RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler

Subject: RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler
From: Steven Jong <stevefjong -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:06:56 +0000 (UTC)

[Continuing to respond, based on the digest, to specific questions. I'm also still interested in your thoughts on the original "Ernest and Scribbler" question. In fact, the discussion this week has brought to mind another comparison:

Ernest completesÂbrief assignmentsÂwithout supervision.

Scribbler takes more time and energy explaining why he can't do brief assignments than it takes to complete them.


Dan Goldstein asked, "Could STC promote writers' certification in the production of documents in their specific fields, rather than in generic tech writing skills?"

The Certification Task Force, the predecessor group that created the successful business case, looked at this, but was strongly advised not to go this route, because it balkanized the profession into a series of separate entities. If we were to offer a certification in, say, medical test equipment, we would find that industry associations could do a better job in that area. Likewise, if we offered an indexing certification, it would be inferior to what the American Society of Indexers could offer. FrameMaker? Flare? The vendors do that, and again would do a better job.

Likewise, for a practitioner to concentrate on one market segment--say, a financial writer certification--is risky if the market segment goes away. Financial writers currently trying to move into another market know what I mean.

STC's strength is at the general level, and that's where we need to stay to offer value. There's nothing to stop a practitioner from getting an STC certification, a Flare certificate from MadCap or a third party, and an accreditation from an industry group. When the STC Body of Knowledge is fleshed out, we can offer specialty sub-certifications, and we plan to. But it's also the point where we could look to other associations for possible help or partnerships.

Faith Wallis commented thatÂ"if STC will also listen to those that are not membersÂ... who may have something good to contribute, I'd love to keep watching, reading, and finding out more about the certification." Go ahead, Faith, I'm listening 8^)

ÂÂÂÂÂÂ-- Steve

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