Are you passionate about Pokémon? Are you interested in helping provide fun and engaging experiences for fans in your area? Do you like the message of our Spirit of the Game and the Professor Core Values? If you responded positively to these questions, we very much hope you'll consider applying to become a Pokémon Professor!
The Professor Program currently offers three certifications: Organizer, Pokémon TCG Judge, and VG Judge. When you first apply to become a Professor, you should pick the certification that best fits your goals in the program. After you have one certification under your belt, you may decide to take other certifications at a later date.
Professors with the Organizer certification can use the official Pokémon website to schedule and advertise tournaments, and they gain access to our Tournament Operations Manager (TOM) software. Organizers are responsible for all the details of tournaments they host, such as securing the location, selecting the structure and format, reporting the results, recruiting a judge team, and much more.
Organizers who meet certain prerequisites can become eligible to run certain local Premier Events, such as League Cups and Premier Challenges.
Pokémon TCG Judge and VG Judge
A Judge certification shows that the Professor is committed to administering impartial rulings and assisting the Organizer in running a quality tournament. Judges can choose to specialize in either the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) or video games (VG), and the exam will adapt accordingly.
It is not a requirement to have a Judge certification in order to act as a judge at a Play! Pokémon event, but it is strongly recommended.
In addition to the three different certifications available, there are three ranks through which a Professor may ascend during their time with the program. Professors begin at the Basic rank in their chosen certification and gain the option to rank up as their experience and tenure increase.
Each rank has its own exam of increasing complexity, though one thing stays the same throughout: you must score at least 80% in order to pass!
Requirements: Familiarity with the Play! Pokémon program and commitment to adhere to the Professor Core Values
Aspiring Professors must complete a straightforward multiple-choice exam that addresses a variety of topics, such as tournament procedures and game rulings. These questions can be a little tricky, and some are designed to trip you up, so be sure to read them carefully.
To qualify: Staff at least 6 events per year in a certification-appropriate role.
Basic Professors may apply to rank up to Stage 1 after nine months within the program.
The Stage 1 exam comprises the familiar multiple-choice element, but with some more advanced topics thrown in. In addition, Stage 1 applicants must complete a written reflection of their time within the program so far.
To qualify: Staff at least 8 events at approved venues per year, 4 of which must be Premier Events, in a certification-appropriate role. Applicants must be fluent in English.
Stage 1 Professors may apply to rank up to Stage 2 after one year within the program. Once approved, Stage 2 Professors must staff 12 events per year, 8 of which must be Premier Events, in a certification-appropriate role in order to maintain their Stage 2 rank.
The Stage 2 exam gives Professors access to the highest rank we offer. Applicants will take on a series of essay-style questions, and answers will be graded not only according to correctness but also the thoroughness with which they are approached. If you pass the exam, you will be invited to interview with either an experienced Pokémon Professor or a member of the Pokémon Organized Play team at a mutually agreeable time.
Because of this, and because Stage 2 Professors are among the first considered for volunteer staff roles at the largest and most international events, fluency in English is essential.
Taking the Exam
The Professor exams are untimed and open-book. You should feel free to use all the resources available to you to provide the best answers possible. In addition to English, the Basic Professor exams are available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
If you fail the exam on your first attempt, you will have to wait 14 days before you can apply again. If you fail on any subsequent attempts, the waiting period increases to 30 days. If you are successful (congratulations!), you will also need to wait 30 days before you can apply for another certification.
Do you think you've got what it takes to become a Pokémon Professor? If you're at least 18 years old, you can log in to your Pokémon Trainer Club account, choose your first certification, and take the exam to find out!