This Guest paper was submitted for publication January 2010. It is copyright to Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo under the Creative Commons License 3.0 BY, NC, ND

Introduction | Selecting the Credentials to Compare
Developing the Rating Criteria | Methodology
 Explanation of Data Categories | Other Factors | PART 2

Developing the Rating Criteria

A review of the data on each of the websites of the respective organizations showed a fair degree of consistency in the credentialing information provided. While not always easy to find, the information normally and customarily included on the websites could be categorized into the following 27 general topics or headings:

  1. Name and contact information of the developing organization
  2. Certification name
  3. Certification acronym
  4. Date Certification Initiated or started
  5. General description
  6. Process to get certified
  7. Does the certification require experience and if yes, how many hours?
  8. Does the certification require a degree or can experience be substituted in lieu of a degree?
  9. Is the credential exam based only, peer reviewed only or both
  10. If exam based, the duration of the exam
  11. Number of questions on the exam
  12. Type of questions
  13. Passing score or grade
  14. Cost of exam to members
  15. Cost of exam to non-members
  16. Membership cost
  17. Cost Comparison - whether better to join or not to join
  18. Books required to pass the exam (if any)
  19. Cost of the required books (if any)
  20. Course(s) required prior to sitting for the exam
  21. Number of hours training required prior to sitting for the exam
  22. Is there a paper required in addition to the exam
  23. For how long is the certification valid
  24. Renewal requirements
  25. Renewal costs
  26. URL for more information on the organization or credential
  27. URL for Training and other information

A summary of the data gleaned from the respective websites was entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Please note that while reasonable attempts were made to validate the information, including sending the file to responsible individuals active in these organizations, no formal request was made to the organizations themselves to validate or clarify the content. Also, the data was last checked on December 22, 2009 and may well have changed since that date.

As might be expected, the data presented on the various organizational web sites is typically limited making it difficult to draw any meaningful comparison between the credentials.

Whether this is intentional or not, practitioners and their employing organizations should consider insisting that professional organizations provide sufficient data to enable potential seekers of certifications to make a fair and rational comparative evaluation. This also applies to those who employ certified individuals and is a matter of rights as consumers. This topic will be addressed more fully in the recommendations.

Selecting the Credentials to Compare  Selecting the Credentials to Compare

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