RE: Certification (was: Re: Hostility Towards Whatever)

Subject: RE: Certification (was: Re: Hostility Towards Whatever)
From: MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 15:01:34 -0400

> To encourage people to continue their education in
> profession-related areas.
> Many fields that support certification require that X amount
> of time be
> devoted toward continuing education and training. My girlfriend is a
> property manager and their certification is called PCAM (Professional
> Community Association Manager).
> In order to retain this certification, you must meet certain
> continuing
> education requirements.

My wife is in the insurance and financial planning industry.
She has attained certifications that require regular ... um...
re-furbishment? The thing is, not only does the industry
association provide the training (sometimes just the course
materials, other times, full-on, instructor-led classroom
sessions) and the testing, but the employer provides all sorts
of co-ordinated assistance.

That is, there will NEVER be a year go by that my better half
will be looking around, wondering what the heck she should be
doing this year, to meet the ongoing certification renewal
requirements. It's always laid out in detail. It's always
industry-specific. That is, sales is part of her job, but
the industry doesn't get involved in that (except to lay
down some standards of what you can't claim, etc., which is
covered in one or more of the certification courses).
It's the company that provides the sales-training
opportunities. But as far as her "professional" certification
and subsequent renewals are concerned, that's a complete
- setting of requirements and standards
- provision of training
- testing and accreditation
that is handled by the industry association.

They can do that because great volumes of technical expertise
are standard across the industry (she keeps receiving these
loads of bricks by courier, that turn out to be 4-inch binders
or sets of 4-inch binders, and then spends most of her evenings

STC and technical writers don't have that kind of environment
or that kind of relationship. I think that if tech-writing
sub-groups -- by industry -- were to form their own associations,
they wouldn't generally achieve the critical mass and financing
to set up that kind of infrastructure, unless they got their
industry-specific associations and companies involved.

In that respect, something of the sort might be achievable for
pharmaceutical-industry documentalists, and separately for (say)
aeronautical-industry doc specialists. Not sure what other
represented industries would have enough TWs to make a big enough
grouping. STC could then be an umbrella group for those groups
and "the rest of us". Eventually, the software industry would
become mature enough to have/support their own writer certification
and marching society. Perhaps y'all can suggest some others that
are at or near the necessary population levels.

In the meantime, I'm still not clear on what kind of certification
STC (or anybody) could administer that would be useful and cost-effective
(i.e., worth as much or more than its cost) to all members.


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