Certified Researcher Associate


Researchers and Associates now have the opportunity to truly advance their career and differentiate themselves among their colleagues.

The AESC CRA program is a widely recognized qualification within the profession and is the only comprehensive external certification program designed for researchers and associates. Covering the complete search process--from name generation to pitching to qualifying candidates—the certification program is an essential credential for those looking to excel in the executive search and leadership consulting profession.

Program Structure:

The program is divided into three parts:

Expert Forums

An industry expert will deliver four interactive webinars that will run for 90 minutes over the course of four days. This is a great opportunity to learn from an experienced search professional and fellow researchers.

Forum Topics:
  • Getting Past the Gatekeeper and Pitching Your Search Effectively
  • Sourcing
  • Qualifying Candidates over the Phone and Talking about Compensation
  • Maintaining Candidate Interest and Overcoming Objections

Online Courses

Once you have completed the webinars you will be set up with five online courses. You can take these courses as—and when—you are ready and there is no deadline with them. Each course takes on average 60 minutes, but completion can differ depending on how comfortable you feel with the topics.

Course Topics:
  • Creating an Effective Search Strategy
  • Telephone Outreach and Qualifying Candidates
  • Candidates Development and Client Management
  • Name Generation
  • Relationship Building through Professional Practice


The exam is split into two parts—an online and oral section. The online section is a series of 100 questions and you have sixty minutes to complete them, a passing mark of 70%. For the oral exam you will be given a case study which involves making three phone calls on the topics of sourcing, pitching and qualifying. The oral portion will take 45 minutes and you will be given 15 minutes for the three role plays.



AESC members and non-members are encouraged to participate. The program is designed for researchers and associates.


The Expert Forums require your attendance for 90 minutes over the course of 4 days. The online courses can be done at your leisure and each topic takes about 60 minutes.


Most complete the certification in as little as three weeks, but depends on the time you are able to put to it.


The entire certification cost is $825 USD for AESC Members and $1,125 USD for non-members. For individual courses the cost is $150 USD for AESC members and $200 for non-members.

*Group rates may apply


A reliable internet connection, a computer, and phone are required.


You should make every effort to attend the live virtual sessions since this is the best way to stay engaged and participate in the group discussions, however in the event that you cannot attend due to a conflict, the sessions are offered regularly and you will be invited to attend the Expert Forum you missed at a later date. 


You must complete the program requirements in order to earn a certificate from AESC. AESC will visibly promote the value of the certification to its members and the client community.


"I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking to develop their research/recruiting skills." - Research Associate, Epsen Fuller, United States

"Great opportunity to learn from experts about their personal best-practice experiences and sharing them with participants from all over the world with various different cultural backgrounds. The excellent structured program provides also extensive insights about the differences in cross-country approaches." -Researcher, Steinbach & Partner, Germany

"An excellent and most worthwhile tool for Research at all levels...Rachel Roche gave insight into all the problem areas that we confront almost on a daily basis...the solutions are never easy to define and Rachel's understanding embraces them all clearly...instructively, an excellent and beneficial forum. Thank you for the opportunity."- Associate, Maes & Lunau, Netherlands

"Fosters self-examination; makes one think about best approaches to situations." - Research Consultant, Russell Reynolds Associates, United States

"Wonderfully thoughtful, clear, and encouraging presentation." - Research Associate, Janet Wright & Associates, Canada

"It was a well presented, practical forum designed in such a way that allowed new ideas to be disseminated easily and clearly. The forum also provided an excellent gauge as to what we were doing right as a firm and what we could improve on." -Business Manager, The Insight Group, Australia

"Rachel approaches problems head on and discusses good, relevant issues." - Research Consultant, MERC Partners Global Executive Search, Ireland


To register or for questions concerning this program, please contact or phone our office at: +1 212 398 9556.

Online Application form.

Upcoming Expert Forums:

The upcoming session will take place April 16 - 19 at 09:00 AM ET.

Monday - Getting Past the Gatekeeper and Pitching Your Search Effectively

Tuesday - Sourcing

Wednesday - Qualifying Candidates over the Phone and Talking about Compensation

Thursday - Maintaining Candidate Interest and Overcoming Objections

2018 Expert Forum Schedule 

AESC Certified Researcher Associate 


  • Charlie Arnold, Fortune Hill, United Kingdom
  • Joe Drakeley, Drakeley Strategies, United States
  • Max Holdsworth, Barracuda Search, United Kingdom
  • Nick Ketley, Fortune Hill, United Kingdom
  • Sean Kow, Quinton Anthony, Australia
  • Ryann Mason, Avnet, United States
  • Harriet (Hattie) Robinson, Fortune Hill, United Kingdom
  • Kate Wilson, Atkinson Macleod, United Kingdom


