Re: Certification (not terribly long)

Subject: Re: Certification (not terribly long)
From: Caryn Rizell <CARYN_RIZELL -at- HP-ROSEVILLE-OM2 -dot- OM -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 14:37:51 -0800

Would there have to be an education requirement? I am also one of those
people who don't have formal training in technical writing. I do have two
degrees though (Sociology and International Affairs) that required me to do
a lot of writing.

But somehow the fact that I don't have education in technical writing does
not cause me to worry that I wouldn't be certified. Certainly a
certification program would have a list of requirements to meet. But maybe
the requirement would be EITHER a degree or an equivalent number of years

Also, maybe if we did have certification, some employers might come to
require it. I can see that as a problem. I guess I see certification as
something that I can add to my reportoire, on the same level as being an
STC member. Being an STC member does not make me a better writer per se,
but I think it shows a serious interest in staying abreast of changes in
the profession. I see certification the same way. But I also think that
certification could not be a one time thing. Just because you met minimum
standards at one time say 10 years ago does not mean that you have a clue
about what is happening in the profession today.

I think that STC may decide that certification is not what we want. But
before we make that decision, we should at least give the idea a chance and
see where it takes us.

Caryn Rizell
Learning Products Engineer

PS If any of you use CCmail, do you know how to automatically add
signature files to your messages? I can't figure out how to do this.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Certification (not terribly long)
Author: Non-HP-TECHWR-L (TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu) at HP-Roseville,unixgw3
Date: 1/3/96 10:32 AM

>Do I think you and Bonnie and Grant and the other Certification people
>have a hidden agenda, wanting desperately to get clods like me out of
>the profession? No.

Just a small clarification--I'm NOT in favor of certification. That
was my take on the STC video program, that's been my take on this list.
I have in the past said that I thought certification might be a good
idea, but have since rethought that position, precisely because I now
feel that certification would be unnecessarily exclusionary.

Other than that, great post, Arlen!

From Judith Blackbourn:

"Here's my worry -- I don't have a college degree. So even though the
local STC chapter has awarded me a Best of Show the last two years, I
wouldn't be qualified for a certificate!"

This is not an unreasonable fear, and one that's shared by many of us.
If an education requirement is put in place, that leaves out those who
don't have one -- many of whom are fine writers. Depending on *what*
degree is required (now, remember I'm speaking hypothetically -- any
certifying body may end up not requiring one at all), it may very well
leave out a large portion of the rest of us. I have a degree -- in
Creative Writing. Am I unqualified to write about technical material?
Gosh, my customers don't seem to think so.

Tim Alton states that we are not a profession unless we create and
enforce standards. Assuming that's true, and I'm not entirely
convinced that the enforcement part is (at least as regards
certification -- let's not forget how powerful simple peer pressure can
be), let's create some -- but let's do that FIRST, and then see if
practitioners are adhering to them anyway.

I'm just not hearing a great cry from my customers and potential
customers about certification. When/if I do, I'll rethink my position.

Bonni Graham
Manual Labour
bonnig -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com

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