1. Is it globally recognised?
The Customer Experience is key for services. How we perceive we are treated throughout the customer journey, dramatically affects our satisfaction. What may be seen as waste in manufacturing may be of value to the customer, such as a pleasant conversation. Efficiency from a process perspective is not always good customer service. For most manufacturing or back office operations, this is less important as customers are not involved in the process delivery.
2. How flexible is the learning process?
A rigid learning and assessment process can be very restrictive for the learner. If coaching and training can be requested when required, this is much more beneficial and manageable for your employer also. Flexible accreditation bodies allow learning to be delivered in a variety of mediums, from eLearning to remote coaching through Skype. A credible training provider will understand and accommodate these needs and therefore offer a wide variety of solutions such as classroom-based training, eLearning, work-based coaching, online testing and email support.
3. Does it align itself to a clear and recognisable standard which enables you to progress from one level to another?
Qualifications which appear complex and difficult to understand for employers will always appear less credible. If only one institution or private organisation is offering the certification, this can also be viewed as less desirable. I have found that when multiple organisations are granted the right to be accredited bodies, this not only offers more choice to learners but also promotes the certification much more rapidly. Ideally an accredited body will offer multiple levels of certification enabling individuals to progress as they develop their skills. Certification can act as the milestones within a career road map. Reinvigoration have used this concept when designing our training and coaching offerings to the extent of offering training courses for complete beginners to leading industry thinkers.
4. Does it develop both knowledge and competence?
We all remember that fellow student at school who always achieved A-star grades but had very poor interpersonal skills. Knowledge is important but application is what really makes the difference in the workplace and illustrates professional competence. Accreditation should be given when both of these are proven. Flexibility of assessment is key and may include online testing, workbook marking, structured interviews or workplace observations. In our case, we even have learners who have filmed the workshops they have delivered. This footage has been used for official assessment as well as for their own self-assessment of their delivery style.
Effective training offerings should be as strongly focused on ‘how’ subjects are taught as they are on the ‘what’ to ensure the required skills are acquired alongside the required knowledge. This has enabled individuals to go back to their workplace and implement our approaches and tools for lean and operational excellence and bring real benefit to their employers.
5. Are the assessment methods realistic and not burdensome?
The time required to write up the reports to prove competence is the number one reason why individuals do not complete professional qualifications. Writing 40,000 word assignments and sitting 3-hour exams might not be the optimum method to assess skills and competence in the workplace. These write-ups are typically seen as extra work to the day job and often have to be done in the learner’s precious evenings and weekends. A sacrifice which shouldn’t need to be required if the individual is using these skills in the workplace, which could be assessed in a different way. Competence should be assessed with evidence of the work done in the workplace and not just exams sat or theoretical essays written.
Although these five considerations are not an exhaustive list, they do provide a general guideline that should be applied when choosing any professional certification for you or for your employees, based on real feedback received from partner accreditation organisations, learners and employers.
If you have any questions regarding the points raised in this blog, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.