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.
>While I agree with the whole of David's posting, I would like to comment on
>part of it.
>>Without the certification, would have no way of knowing
>>whether a professional widgit-maker or whatever was competent.
>I cannot believe that a certificate can prove competance. It would be more
>like a degree, certifying that the person holds a certain body of
>information. Competence is hard to prove without the performance to back
I'm used to courses for certificates of competence that include a period of
practical experience, as in engineering. I get much of my food form the
local School of Hospitality. Apart from buying for the cost of ingredients
whatever the students have been learning, I can eat in a restaurant where
the cookery is five star standard. (The students aren't let loose there
until they've had quite a bit of cooking experience.) On the other hand I've
been served by a waiter on his first day.
I believe that, in the UK, physicians are still exposed to real, live
patients in their finals. Against this, one of my Canadian physicians tells
me that, in her final exam, she wasn't exposed to patients.
I used to belong to the British Computer Society. There was no particular
test for Student or Associate members, but to be a Fellow, one required both
academic qualifications and practical experience.
When I try to be brief I become obscure. When I try to explain myself I'm
probably too wordy.