Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA North America)
MSPA is a professional association for mystery shoppers. MSPA has an active forum and some great resources for people who are interested in mystery shopping or those who already have many shops under their belt. Of note is that being “certified” or a member of any association is not a requirement for any company (to date) hiring mystery shoppers, but it is certainly a certification that could be listed on a resume or application, etc., and has many benefits on its own for joining or visiting the site.
Website: MSPA North America
From their website:
MSPA North America is the trade association representing the customer experience metrics (mystery shopping) industry throughout North America. A regional component of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association which operates globally (with Regions located in North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Latin America), MSPA North America is widely recognized as the leader in customer experience measurement and management in its marketplace. Member companies unite as a common body for the purpose of strengthening the mystery shopping industry through combined efforts and actions.
Specifically for Shoppers:
Welcome! MSPA North America has built what we believe to be one of the most comprehensive resources available to help individuals learn about mystery shopping and to get access to mystery shopping opportunities.
MSPA states that their benefit to shoppers is education. They offer certification programs (again, not required by most companies, but something that you can add to your resume), and the main goal of these programs is education for the shopper, to make their job easier and make them more productive and better shoppers.
Cost of training: The initial training and certification is Silver, which is done online and is $15. You must be Silver Certified before you can take the training for the Gold Certification, which is $75 and is more extensive training.
The MSPA North America website has a list of their member companies, which is a great resource. There is also a forum for shoppers, and other very useful content, tips, notices, event announcements, and more. I did not see any additional charge to join the forum or to be a shopping member other than the certification training costs.