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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.
>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.
bonnig -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com