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I think you're right on the money. Long ago in a galaxy far away, I became
an accredited PR professional. Minimum five years professional, paid,
experience; proctored written exams in several areas (special events
management, crisis communications, etc.); and a very tough oral exam
administered by three senior professionals. Perhaps accreditation would be
a better way to distinguish demonstrated skills and competence? Versus
certification, which often means you took a boot camp and a test, but
doesn't necessarily mean you have real work experience.
An idea to toss around
From: Dick Margulis [mailto:margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 4:14 PM
Subject: RE: certification
Let's try to be clear about what we are discussing. The word certification
has meanings that conflict with each other.
I _believe_ that what we want to be talking about is a program that awards
an oak cluster or an epaulet or a croix de guerre or something to people who
can demonstrate a fairly comprehensive set of skills and some years of
experience. That is very different from talking about a trade school
curriculum that offers a certificate of completion.
Can anyone suggest some simple, clear way of distinguishing these meanings
so that we don't keep circling back?
While I'm on the subject, I also _believe_ that we are not discussing a
device that becomes either a barrier to entry or a job requirement, except
perhaps for certain senior positions. Rather, it would be a personal
accomplishment that might result in a promotion or raise, once its value and
credibility were established.
And I _believe_ that we are discussing some sort of program that we as tech
writers would design and administer through some professional association
rather than a tool certificate awarded by a software vendor.
Some posters have indicated they believe otherwise on these latter points;
but if this discussion is going to be at all useful, we should at least
agree on what it is we're talking about.
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