(Screed) - Re: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?

Subject: (Screed) - Re: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:30:43 -0400

On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:39:39 -0400, Milan DavidoviÄ <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

To this question:
And professionals embrace certification for themselves when ________.
(fill in the blank)

Steven Jong offers the following (I'm paraphrasing a bit):
- when certification legitimizes the contributions of, and respect
for, our profession
- when it increases the employability and salary of certified practitioners

What could I take as objective evidence (i.e. something more than
anecdotes or opinion) that these have become the case?

(Screed warning.)

You'll know it's helping you do tech writing when the consequences of not having certification start affecting your everyday life, and particularly if you ever hear the words Documentation Czar or Federal Office of Documentation Harmony.

My wife has been researching the effects of ISO 9000 and of the current push for "traceability" of foods (meat and vegetables) back to the "source of contamination" which is supposedly the farm from which the food came. As far as she can see there is little benefit and much risk. (I could supply more details than anyone would want, if anyone wants them.) The purpose seems to place the blame on someone else, someone who lacks the ability to fight the penalties assessed against him.

The driving theory seems to be internationalization, to make products somehow identical world wide. One of the catch-phrases is "harmonization of regulations."

How would this affect tech writing? It's not clear, but presumably nobody could write about internationalized goods unless they (the writers) were certified by the ISO or some similar organization. As a possible example, Siemens produces an X-ray machine. Milan writes a book about it, "The Compleat Nincompoop's Guide to the Siemens X-9000 X-ray Machine." Sale of the book is prohibited in Europe, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission fines Milan $500,000 for writing an unauthorized book, regardless of what's in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. How? The amendment says, "Congress shall make no law..." but the CPSC is not Congress, and they are using a regulation (duly published in the Federal Register) that is harmonized with a treaty, not a law.

Perhaps this is all paranoia, but fifteen years ago I did not think that I would be told I would have to register every animal I own with the Federal Government. That was the USDA's NAIS, which my wife and a few others shot down about a year ago. But don't worry, it's back in the Federal Register again. Federal RFID tags for all horses, cows, chickens, etc. USDA told us it was voluntary, with penalties if we did not volunteer to register.

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Re: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?: From: Steven Jong
Re: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?: From: Milan Davidović

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