RE: certification

Subject: RE: certification
From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- ca -dot- stilo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 13:16:26 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-10098 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-10098 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of

> > The only
> > real opposition to certification would be from those who think
> > they would be weeded out by the process.
> Or from those who already *know* they're tech writers, and don't want to
> waste time proving it, particularly if it involves spending time and money
> acquiring skills they don't need.

I really don't think there is anything to be afraid of here.

I think it is wrong to see this debate in terms of pro certification and
anti certification camps. What I see is one camp that says the certification
would be good because it would raise prestige/standards/pay and another camp
that says certification is impossible because there is nothing to certify

If there was genuinely anything substantial to certify against you could be
sure that employers would be pushing for certification as meant to simplify
their hiring decisions and limit their liability.

Those among us with certificate envy are basically ignoring the problem of
their being nothing to certify against and stressing the value of being
certified in general terms. Sometimes they propose lists of possible
certification topics, which of course get shot down by those to whom they
don't apply.

Supposing that the certification advocates did actually manage to set up a
certification program, however, I think it unlikely that any of us without
the certification would have anything to worry about. The certification has
to mean something for it to have any significant impact on employment and it
can't mean anything if there is nothing to certify against.

I'm neither for certification nor against it because I recognize that it is
impossible to come up with a meaningful certification for an occupation that
has no specialized body of knowledge and demands only the skills proper to
every educated person. (Not the skills actually possessed by every person
with a degree, but the skills which properly define an educated person.)
Mark Baker
Senior Technical Writer
Stilo Corporation
1900 City Park Drive, Suite 504 , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1J 1A3
Phone: 613-745-4242, Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- ca -dot- stilo -dot- com

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