« June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

Certification Body within a Parent Association

You hear often the mantra that a certifying body within a parent association has to be set up and governed in ways to prevent undue influence and conflicts of interest, but rarely do you hear realistic examples of potential issues.  Here are several:

A professional association is primarily interested in advancing a profession and meeting member needs.  When members complain that they are frustrated with the “hoops they are required to jump through” or angered at failing the exam, the association’s board may wish to change or decrease the standards.  In contrast, a certifying body’s primary interest is to enforce the objective certification standards in place.

A professional association with members predominately having a particular academic degree may have an interest in restricting certification to individuals with that specific academic preparation.  In contrast, a certifying body’s interest is to ensure the eligibility requirements are objectively determined and linked to actual job performance. 

A business unit that sells preparatory training to candidates may have an interest in influencing the test specifications.  In contrast, a certifying body’s interest is to ensure the test specifications are objectively determined and linked to actual job performance. 

A business unit that sells training to candidates who fail a certification exam may have a financial interest in the difficulty of the exam.  In contrast, a certifying body’s interest is to ensure the test’s cut score is objectively determined through industry-accepted methods.

A board of directors may have a financial interest in attracting more applicants through decreasing or eliminating the eligibility requirements.  In contrast, a certifying body’s interest is to ensure the eligibility requirements are objectively determined and linked to actual job performance. 

A board of directors may wish to approve an appeal of an influential member of the professional community based on that individual’s influence whereas the certifying body plans to deny the appeal based on the evidence presented and established precedents.

(Excerpted from Considering Certification?  Your Guide to Making the Decision. Be watching for the release announcement!  It's in final written form, but not yet through the publishing process.) 


Online Complaints and Grievances...and a recognition program

The Global Information Assurance Certification organization allows for formal complaints to be filed against their certificants via an online process.  Check it out here.  They also have an online grievance submittal process.  Most transparent and easy to use process I've seen to date.

Plus, check out the way they recognize their certificants through their Hero program.  According to GIAC, the GIAC IT Security Certification Hero recognizes GIAC certification holders that have made a substantial improvement in the security in their organization, whose certification has had an impact on their career or has resulted in a contribution to the information security community.  Very cool.

Also notable, the GIAC certifications have achieved ANSI Personnel Certification Accreditation based on the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 standards.


Not a Good Reason to Certify

Every once in a while, I encounter association executives who’ve identified certification as a strategy to turn around their decreasing conference attendance.  Their logic is that a certification program with mandated continuing education will encourage individuals to go to the conferences to get that education.  BAD idea.   Remember that certification is voluntary.  Here’s a better idea: improve your conferences!


E-learning for E-learning Designers

The E-Learning Guild has some great online conferences upcoming!  Check them out here.

July 17 & 18 - Creating Innovative Instructional Content – Advanced Theory and Application

August 14 & 15 - Designing and Developing Faster, Cheaper, and Better e-Learning

September 18 & 19 - Implementing e-Learning 2.0 Technologies

November 20 & 21 - Designing and Managing Mobile Learning

December 11 & 12 - Building Engaging e-Learning Interactions

They have a 25% discount for non-profits.  And, if you have interest in multiple sessions, check out the membership options.  You can become a "member plus" (as I am) and have access to ALL online seminars (including archives of past sessions) for less than the cost of registering for two individual sessions!