Re: Certification--why not use the obvious

Subject: Re: Certification--why not use the obvious
From: John Gear <catalyst -at- PACIFIER -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 16:11:00 PST

Someone wrote (re: suggestion to consider using results from STC Pubs
competition as a basis for certification)

>As for those opposed on principle, several people have stated their
>adherence to that view. Even if we are in the minority, as "professionals"
>in the field we don't deserve to be discounted.

I don't discount their views (which may be my views as well). I just
don't see
how to consider their views in the discussion of *how to* do certification.

I expect that anyone opposed to a certification program on principle won't
be taking part in a certification program--just as I won't be taking part in
anyone's urinalysis programs. (That is, there's *nothing* you could do with
such a program to satisfy my objections ... so I don't expect that you'll
consult me about how to set one up. Same with certification programs.)

>What about publications competitions in STC chapters? My employer does not
>permit public dissemination of my work, and I don't belong to the STC. How
>then might I obtain certification? Additionally, does the test of winning a
>competition mean that somebody moderately skilled and who belongs to a small
>chapter (big frog in a little pond) can get certified, while somebody more
>skilled but who belongs to a large chapter can't? Additionally, I have seen
>winning articles with significant errors. Some test.

a) Do a volunteer project or submit something you did for another
organization to which you belong. Or persuade your company to change their
mind if the certification means something to you (and perhaps them).

b) If you want a certification awarded by STC, join STC. If you don't,
then no problem.

c) Regional difference plague any number of certification schemes--but are
also overcome in a number of other fields. Of course, the alternative is a
standardized, non-localized test/qualification of some sort -- which at
least as many people object to.

It's just like universities -- many award a BS or a BA degree ... it's up
to you to decide what that degree means. You may decide that a BS from MIT
means more than a BS from Matchbox U. -- but we don't say that good old
Matchbox can't award degrees (short of gross violation of accreditation

It seems to me that it would be easier for a society like STC to get control
of the competitions process than it would be to do anything else along these

Remember, I'm not necessarily advocating certification at all. But if a
certification is to be done, the competition appeals to me because it puts
STC members in charge rather than employers. The first tenet of a
profession (rather than a trade) is that the members of the profession
decide who's in and who's not. Most of the schemes I see discussed on this
list either call for testing or for giving employers even more power than
they already have.
John Gear (catalyst -at- pacifier -dot- com)

The Bill of Rights -- The ORIGINAL Contract with America
Beware of Imitations. Accept No Substitutes. Insist on the Genuine Articles.

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