Re: Certification

Subject: Re: Certification
From: Karen Mayer <Karen_Mayer -dot- TOUCH_TECHNOLOGY -at- NOTES -dot- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 16:25:50 EST

Jennifer wrote:
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After lurking through much discussion of certification, one big question
sticks in my mind. Is the STC proposing/ considering a certification of
minimal competence designed to weed out those who really couldn't do the
job acceptably or would certification identify people as accomplished,
respected writers who have contributed to the profession?

It seems to me that the concerns and strategies would be really different
for these two cases. Does anyone know which option is actually under

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I can't say that I've read any definite, official STC stances on this.
But then I have to ask, is STC really The Authority here? Is this
organization really the one that should make a decision about whether
certification is necessary or not, and what its purpose would be?

Once we establish an answer to the question "What is the purpose of
certification?" we have to ask, "Will certification accomplish this
goal?" Right now I think all we're doing is bouncing ideas around. Until
we start doing real research (using sound scientific methods) to
determine whether certification (as opposed to licensure) for other
professions has contributed positively to those professions, we can't
really make a good decision one way or the other.

If the purpose of certification is to identify accomplished, competent
technical communicators, how will we know whether certification actually
does that?

-- Karen Mayer

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