The Certifying Organization
All of this raises a question: Who sets the certification standards according to which individuals can qualify to receive a specific professional knowledge or competence designation?
One must assume that a credible organization offering certification does so acting independently of any outside influence. Such an organization then authenticates that each applicant meets established standards through rigorous testing, examining, and reviewing of a candidate's knowledge, attitude, experiences, and skills according to that organization's standards program.
The match between what the consumer needs and what an organization offers in certification provides a means of measuring the certification value. If the match between a customer's requirements for project management knowledge or competence and the qualifications of the professional designation is close, then this provides significant value to a customer's organizational effectiveness. Of course, if the standards or requirements are artificial and unrelated to individual performance relevant to requirements, then such a program detracts from the value of certification. In either case, the profession needs to validate the criteria used in the certification process. That is, it must have content validity.