The ACI offers introductory answers to frequently asked questions about certification programs, online courses and registration. Should you have any further questions, please contact us directly.
Q: What is certification? Certificatin Vs. Certificate?
A: Certification is the procedure through which an official designation is obtained. Often involves standardized testing.
1. Are never issued by universities. They are issued by professional associations (like APS, NCMA, and ACI) which possess such authority.
2. Have nothing to do with a number or length of training courses completed. In fact, many candidates are certified WITHOUT ANY TRAINING, if they complete the comprehensive certification examination and meet other rigorous qualification criteria. Training is often provided, but only as a convenience for those candidates who need to refresh their knowledge before the examination.
3. DO PROVIDE the authority for the certified individual to use initials (like CHRM, CIPT, CPPM, CPCM, CISCM, etc) after his/her name.
4. Are normally more expensive than certificates because of the requirement to undergo testing and meet other rigorous qualification criteria.
5. Have rigorous security surrounding them, with control numbers assigned.
6. Are similar to “Degrees” in education, provided by universities in some countries like China after students have been issued “Certificates” and meet the examination and tuition requirements of the university.
1. Are often issued by universities (which have NO AUTHORITY TO ISSUE CERTIFICATIONS).
2. Are typically issued to motivate the student to take more than one training courses from the granting institution in order to “earn” the certificate.
3. Typically do not require the student to complete an examination and meet other rigorous qualification criteria.
4. Do not provide the authority for the person receiving the document to use initials (like CHRM, CIPT, CPPM, CPCM, CISCM, etc) after his/her name.
5. Are usually low in cost because they are considered “Certificates of Training Completion”.
6. Are similar to “Certificates” provided by universities in some counties like China as a prelude to a “Degree”.
Q: What are the Benefits of Professional Certification?
A: Professional certification offers individuals a wide range of important benefits. The certification designation demonstrates to current and potential employers that the employee possesses a solid foundation of experience and education in a field of endeavor that can have a positive impact on bottom-line results. Certification symbolizes knowledge and accomplishment and is highly regarded by colleagues and employers. As a certified professional, the employee can proudly join a successful group of professionals who are enriching and advancing their careers and their chosen professions. Specific benefits include the following:
Professionalism -- Certification indicates a high level of professionalism to both coworkers and customers, increasing one's value in the market place.
Leadership -- Certification signifies an employee as dedicated to continuous improvement of himself/herself.
Recognition -- Only a small fraction of professionals ever achieve certification, indicating that they are a leading professional in their fields.
Knowledge -- Certification will improve one's understanding of the most current processes and trends in one's profession.
Ethical Behavior—Individuals who become certified must subscribe to a rigorous code of ethics appropriate to the specific profession.
Q: Do Managers Support Professional Certification Programs:
A: Interviews with American managers from a wide variety of organizations suggest the following:
- Certification helps professionals improve their job skills.
- Certification can provide the basis for a continuing program of professional development.
- Certification can contribute to increased departmental performance.
- Certification can increase the credibility of the department.
- The time, money, and effort spent on a program of professional certification is a good use of the organization's resources.
- A certification program can be developed in an organization that has limited resources.
Q: Does Certification Impact Salary Levels?
A: Research data has shown that employers typically reward certified employees with salaries that are 25 to 40% higher than those who are not certified. A high correlation between certification and salary exists for virtually all professions and all industries sampled.
Q: Does Certification help a professional/manager get hired and/or promoted?
A: This is a perennial question and one which can be answered only in an immediate, organizational context. Most managers (but not all) support professional certification and prefer to hire and promote those who are certified. If the manager is him/herself certified, the odds are that he/she will favor those who are similarly certified. Promotions of course depend on your performance after you get hired. Excellent performance coupled with professional certification provides an unbeatable combination and a sure-fire route to promotion!! Certification is the “Housekeeping Seal of Approval”. It provides “the racer’s edge” when everything else (education, background, experience, etc.) is equal!
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