TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
>Certification only proves you can pass a test. It doesn't *prove* you have any
>ability other than that. If certification *really* demonstrated ability,
>wouldn't have nearly so many "professional malpractice" lawsuits.
Since we don't have certification yet, who says that the criteria has to be
For example, most universities have "Mature Student" status... That is, you
can get in even without a high school diploma, providing you've been out of
school for 4 years or more and are over the age of 21 (different
universities have slightly different variations on the criteria). (Tangent
- that's how I got into university. And now, even though I don't possess a
high school diploma, I have a university diploma that says I can teach high
school!!!) BTW - There is *nothing* about my BA that indicates it's any
different (or of a lower status) because I got in as "a mature student".
Why can't TW certification have a similar acceptance status? That is, people
who have applicable work experience could be exempted from certain tests or
other requirements by offering proof of having met those requirements in
other ways (pro-tanto credits, I think they were called). Attestations from
employers/supervisors is one possibility. Years in the work force as a TW
is another. For meeting concrete requirements, samples of work (with
attestations that they're your own) is another.
Granted, taking tests is a talent some people have and others don't. But
doesn't meeting deadlines produce just as much pressure as sitting down to
an exam??? I could say my job is one full-time test in that respect!
This isn't to say I support (or oppose) certification. I loathe
bureaucratic processes, academic administrivia, etc. as much as the next
person. I want none of it if "they" (who're "they", and what right do
"they" have) to enforce some sort of certification, and make me jump through
hoops just for the sake of a stupid piece of paper. Oh, and don't forget
the administration fees, yearly dues, etc., and accompanying headaches - oh,
well, at least they should be tax-deductible.
Well, playing devil's advocate, without a fully formed opinion. Not sure
which side I'm on. Still, I had to throw in my 2 cents.