Subject: certification
From: Thom Remington <remingtf -at- ENGG-MAIL -dot- LVS -dot- DUPONT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 08:31:40 -0400

My $0.02:

I've worked in several fields in my "career." Some have been the kind where
certification was available and desirable, some haven't been. I've worked in
the mental health biz, where certification (licensure) is available, and
where I've met more incompetent licensed therapists than competent ones.
I've worked in the PC biz, where there was no such thing as certification.
You could, or you couldn't.

In technical communication, as with any field that's not easily defined,
certification is going to be extremely difficult to define. What do we test
on? Writing? Planning? Client interviewing skills? Project estimating? Word
processing? DTP? And with many of these, criteria will be extremely
difficult to establish.

In the corporate world ("Dilbertian," to quote a friend), outside of the
research & development areas, certification doesn't seem to mean much once
you're employed. As with my transition from PCs to tech writing, the
criterion revolves around whether you can *do* the work. If you can't, you
move on to something different. If you can, you stay.

And, though I'm not certified as a tech writer, I'm sure you could find lots
of folks who would be willing to tell you that I'm certifiable..... ;-)

Thom Remington remingtf -at- engg -dot- dnet -dot- dupont -dot- com
DuPont External Affairs Technical Publications
Speaking for myself, not for DuPont.

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