  • Hyeleen Basilio, Leonard Burgess, United Arab Emirates
  • Brendan Blayney, Henley Research, United Kingdom
  • Zsofia Branstetter, The RSA Group, United Kingdom
  • Laura Brislin, Mercuri Urval, United Kingdom
  • Oliver Chenneveau, Eric Salmon, Singapore
  • Chris Chia, Reed Hamilton, Singapore
  • Mary Cyriac, David Aplin Group, Canada
  • Catherine Durand, Lefebvre & Fortier, Canada
  • Ben Harrison, Fortune Hill, United Kingdom
  • Sean Hector, The Bedford Consulting Group / TRANSEARCH, Inc., Canada 
  • Cierra Henry, The Bedford Consulting Group / TRANSEARCH, Inc., Canada 
  • Chloe Horne, Fortune Hill, United Kingdom
  • Tamim Kashgari, Amrop Fair Path, Saudi Araia
  • Runi Larasati, NGS Global, Australia
  • Kristian Larsen, TRANSEARCH, Denmark
  • Lisa Maggiolini, Wavelength, Australia
  • Jonathan Ng, Eric Salmon & Partners, Singapore
  • Regina Ocampo, NGS Global, Australia
  • Jacqui Pearce, u&u, Australia
  • Linli Qi, Ward Howell International, China
  • Concha Quiros, Eric Salmon & Partners, United Kingdom
  • Maricar Raymundo, CDS Executive, Japan
  • Abby Rudman, Diversified Search, United States
  • Megan Sanders, Mercuri Urval, United Kingdom
  • Zhen Shi, Ward Howell International, China
  • Wellington Souza Silva, Osser&Osser Consulting Group, Brazil
  • Simon Tarry, Wavelength International, Australia
  • Jenna Valovic, Google, United States
  • Olivia Westbrook-Gold, Diversified Search, United States


  • Grace Angwin, NGS Global, Australia
  • Matthew Bell, Watson Advisors Inc., Canada
  • Helen Davies, Henley Research International, United Kingdom
  • Christoph Duerr, Steinbach & Partner, Germany
  • Nicole Duncan, Odgers Berndtson, Canada
  • Alejandro Fernández, IIPE International Executive Research, Argentina
  • Benjamin Fox, Write Research Company, United Kingdom
  • Tanja Gogova-Grant, Henley Research International, United Kingdom
  • Joe Gwynn-Jones, Henley Research International, United Kingdom
  • Zein Hawwari, Rasd Executive Search, Lebanon
  • Jocelyn Huang, Reed Hamilton Pte Ltd., Singapore
  • Heather Joiner, Pearson Partners International, United States
  • Sofia Kaikov, Mercuri Urval, United Kingdom
  • Juliana Lau, Cornerstone International Group, Canada
  • Marion Le Bihan, Henley Research International, United Kingdom
  • Christopher Nolbrzak, Henley Research International, United Kingdom
  • Dmitry Ryzhikh, Fourmi Formidable, Russia
  • Tarek Sebiat, Fortune Hill Executive Search, United Kingdom
  • Csilla Somlóvári, SCS Executive Research Consulting Ltd., Hungary
  • Charlotte Tinsley, Tyler & Company, United States
  • Paola Tovar, Amrop, Panama
  • Diana Watson, Henley Research International, United Kingdom
  • Pamela Yau, Reed Hamilton Pte Ltd., Singapore
  • Elena Zlygosteva, Independent Researcher, Latvia


  • Geoffrey Arner, CT Partners, United States
  • Julie Barron, Davies Park, Canada
  • Ana Barrios, Amrop, Panama
  • Ralf Büsser, Boyden, Switzerland
  • Larraine Chang, Conners Consulting, China
  • Priscilla De La’O, Odgers Berndtson, United States
  • Gordon Dudley, Research Direct International (RDI), Korea
  • Anders Engman, Diversified Search, United States
  • Maria Fabrega, Amrop, Panama
  • Emily Fragoso, Mixtec Group, United States
  • Alfonso Gonzalez, Boyden, Switzerland
  • Abby Kerins, Amrop, Ireland
  • Ben Knight, Fortune Hill Executive Search, United Kingdom
  • Wesley Liu, Ward Howell, China
  • Natalia Lenn, Amrop, Panama
  • Dimitra Markoula, Carmichael Fisher, United Kingdom
  • Ricardo Marrufo, IIPE International Executive Research, Mexico
  • Jack Moffitt, Epsen Fuller | IMD, United States
  • Alexa Pesmen, Carrington & Carrington, United States
  • Irma Real, Amrop, Panama
  • Kristen Reid, Mixtec Group, United States
  • Sonia Schnellyova, Independent Researcher, United Arab Emirates
  • Nikki Tate, Amrop, Panama
  • Amy Tea, Sheffield Search, New Zealand
  • Eric Sung Him Wan, Research Direct International (RDI), Hong Kong
  • Troy Whittington, CTPartners, United States
  • Minlie Wimmer, Ward Howell, China
  • Vanessa Wintle, Sheffield Search, New Zealand
  • Tatiana Zitman, Osser & Osser, Brazil


