Re: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler

Subject: Re: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler
From: Damien Braniff <Damien -dot- Braniff -at- asg -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 08:02:10 +0100

Somebody wondered if the STC was trying to improve the quality of members and that could be the case - it could certainly be an interim step to certification. What I mean is that, according to the STC site, to become a member all you need to do is be 'interested in technical communication' and you become a Senior Member automatically after 5 years. To me, listing being a member on my CV has no practical benefit - those hiring, if they know what they're doing, won't be overly impressed by it. It's only when you go up to the Fellow grades where it might be a benefit (where you must have 'attained distinction in the field of technical communication').

Here in the UK we have the ISTC and while the grades are similar, not everyone can join. Grades here are (all admitted by the Council at its absolute discretion):

Corporate grades (can vote)

Members who either:

a. possess an acceptable qualification and have had at least five years' experience of a type acceptable to the Council, of which they must have spent at least two years in the practice of scientific or technical communication in a responsible position or:

b. have had at least five years' experience in the practice of technical communication, three years of which must have been in a responsible position, and
can satisfy the Council that they have a comprehensive knowledge of the techniques of scientific or technical communication.

Fellows - have been corporate members for at least two years AND have held a responsible position in the field of scientific or technical communication for at least four years and can satisfy the Council that they either:

have a comprehensive knowledge of the techniques of scientific or technical communication
or:
have a special knowledge of some aspect of scientific or technical communication.

These are the two main corporate grades with these non-corporate grades:

Honorary Fellows - Honorary Fellows shall be those persons elected to the grade by the Council at its absolute discretion and who in the opinion of the Council have rendered outstanding service to the profession of scientific and technical communication. The number of Honorary Fellows shall not at any time exceed twenty (20). Recommended to Council by the Membership Committee.

Junior Members - who are active in the profession but have not yet attained sufficient experience for full membership.

Associate Members - who wish to be associated with the Institute to further their knowledge of scientific and technical communication.

Student Members - those persons admitted who:

a. have enrolled in a formal course of further education that will eventually enable them to undertake duties in the field of scientific and technical communication, or:

b. are in full-time employment in the field of scientific and technical communication and are studying by on-the-job training or otherwise with the intention of achieving a qualification in a subject or subjects relevant to scientific and technical communication.

Student Members must apply for a transfer to the grade of Junior Member immediately after they have passed an appropriate examination or examinations in a subject relevant to scientific and technical communication. In other cases membership in this grade will be reviewed not later than three years after admission.

To me there's a benefit listing ISTC on my CV - anyone who knows about it (or checks the website) can see that being a member implies a certain level of experience and proficiency. It's may not get me a job but will (and has!) got me the interview and I know that on at least one occasion it at least helped tip things in my favour where the interview/experience etc didn't split the candidates.



Damien Braniff
Sr. Technical Writer
damienb -at- asg -dot- com
Waterfront PLaza
8, Lagan Bank Road
Belfast, N. Ireland
BT1 3LR
Tel: +44 (0) 28.9072.3124
Fax: +44 (0) 28.9072.3324
ASG | Beyond BSMâ
www.asg.com
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