Today I am attending the Certification Networking Group's meeting on certificate programs and I thought I'd live blog a bit.  The presenters include Roy Swift from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Jim Kendzel from the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) and Christian Smith from Learning Resources Network (LERN).  Both ANSI & NOCA plan to offfer accreditation of certificates, so I anticipate a lot of discussion about the potential standards for accreditation.  More to follow. 

Update:  In December of 2008, Jim Kendzel indicated that NOCA is now unsure of whether they will offer accreditaiton of certificate programs.

Building the Case for Your Credentialing Program

The Marble Institute of America recently launched an accreditation program for the natural stone industry, and according to Gary Distelhorst, CAE, Executive Vice President, over 100 companies have already made application for over 130 accreditations. I had the opportunity to work with Gary and his great MIA team of staff and leaders in the strategy and design of this important program.  Take a look at this video highlighting the program.  I think it does a great job building the case for the industry need for and value of the accreditation.  This is so important - organizations need to focus more on building the case and showing the real value of their credentialing programs (assuming there is an industry need and value - but that's a discussion for another day!)  I know I'll be looking for an accredited company to fabricate and install granite countertops in my new kitchen later this year.

New Standards for Technology-delivered Assessments

ISO/IEC has released a new international standard: ISO/IEC 23988:2007 Information technology - A code of practice for the use of information technology (IT) in the delivery of assessments.

The aims of the standard are to provide a means of:

  • showing that the delivery and scoring of the assessment are fair and do not disadvantage some groups of candidates, for example those who are not IT literate;
  • showing that a summative assessment has been conducted under secure conditions and is the authentic work of the candidate;
  • showing that the validity of the assessment is not compromised by IT delivery;
  • providing evidence of the security of the assessment, which can be presented to regulatory and funding organizations (including regulatory bodies in education and training, in industry or in financial services);
  • establishing a consistent approach to the regulations for delivery, which should be of benefit to assessment centers who deal with more than one assessment distributer;
  • giving an assurance of quality to purchasers of "off-the-shelf" assessment software.

The 39 page in-depth standard can be purchased and downloaded from the ANSI store.  All associations considering or offering computer- or internet-based testing (and all associated service providers/vendors) would benefit from a review of this informative standard which, by the way, applies to both low and high-stakes assessments.

Have You Always Done It That Way?

I know many of you have been following the posts over on the We've Always Done It That Way blog where my esteemed colleagues (Jeff De Cagna, C. David Gammel, CAE, Jamie Notter, Amy Smith) and I have been posting our thoughts on the things about associations we must change.  I'm happy to announce that we finally surpassed our goal of "101 things" and a book including them is being released at the ASAE & The Center's Boston meeting.  Of course you don't have to buy the book since the thoughts are all on the blog, but in usual fashion the blog posts are a bit "raw" while the book is a bit more refined, with a preface, intro, section organization, and index. 

We do not pretend that our 101 things list is comprehensive (in fact, we are continuing to post to the blog)  And, we do not expect everyone to agree with all the ideas.  Heck, I don't agree with everything in the book!  We simply want to get association executives thinking and talking about new ways of doing things.   Will you consider the possibilites?