Subject: certification
From: "Thomas F. Remington" <remingtf -at- DSSRV01 -dot- DS -dot- DUPONT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 15:13:41 -0500

I have a different perspective than most on certification. By training and
early experience, I am a clinical psychologist. I have an MS from Oklahoma
State (hi, Eric!), and I have several years of experience in the mental
health field, most of which I got _before_ I went for my MS.

The degree I got from OSU was their "mental health specialist" master's
degree. For that, I took all of the clinical courses that I would have taken
for a PhD. (For a PhD, I would have taken a bunch of courses in experimental
psych, social psych, etc.)

With this degree, I have all of the _training_ that I would have gotten with
a PhD. I have _more_ clinical training than a psychiatrist generally gets.
However, I don't have any _real_ professional credentials. I happen to be a
good shrink, and I have good training. That and 75c will get me a cup of
coffee! So, after a few other career changes (I've been an ambulance jockey,
radio advertising sales rep, and a computer jockey), I'm a tech writer. I
happen to be good at it, or so my peers and clients tell me.


Yes - it would certainly be a good step toward attaining a form of
credibility. I get a lot of resistance from potential clients because, after
all, anybody can write, right?

No - how do you design a test to evaluate all the intangible qualities that
go into making a good TW?

Yes - we need something to police our own ranks, to help to weed out the
folks who give our profession a bad name.

No - sheesh! What about all of the folks who've been in the profession for a
long time? Do we grandparent them? Or do we test them too?

It's a puzzlement, for sure!

Thom Remington
DuPont External Affairs Technical Publications
Wilmington, DE

Opinions expressed are mine; they have nothing whatever to do with what my
employer does or doesn't think.

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