CES (Certified Estate Specialist)

WHAT is CES? This designation is NAA’s most recently revised designation. The CES designation is designed to prepare designees to run a successful Estate Specialist business. Attendees learn marketing, intensive people skills (as they often deal with families in crisis), advanced networking skills, and auction methods.

One of the standout elements of this designation is its attention to nonauction methods of liquidating personal property. The designation discusses tag sales, donations and other ways of selling/liquidating, whether on your own or through a network of other professionals.

HOW can you get the Designation?

  • Register for the CES class.
  • Before the class starts, you’ll receive a link to the prerequisite course and exam. Before you come to class, you must pass the exam. (unless you hold another NAA designation)
  • Attend all three days of the designation class.
  • After the class, to obtain the designation, submit an auction summary report, with required elements discussed in class.
  • All requirements must be completed within two years of taking the CES course.


Earning any designation demonstrates your commitment to continuing education both to the public and members of the industry. It also enables members to network with like-minded individuals in the classroom and through additional networking events, but here are some specific benefits of an CES designation.

CES is designed to help professional auctioneers understand how to properly conduct and deal with the settling of estates. The course also educates professional auctioneers on working with family members and dealing with lawyers and accountants. Knowing you have spent the time and effort to earn this designation will comfort families and prove that you have their best interests in mind.


WHO teaches CES?


 Joe GribbinsBAS,  CES, SRES is a third generation auctioneer and principal broker with Wardlow Auctions, Inc. in Louisville, KY.  He has been an auction instructor for 30+ years. Past President of the Kentucky Auctioneers Association, currently Chairman of the Kentucky Board of Auctioneers.


 David Whitley, CAI, CES




Chris Pracht, CAI, AARE, CES