Thursday, January 8, 2009

Anand Subramaniam on Certifications

The Importance Of Professional Certification

Professional certification can be found in almost every industry today. Finance (CPA), Project Management (PMI), Supply Chain APICS), Information Technology (ITIL), Business Process management (ABPMP), Engineering etc, are just a few to list from a wide range of professions that have voluntary and / or mandatory certification.
Certification has found its way into almost every industry for a reason: It helps advance the profession. Certification helps employers evaluate potential new hires, analyze job performance, evaluate employees, select contractors, market services, and motivate employees to enhance their skills and knowledge. Certificate holders benefit too. Certification gives recognition of competency, shows commitment to the profession, and helps with job advancement. There has been an explosive growth in professional certification.
How to narrow the gap between tertiary and professional certification ?
As science, technology and management practices change at an ever-increasing rate, a gap is formed between the foundation provided by an academic education and the technical and management competencies required in today's technical and business environment. The respective Professional Certification Programs were established to bridge this education gap.

A person’s achievement of Professional Certification documents his / her expertise and recognizes his / her personal commitment to their professional development. Additionally, the respective Professional Association / Society provides a strong collective entity through which individuals are rewarded financially and professionally.

Why is the need for Job-Focused Certification Programs ?
Each Society / Professional Certification Program provides breadth and depth in the full range of technology needed to perform a specific job function.
Because these programs are job focused and independent of job setting, employers and their customers can be assured that a Certified Professional has mastered the full range of skills required to be successful in complex technical environments.
Why Certification Is important ?
Any Professional Certification Programs helps one to :
 gain practical skills for the job, as it focus on the knowledge and skills needed to perform real-world job responsibilities.
 realize maximum benefit from a wide range of expertise areas.
 Lean all aspects of a specific type of career pursuit while also providing organization with a standard of assured excellence from these professionals
 effectively integrate these career pursuits into one’s specific work setting.
How to Build one’s leadership skills ?
A person can Increase his / her personal effectiveness in specific technical areas as well as general technical management and project management. The Professional Certification provides a vehicle that equips one with key skills and talents to be internationally recognized and be seen as a “thought leader”.

How to become more effective ?
When one undertakes Professional Certification program, it becomes part of his / her personal training program. This person acquires the skills needed to be competitive in the open job market. Undertaking studies in an internationally recognized professional association / body with global membership, gets you around the world as it is globally recognized by employers / recruiters.

What is the Certification Process like ?
Each Certification Program involves the documentation of specific job experience, successful completion of appropriate courses and their associated examinations. Certification exams are offered for a modest fee and are open to all who meet the general and specific requirements for registration.

The courses and associated exams required for Certification may be taken at any time or at stipulated time during the year. Some professional association maintain permanent records of individual course and exam completion. Diplomas / Certification of Professional Certification are awarded to Certified Professionals as tangible recognition of their achievement.

Where does one begin the Certification Process ?

 Select a Certification Program that fits your experience and needs
Review the program descriptions and select the program(s) that will enable you to contribute more to your organization and accelerate your professional development. Each certification will have specific academic and job experience requirements.

 Obtain and document the years of specific relevant experience
The greatest asset that any organization has is its people. Yet highly skilled technical talent in many fields are still scarce. Each professional association tries to play a role in assisting both organizations and individuals in the cultivation and recognition of professionals. It is essential in any professional endeavor to gain, maintain and document credible professional experience.

 Enroll in the appropriate courses
The professional association will review your experience, register you for the appropriate course(s) and you will select the course times that best fits your needs. Additionally, courses can be taken on-line or on-site. Some Professional Certifications will only require one comprehensive course and one comprehensive exam for the specific area of certification.

 Attend the course and take the exam
When you attend or take your first course on-line, you have the opportunity to take your Professional Certification Exam immediately after the completion of the course [for on-line Certification requests, you will be notified of appropriate log-in information for taking the exam]. The exam tests your comprehension of each course objective and sub-objective, and your ability to apply the knowledge and skills you've acquired. The exam is given on-line after the last day of your course in some cases or can be deferred to a date when your are ready.

 Receive your exam results
This depends on the society and most professional organisation send a confidential Certification Transcript containing your exam results. A minimum score varies (eg 80%) is required for certification. A petition for re-examination can be filed and is encouraged for those not meeting the minimum score.

7 comments:

Business Process Management said...

well thanks for sharing some valuable tips.

Ghigs Lagman said...

Appreciate this. It further strengthens the initiatives that I want to pursue on taking certification programs.

Diane said...

Is there somewhere a list of the best BPM certification programs? Selecting one feels like picking one out of a hat! Are there any that are sanctioned by ABPMP?

Diane

Murad Salman Mirza said...

Hi Diane,

Kindly review the following websites for BPM certifications:

***http://www.aiim.org/Education/BPM-Business-Process-Management-Training-Courses.aspx

***http://www.bpmcouncil.org/

***http://www.asq.org/certification/quality-process-analyst/index.html

Generally, Business Process Management is offered as a module in a broader curriculum.

Personally, I am not a big fan of certifications since they don't reflect the competency of the individual to do the job, rather, they demonstrate the body of knowledge. Nevertheless, there is marketing value in their achievement as one source of gauging the professional abilities.

Good Luck on your future plans!

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