the Events page frequently as we continually update our calendar.
POC is also an excellent resource for referrals to professional organizers who provide mentoring and/or coaching for those who wish to become a professional organizer. Also see our regional and local chapters to get info about the individual chapters.
While there are no official credentials to become a professional organizer, you need to have a good understanding of what an organizer does, have a thorough knowledge of organizing products and services and, of course, excellent organizational skills.
What do you mean there are no official certification programs?
At the present time there is no certification program offered by POC or other non-profit professional organizing association in Canada. However, POC now offers a Training Program for Professional Organizers. There are a number of private training programs available that are not currently endorsed by any professional association.
Most organizers explain to prospective clients what training they have taken (if any), what membership(s) they have with various industry associations, such as POC, and that they are guided by the association's code of ethics. Currently, there is a certification program available in the United States. Professional organizers interested in working with the chronically disorganized may wish to join the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and also work toward their specialized certification.
Do I have to join an association to become a professional organizer?
We recommend that any new professional organizer consider the following organizations that are dedicated to promoting and supporting our industry.
How else can I support my business and get clients?
POC has put together an extensive list of resources that covers provincial resources, networking opportunities, suggested reading and government programs. POC offers courses to assist you in building your business. Visit our Business Start-Up Resource section. Also, check with your local Chamber of Commerce for local initiatives.
While networking is one part of getting clients, you will need a marketing plan to determine your target audience and ways to reach them. Successful strategies include speaking at events, writing articles for local newspapers, advertising on your vehicle, getting involved within community organizations, and creating a website
How do I set my prices?
Many different options exist for pricing. While many organizers charge an hourly fee, others work on a project or package basis. When developing your structure, consider these factors:
And don't forget about GST and provincial taxes! Charging GST and provincial taxes is based on your company's income and where your company is registered in Canada. You can take a POC course that will provide information on this. Please visit the Government of Canada website for more details.
Do I need to present my clients with a contract?
That's entirely up to you. But consider what a contract does:
Finally, do I need insurance?
Carrying insurance adds to your credibility and protects you from financial jeopardy. The POC Business Insurance Program provides comprehensive business coverage and is a benefit that is available to POC members only. Your level of coverage will depend on what type of services you offer (residential organizing vs. corporate organizing) and of course the premium that you want to pay. Download the informative PDF.
The Association and Membership
What is POC?
Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) is a registered, national association representing professional organizers across country. The association was officially registered in 2000 and currently represents more than 500 members in fourteen chapters across the Canada.
Our mission is:
To develop professional organizing through creating awareness of the industry amongst the public and to provide our members with support by giving them the access to the tools, training, and resources to build their own businesses.
Our one goal is to provide an environment in which professional organizers can flourish and exceed their business goals. POC promotes networking, the sharing ideas, and encourages referrals.
Why should I join Professional Organizers in Canada? What's in it for me?
POC gives you the opportunity to connect with other organizers and build a support network. In addition, we also provide a number of educational initiatives and business building opportunities to keep you at the top of your game. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Not a member yet? What are you waiting for? Fill out the online Application Form.
How much is membership?
Membership in POC costs $210.00 per year, with a one-time administrative fee of $50.00. All memberships are calculated as of March 1st. New members joining after that date have the membership prorated to the month in which they join POC. Membership renewal period runs every year from mid-January until March 1st. If you do not renew your membership by March 1st, your name will be automatically removed from the Find an Organizer directory.
My application was declined. What do I do?
If this happens, perhaps a credit card number was given incorrectly (missing a number or transposed numbers) we will not be able to put through your application. Contact us and we will do our best to get the membership processed. Please note we only accept payment by credit card.
How long does it take to process my application? When do I receive my name tag and certificate?
Typically, applications are processed the moment we receive membership payment. Your certificate and new member kit will take approximately two to three weeks to arrive. Your name badge will take four to six weeks to arrive. Upon joining, you receive an email that provides details on how to access all the benefits and services that POC offers.
Why is my name is not showing on the Find an Organizer directory?
