Frequently Asked Questions
QWhat is the AASBC®?
The Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants® is the only global association specializing in training and certification of small business and SME consultants. Our proprietary educational materials and practice aides are specifically designed to develop proficiency in this area of consulting. An Accredited Small Business Consultant® or Accredited SME Consultant (designation for international members) has the knowledge and credibility to assist clients in improving operational efficiency leading to increased profitability and business value.
QWhy was the AASBC formed?
The Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants (AASBC) is a global association that was formed in response to the impact privately owned, small businesses and SMEs have on the worldwide economy. The core training of the AASBC is the SEMP Approach: Simplified Examination to Maximize Profit training manual and a 40 video SEMP Approach lecture series. The objective of the SEMP Approach is to increase operational efficiency and maximize profit for small businesses and SMEs.
QWhat is the ASBC® and ASMEC™ certifications?
The Accredited Small Business Consultant® (ASBC) and Accredited SME Consultant (ASMEC...designation for international members) certifications are awarded to individuals who successfully pass the certification exam. It demonstrates knowledge in the area of small business and SME consulting necessary to assist clients in improving operational performance and achieving higher profits.
QWhat is the difference between the ASBC/ASMEC certification and the Master ASBC/ASMEC certification?
The ASBC and ASMEC (designation for international members) are the first certifications awarded after the successful completion of the basic exam. This demonstrates sufficient knowledge by an individual in the field of small business and SME consulting. At this level, an ASBC or ASMEC is prepared to accept small business and SME consulting engagements. The Master level certification is a distinction for members who demonstrate a superior understanding of small business and SME consulting. Members at this level exhibit not only a higher knowledge level but also display practical skills with submitted, approved consulting reports. These can encompass many facets of business operations encountered in the actual practice of business advisory services. Additionally, they must pass a Master level certification exam that is a higher-level, more detailed exam than the basic certification exam. The Master ASBC or Master ASMEC (designation for international members) are awarded to members holding the ASBC or ASMEC certifications. Candidates for the Master level must learn the core competencies of small business and SME consulting at the highest level while validating to their clients with this level of achieved excellence the knowledge necessary to assist in improving operational efficiency and maximizing profitability leading to sustainable, long-term business growth.
QWho is eligible for the ASBC or ASMEC certifications?
Any AASBC member in good standing is eligible to take the ASBC/ASMEC exam (same exam for either designation). The Master ASBC/ASMEC exam (same exam for either designation) is reserved for members in good standing holding the ASBC or ASMEC designations, who have completed at least four approved small business or SME consulting engagements, and have passed the Master ASBC/ASMEC exam.
QHow is the exam administered?
The ASBC/ASMEC exam is intended to test knowledge of the fundamental skills required to adequately undertake small business and SME consulting engagements. The certification exam consists of a timed 125-question multiple choice exam taken on your own computer. Once the exam is started, it may not be stopped and then restarted. The exam may be retaken if not passed with a 24-hour waiting period after the last exam was completed. The exam may be retaken multiple times, if necessary, with no additional cost. Additionally, there is no time period in which the exam has to be taken or passed after joining. After the exam is completed, there is immediate statistical feedback on the results that will advise you on the areas that should be reviewed. Once the exam is exited, this feedback is no longer available. The Master ASBC/ASMEC exam consists of a timed 100-question multiple choice exam with a higher degree of difficulty. The Master exam also incorporates analyzing various business scenarios with related questions.
QWhat is the best way to study for the certification exam?
The SEMP Approach training manual and 40-video SEMP Approach lecture series provide you with the necessary learning tools that will enable you to pass the exam. All of the questions are derived from the training manual and 40 video lecture series. You should be able to pass the exam by seriously studying the materials and watching the SEMP Approach video lecture series.
QDoes the AASBC have continuing education requirements?
Currently, the AASBC does not require continuing education in order to maintain the ASBC/ASMEC or Master ASBC/ASMEC certifications. The AASBC recognizes the importance of keeping current on best practices in the field of small business and SME consulting and encourages all members, regardless of accreditation status, to stay up-to-date on current issues and trends. Due to the wide diversity of small and SME businesses, industries, organizational structures, and financial frameworks, the AASBC has elected to promote continuing education through the voluntary support of each member in the continuing pursuit of excellence and comprehension related to small business and SME consulting. The AASBC recommends expanding small business and SME consulting skills and knowledge through continuous study of newsletters, special reports, consulting tips, manual revisions, journal articles, and other sources of information that lend value to a member’s specific clients and specific situations.
QWhy should I join the AASBC?
Joining the AASBC allows you to learn how to become a small business or SME consultant...and become a certified member! Benefits include (1) the SEMP Approach training manual in printed and digital versions and a 40 video SEMP Approach lecture series (all you need to prepare for the certification exam), (2) monthly e-newsletters that can be used for client distribution, (3) downloadable checklists, client intake form, and special reports, (4) professionally prepared PowerPoint presentations for marketing your consulting practice, (5) member forum to communicate with like-minded professionals, and (6) more...all designed to help build your consulting practice as an Accredited Small Business Consultant or Accredited SME Consultant (designation for international members)! Plus, your membership and certification allows you to (1) add additional revenue streams to your already existing or new business as opportunities open for you as an Accredited Small Business Consultant or Accredited SME Consultant, (2) create long-lasting relationships with clients, and (3) distinguish yourself from others based on your small business and SME consulting expertise.