  • Erik Buckland, The Bedford Consulting Group, Canada
  • Lindsey Burton, CTPartners, United States
  • Lynne Cihelka, Davies Park, Canada
  • Karine de Freitas Hannemann Costa, Osser & Osser, Brazil
  • Elizabeth Faichney, Godliman Partners, United Kingdom
  • Heather Fookes, Davies Park, Canada
  • Trisha Hallam, NGS Global, Australia
  • Marija Kumbaroska, Phoneix Executive, Belgium
  • Colleen Logan, Davies Park, Canada
  • Chris Lou, Ward Howell, China
  • Windy Lu, Ward Howell, China
  • Bestsy Mullenix, Cejka Search, United States
  • Adriana Orelhana, FESA, Brazil
  • Tatiana Palatchi, Talengo, Spain
  • Whitney Wade, Carrington & Carrington, United States
  • Brent Wang, Ward Howell, China
  • Laura Youngberg, Davies Park, Canada
  • Shirley Yu, Stanton Chase International, China
  • Crystal Zhu, Ward Howell, China


  • Laura Birk, Cejka Search, United States
  • Rachael Burns, Cejka Search, United States
  • Rosalind De Sailly, De Sailly Consulting, Australia
  • Kim Hawley, Lordstone Corporation, United States
  • Chris Smith, Six Recruitment, United Kingdom
  • Jennifer Sonneland, Cejka Search, United States
  • Jo Tarlington, Davidson Recruitment, Australia
  • Cheong Wong, Stanton Chase International, China
  • Todd Wozniak, Cejka Search, United States


  • Lerato Maphumulo, Tuesday Consulting, South Africa
  • Mabuke Sekhukhune, Tuesday Consulting, South Africa
  • Colleen Shula, Diversified Search, United States
  • Yana Trubnikova, Ward Howell, Russia
  • Anna Vvedenskaya, Odgers Berndtson, Russia


  • Denita Bisha, Neumann International, Austria
  • Cristina Artin, Neumann International, Romania
  • Aleksandra Cenkiel, Neumann International, Poland
  • Constance DeVautibault, Neumann International, France
  • Joanne Estera, Crown & Marks, Australia
  • Romana Flekacova, Neumann International, Czech Republic
  • Tom Gilady, Neumann International, Austria
  • Gregor Kleist, Neumann International, Germany
  • Sandra Mejia, Boyden, Spain
  • Thomas Mielke, HVS Executive Search, United Kingdom
  • Fiona Murugan, Neumann International, France
  • Tiina Pereira, TJP Executive Research, Belgium
  • Daniar Ramankulov, Neumann International, Austria
  • Sabrina Schimann, Neumann International, Austria
  • Katja Wimmer, Neumann International, Austria


  • Sophie Euzen, Korn Ferry, France
  • Penny Heron, Boyden, Australia
  • Varvara Ivanova, HVS Executive Search, Russia
  • Alexandra Nikolitsa, Boyden, Australia
  • Kerry Rendell, Boyden, Australia
  • Linda Rush, Rayson & Rush, United States
  • Sonja Stierer, Neumann International, United Kingdom
  • Harley Thomas, Boyden, Australia


  • Roopa Bhargava, Independent Researcher, United States
  • Thiery Dagneau, Odgers & Berndtson, Canada
  • Victor Giton, Signium International, Spain
  • Louise Hale, Maes & Lunau, Netherlands
  • Susanne Mendoza, Johnson Exec Search, Canada
  • Sachin Prakash, Boyden, India
  • Neena Sali, Boyden, India
  • Melissa Schmidt, Signium International, Spain
  • Sasha Slimek, Signium International, Spain
  • Maria Yarmish, Ward Howell, Russia
  • Ross Woledge, Odgers & Berndtson, Canada


  • Germán Alcayde, Signium International, Spain
  • Lorenza Alessie, HVS Executive Search, Switzerland
  • Dinesh Arya, Boyden, India
  • Maria Camba, Signium International, Spain
  • Erika Castillo, Sigium International, Spain
  • Christina Chaplin, Signium International, Spain
  • Diana Chua, Boyden, Canada
  • Ines Clariana, Signium International, Spain
  • Asis Colomina, Signium International, Spain
  • Alejandra Dyckerhoff, Signium International, Spain
  • Victor Giron, Signium International, Spain
  • Jane Griffith, Griffith Research, Canada
  • Diana Haltermann, Signium International, Spain
  • Pedro Herraiz, Signium International, Spain
  • David Howells, Curzon Partnership, United Kingdom
  • Seema Kanwal, Pinton Forrest & Madden, Canada
  • Jeff Ketchum, Lordstone Executive Search, United States
  • Tatiana Martin, Signium International, Spain
  • Nicoleta Partrizi, Signium International, Spain
  • German Sakaev, Neumann International, Czech Republic