Selected Press Release
Title 25,000 Have Earned Mystery Shopping Certification
Date Published 01/11/2005
Author MSPA
Publication MSPA

Mystery Shopping Providers Association Thrilled

With Rapid Acceptance of Shopper Certification Program

DALLAS, Jan. 11, 2005 - The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous consumers, recently set a new milestone with 25,000 silver and gold certified mystery shoppers.

The MSPA initiated the certification program in an effort to provide clients with standardized industry education, practices and qualifications for mystery shoppers. The program launched in November 2002 and has grown at a rate that far surpasses all expectations.

"We are very pleased to see a constant rise in the number of mystery shoppers striving to become better trained," said John Swinburn, Executive Director of the MSPA. "Mystery Shopping providers have commented that they have seen an improvement in accurate reporting and techniques by shoppers who have completed certification."

The certification program covers the essentials, such as what it takes to be a good mystery shopper, how to get assignments, how reports can affect customer service and how much you can realistically expect to earn as a mystery shopper.

The MSPA offers two levels of certification: Silver and Gold. A shopper can become Silver certified by taking a short online course at the MSPA Web site (

After obtaining Silver certification, mystery shoppers can achieve Gold certification by attending a Gold Certification Workshop, a one-day seminar held in various cities throughout the United States each year. At the conclusion of the seminar, a test is administered, and those shoppers who pass the test are awarded Gold certification.

The MSPA estimates there are approximately 1.5 million mystery shoppers the United States and 250,000 internationally. Currently, there are more than 23,000 Silver certified shoppers and more than 2,000 Gold certified shoppers.

Mystery shoppers are encouraged to become certified, but it is not a requirement to be a mystery shopper. For more information about becoming a certified mystery shopper, visit

About the MSPA

With more than 180 member companies worldwide, the MSPA has a diverse membership, including marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Its goals are to establish professional standards and ethics for the industry, educate providers, clients and shoppers to improve quality of service, improve the image of the industry and promote the membership to other industry associations and prospective clients.


Media Contact:

Jana Conley

Hart Associates for MSPA