Effective May 1st, 2010 new members to POC are required to complete two specific classes prior to inclusion on the Find an Organizer directory. These two classes are:
Once you have completed these courses, our system will automatically add your profile to the Find an Organizer Directory (usually within 24 hours). You may verify the POC courses you have taken by logging into the Members' Only section of the website and viewing your profile.
If you took these courses before joining POC, please contact us so that we may find your records in our database and add this information to your profile.
Can I still become a member if I don't have a company name or website?
Yes, organizers without a company or website are always welcome to join. Simply fill in the Join POC application form on our website. Leave the company name field and website field blank and when you are ready, you can log into the "Members' Only" section and update your profile at any time.
What chapter do I choose?
A member should choose the chapter in the same territory as the member's address that is listed on their POC membership. If a member resides within one chapter's territory, but will be more likely to attend meetings of another chapter, then the member may elect to join that chapter instead. If a member's address is outside of a chapter territory, the member should choose the chapter closest to them. If the member resides outside of any chapter territory and/or the closest chapter meeting is too difficult to get to due to distance, they may elect to join the POC Cyber Chapter. Learn more about POC Chapters.
When can I start going to chapter meetings?
You may attend chapter meetings as soon as your membership application has been processed. We recommend that you take a copy of your membership receipt to your first chapter meeting in case the chapter executive has not yet received a copy of your receipt. You may also check out a chapter meeting prior to joining POC. All chapters welcome guests, free of charge, or with only a small guest fee.
When can I start taking classes?
You may attend classes at any time and as soon as your membership application has been processed you will receive our special member rate. Login to the POC website to automatically receive your membership discount.
Can I update my profile? How do I update my profile?
Log into the "Members' Only" section of the website and look in the right-hand column under for "Member Profile". If you click on that you will see everything that is displayed on the membership directory. Now click on the grey box "Update Member Listing" you can edit any information in your profile and change your password, select your service areas and geographic regions served.
How do I not show my name in the find an organizer section until I'm ready to accept clients?
In your member profile, click on the privacy boxes so that your telephone number and e-mail address will not be displayed on the Find an Organizer directory. If you do not select any service areas or geographical areas you will not be located on any of the searches. Remember to login and update your profile when you are ready to accept clients.
I forgot my password, what do I do to access my account?
If you type in your username you may request a new password and it will be sent to the e-mail address in your profile. If the e-mail address is "dead" please contact us again with a valid e-mail address so you may receive a new password. Once you order a new password the old password will automatically become invalid. Please note: Administrators have no access to member passwords. Passwords are generated automatically by the system.
I can't seem to login. What's the problem?
If you login to the system and you are looped directly back to the login page, please disable your firewall and try logging in again. Remember to enable your firewall once you have finished your session on the POC website.
My business has several employees do you have a company membership program?
POC only has individual membership at the moment. The majority of our members run their businesses with one or two people. Sometime in the future we may consider a membership for businesses that would allow a company with several employees to be members at only one price.
My company offers products and services for professional organizers. How do I become an associate member?
If you wish to become a POC Associate member, please contact us.
How do I get on your mailing list?
POC sends out a monthly newsletter, POC Talk. As soon as your membership application is processed your e-mail address is automatically added to our mailing list. If you are not receiving POC Talk, please verify your spam filters and add the domain @organizersincanada.com to your safe-senders list. You may need to speak to your Internet service provider to ensure that e-mails from POC are not marked as spam. Please note that we cannot add non-members to our mailing list.
How and where is the best place to get more involved with POC?
POC committees, Chapter Executives and the National Board are always looking for volunteers. Contact any National Director or Chapter Executive.
Where can I get a POC logo to use on my business cards and other material?
The National logo is available for download on the POC website in the "Members' Only" section. Please make sure you read the Logo Use Guidelines before using the logo and provide a copy of the guidelines to your printing professional if they will be preparing your marketing materials.
Are there templates available for business forms?
We have many resources available to our members. Please see the "Downloads" page on the "Members' Only" section. Check back frequently because we are continually updating our resources.