Blog: Certification Value Part 2 – The Organization

Certification Value - Part 2. The Organization.

In my last blog, I wrote about the value that review course providers provide for a certification. In this blog, I will look at the value that is brought to a certification by the organization that administers the exam and awards the certification.

Obviously, the organization that offers the certification provides value to it. But, it is critical that the certification continues to hold its value and even increases in value. Remember that because most certifications gain their value only because the business community desires them, it is imperative that the organizations work to provide ongoing value. Aside from giving the certificate itself, some of the things that the organization must do are:

Keep the syllabus current

Every few years the organization should evaluate the content of their exams to make certain that it continues to be relevant.

Provide sufficient information about the content of the exam

The syllabus that they provide should be detailed enough to allow candidates (and material providers) to know what is on the exam without being so detailed that it is essentially a list of the questions. (I would add that the IMA does a spectacular job with the syllabus for the CMA Exams.)

Ensure that the exam is challenging

If the pass rate is too high, the certification loses value because it is assumed that anyone can pass. If the pass rate is too low, nobody attempts it because the return on investment is too low. For example, when the DipIFR (Russian) exam was first started, the pass rate was around 15% and the exam almost collapsed because of the low pass rate.

Maintain its own ethics surrounding the qualification 

The exam creation and grading process must be above reproach. There should be controls and systems in place to ensure that if a person passes the exam that the world knows that this person actually passed the exam honestly and fairly.

Provide a fair and level field for all providers 

When an examining body is involved in materials preparation and sells their own materials, this weakens the certificate because it draws into question the grading process. Even if there are controls in place and independence between the materials creation group, the exam creation group, and the grading process, there is still the potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Require some form of Continuing Education

(It has different names in different organizations) So that their certificate holders maintain relevant knowledge.

Provide value to its members through things other than the certifications

Such as conferences, publications, webinars, networking opportunities to its members, or any number of other benefits that it can provide. If the only value that it provides is in the exam itself, the organization will have difficulty maintaining its membership and attracting new members.

While there are a lot of things that professional organizations need to do in order to maintain and build the value that their certificate has in the market, it is essential that they do these things because without the certification having value, fewer people will join the organization.

I am certain that this list is not complete. What are some of the other ways that your certifications (that you have or are in the process of earning) and their supporting organization could add even more value to your career?

Brian Hock, CMA, CIA

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2 Comments

  1. Salem on June 7, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    I believe of your opinion, but we have to thinking from the two sides not only one side , the reason of that to see and thinking more about your opinions and your vision and how we are looking to the future, and I see that we have to thinking more about how you can achieving more also your beliefs about what you can do,not only for gains more but for your beliefs and your faith.
    Thank you.

  2. Walid Sallam on June 7, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    My dear the certificates lost it’s value in the Middle East, you find lots of companies need CMA or CPA but it’s business is very weak and they offer low salaries.
    I think certificates with experience is important but the private sector should understand that this certificates creates a big value to its holders .

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