The members of the Professional Consultants Association of Central New York already know about this so we’re putting it out to everyone else. Something the board of directors has been working on that we feel is important for the ethics we hope to project for our members is a certification process. Our belief is that earning a certification shows that your peers believe you to be top notch and ethical and worthy of something more than just calling yourself a consultant.

22 03 07 - Apple Technical Certification
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The board is looking at the qualifications for passing what would be a fairly intensive exam. We don’t want to make it too easy because it loses its credence if it is, but at the same time we don’t want it to be like a college course because, frankly, even those of us on the board who&#82#8217;d have to grade what we received don’t have all the time in the world to spend on these things. That is, if we have anyone who wants to be certified in the first place.

That’s an important issue to think about. I happen to be a health care finance consultant; I help hospitals make money. I’m president of a local chapter of a national organization that offers certifications of all sorts. In some states certification is a big deal; it’s part of the criteria for leadership positions and people can get more money for having the certification. In other states, like New York, almost no one is certified because almost no one in the state even knows about it, thus earning the certification becomes more of a “so what” event.

How would, or should, that differ with independent consultants? I’ll compare it with my own industry. Certification doesn’t mean those people who’ve earned it are better at the job they do than anyone else. Basically it means they were able to pass a test of knowledge; there’s nothing wrong with that.

But we view certification of consultants differently. Certification could mean the difference between getting a contract or not. It becomes a major marketing point that directly affects one’s income in a positive manner. And knowing that those who get certified will be constantly judged by their peers, because certification will have criteria for maintaining the certification, will encourage those consultants to continually be better. Indirectly, it might not make someone a better consultant in their chosen profession, but it most certainly will make them a better consultant overall.

What’s your thought about certifications in general? And if you’re a consultant, do you think you have what it takes to push you towards looking into getting certified? Stay tuned because once it’s fine tuned not only will it show up on our website, but here in the blog as well. I think you’ll want to be a part of this, and I predict that when it’s successful for us, we’ll be contacted by other groups around the country who think it’s a legitimate thing for them as well.

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