The International Virtual Assistants Association supports the professional development and education of virtual assistants and educates the public about what virtual assistants do. IVAA provides its members with continuing education, certification, networking opportunities and member benefits. It also offers a request-for-proposal system free to members and allows entities looking to hire a virtual assistant to post jobs and IVAA members to respond.
IVAA offers publications, blogs and a directory as part of its member services. IVAA's mission includes upholding professional standards, assisting its members in operating their businesses more efficiently and profitably, and awarding the IVAA-certified virtual assistant designation to members who complete its certification program.
Virtual assistants are independent contractors who work from a remote location, usually their home or office, and use technology to deliver services. They provide administrative, technical, social and creative services to clients in a variety of industries. Some of the tasks virtual assistants perform include setting up appointments, making phone calls, sending correspondence, entering data, maintaining websites and conducting research. Some virtual assistants specialize in an industry such as marketing, real estate, law or financial services. Businesses often hire virtual assistants to save money, because they don't pay for the assistant's equipment, training, taxes or insurance.