The highest earned designation offered by the National Auctioneers Association (NAA), CAI stands for Certified Auctioneers Institute
So what is CAI? Auctioneers and auction professionals, like lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, and others, pursue continuing education. Like other professions, this education is often represented by a certification or designation and an acronym after their names.
Certified Auctioneers Institute educates auction professionals on the business of the auction industry. While attendees learn about different types of auctions, the focus is on business planning, development and structure. To earn the CAI designation, candidates attend classes for one week each year for three years. The course is taught at the historic Indiana Memorial Union at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
How do auctioneers qualify for CAI?
To enroll in the CAI program, candidates must meet specific standards and submit references for review. Class I applicants must be at least 21, have at least two years in the auction industry, and hold a high school diploma or equivalent.
Certified Auctioneers Institute is an intensive program involving late nights working on proposals and other projects that happen in the time between classes. To obtain CAI, candidates must:
- Complete an auction proposal, critiqued by a committee (between year one and two)
- Work in committees to plan and execute a benefit auction (in year two)
- Complete a business plan (between year two and three)
- Present the business plan to their class and a team of examiners (in year three)
- Be a current member of the National Auctioneers Association
To maintain their designation, holders must commit to the highest ethical standards and complete regular continuing education. The Education Institute of the National Auctioneers Association maintains this program.
What qualities do CAI graduates possess?
Since 1976, auctioneers from all 50 states, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia have participated in the CAI program. The course continues to evolve and change to meet the needs of auctioneers and their businesses. Graduates are trained in ethics, professionalism, and the most up-to-date auction business practices.
Students and graduates represent the entire spectrum of the auction business, from real estate to personal and commercial assets to fundraising and marketing and management. Upon graduation, participants join the most exclusive network of auction professionals worldwide. If a graduate does not possess a particular expertise, they can draw on the resources of hundreds of other CAI auction professionals.
How do I identify a CAI graduate?
CAI designation holders often use the letters “CAI” after their name. They will use the logo on websites, advertising and signage. Graduates will also use a digital badge on their email and social media profiles.
These auction professionals know various asset classes, auction methods, business practices, and technology to provide the ideal auction experience. When you see the CAI logo, you know you are dealing with an auction professional who has gone the extra mile to improve themselves and make #AuctionsWork.
Designation holders and current students gather each year at the NAA’s International Auctioneers Conference & Show for a special breakfast to honor the new incoming group of designees. Additionally, every five years, graduates return to Indiana University for CAI Next to reconnect with the program and gain new insights and continue their education.
Find a CAI auction professional near you.