A resounding NO to this question from me! I’m of the opinion that experience in an administrative setting is the key to being successful as a VA, or at least one of the keys. Administrative experience will help you with your client’s work, but you will need some entrepreneurial skills also to help you run your business and you need to have some tech skills for the online and marketing aspects. A professional virtual assistant designation though? Not a requirement to me – maybe not a bad idea, but not a requirement.
Probably that makes this obvious but I have no official va certification, nor do I plan to obtain one in the immediate future. I do have an honors college diploma in paralegal studies and over 10 years of in-office experience so I think I’ve got the background aspect well under control.