QHow do I join the AASBC?
You can click here to apply directly online or download the application and remit payment to our main office in Austin, Texas.
QHow much are the membership dues and exam fees?
The initial, all-inclusive membership fee is $499 that includes the SEMP Approach training manual, 40 video SEMP Approach lecture series, eligibility to take the basic certification exam, certification after successful passing of the basic exam, and other benefits of memberships (no other fees). Annual renewal dues are $149. Memberships are automatically renewed each year; however, you my cancel your membership at any time by simply going into the “My AASBC” section of the website and clicking the “Cancel Membership” button. The fee for the Master level certification exam is $249 for anyone holding the basic certification, has met the experience requirements, and is in good standing with the Association. Attaining the Master level certification is strictly at your option. This is not required.
QMay I join the AASBC without taking the certification exam?
Yes, it is your choice whether you want to take the certification exam; however, the Association strongly encourages all members to learn the material and take the exam to become an Accredited Small Business Consultant or Accredited SME Consultant (designation for international members). This will demonstrate your knowledge and achievement to others, which will be a great assistance in building your small business or SME consulting practice.
QIs there a time limit to completing the certification once I join?
No. The certification exam may be taken at any time as long as you are a member in good standing and your membership is current. We do encourage members to study and take the certification exam as soon as possible to start reaping the rewards of this professional designation.
QHow do I pay membership dues?
Dues may be paid online with a credit/debit card or a check mailed to our main office in Austin, Texas. We accept all major credit cards through our online, secure system. On rare occasions (mostly with international members) a credit card payment will be declined. This is usually due to the issuing bank needing verification from the card holder that the transaction is legitimate and approved. If this should happen to you, please call your credit card company requesting that the transaction be allowed.
QAfter I join, how do I receive the benefits of membership?
Once you join, the SEMP Approach training manual will be mailed directly to you. You will also have immediate access to a downloadable PDF version of the training manual, 40 video SEMP Approach lecture series, all downloadable documents, checklists, newsletters, professionally prepared PowerPoint presentations for marketing, and other archived materials. Upon passing the certification exam, you will then have access to the accreditation seal of the AASBC to use on business cards, stationery, websites, and other promotional materials.
QHow is the AASBC different from other business organizations?
The AASBC is the only international association specifically organized to promote proficiency in small business and SME consulting and the awarding of the Accredited Small Business Consultant, Accredited SME Consultant (designation for international members), Master Accredited Small Business Consultant, and Master Accredited SME Consultant (designation for international members) certifications. It is designed to be affordable to anyone interested in improving his or her knowledge in small business and SME consulting. The SEMP Approach training manual focuses on all areas of a small and SME businesses and can compliment the knowledge and experience you already have or enable you to enter a new professional field.
QI am not a resident of the United States. Is the pricing policy the same?
Membership fees are the same for U.S. or international residents (charged in U.S. dollars). There is, however, a $59.99 priority shipping charge added for all international members.
QI want to become an international member. How do I join?
Joining is an easy, online process by going to the following link https://www.aasbc.com/join-now and paying with a credit or debit card. Charges will be in U.S. dollars. Immediately upon joining, you will have full access to all member benefits including a downloadable PDF version of the SEMP Approach training manual, 40-video lecture series, etc. The printed manual will be shipped via priority international shipping. There is a $59.99 priority shipping charge added for all international members.
QWhat is a student membership and who qualifies?
Student memberships are designed for those individuals who are pursuing a regular course of study at an accredited instituion of higher learning. Student memberships have all the benefits of a regular membership except at a reduced, initial year membership fee of $299.00. Annual renewal dues are $149.00; however, you are under no obligation to renew and the automatic renewal can be canceled at any time. (Sales tax added for Texas residents.) NOTE: Individuals applying for student membership will be granted immediate access to all member benefits; however, the SEMP Approach training manual will not be shipped until student verification is emailed to email@example.com, received via regular mail at our Austin headquarters, or faxed to 877- 310-0750. Student verification may be a copy of a student ID, class schedule, grade report, school invoice, or other documentation verifying student status. The AASBC will not award certification if the exam is passed without student verification and reserves the right to cancel a student membership and refund the membership fee paid if verification is not received within 30 days from the date of the initial membership payment.
QIs there a discount for military personnel?
The AASBC offers active duty military and retired veterans a discount with proof of military status. Military memberships have all the benefits of a regular membership except at a reduced, initial year membership fee. Membership renewal dues are $149.00 annually and are not discounted. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
QIf I am not satisfied with my membership, may I cancel and obtain a refund?
If you are not 100% satisfied with the AASBC’s SEMP Approach training manual or benefits of membership, you may return the training manual to us within 30 days, provided it is in excellent condition, for a full refund of your membership fee minus the cost of shipping the training manual.
QIf I forget my username and password, how can I retrieve the information so I can login to my account?
Click here to have your login information provided to you. We will use the email address on file. If your email has changed, please contact Member Services for your login information.