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STC Certification Presentation


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Presentation given by Steve Jong on STC certification at the Carolina Chapter meeting on Aug 19, 2010. See for details.

Presentation given by Steve Jong on STC certification at the Carolina Chapter meeting on Aug 19, 2010. See for details.

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  • 1. 1
    Technical Communication Certification:20 Questions Answered
    Steven Jong
    STC Certification Committee
  • 2. 2
    Who is Steve and why is he here?
    STC Senior Member (1982–)
    Active in publications competitions at chapter and international levels (1992–)
    Boston Chapter president, 2004–2005
    STC Director at Large, 2007–2010
    Chairman, STC Certification Task Force, 2007–2010
    Chairman, STC Certification Committee (2010–)
  • 3. 3
    What is certification?
    The process through which an organization grants recognition to an individual ... [who] meets certain established criteria.
    “Certificate” versus “certification”
    “Certification” versus “licensure”
    “Licensure” versus “accreditation”
    Certification Committee
    Carolina Chapter, August 2010
  • 4. 4
    What does this have to do with our profession?
    A profession is marked by three attributes:
    A unique body of knowledge
    A code of ethics
    Certification of qualified practitioners
  • 5. 5
    What took so long?
    First discussed in 1964(!)
    First sanctioned work: Ad Hoc Committee on Certification in 1975
    Membership surveys: 1975, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1995, 1997
    Certification RFP issued in 1985; response not pursued
    Feasibility study commissioned in 1998
    Began work on Body of Knowledge (BoK) in 2007
    Benchmarking report on professions in 2008
    Value proposition adopted in 2009
    Certification program approved by Board on 30 April 2010
  • 6. 6
    Why did STC finally accept certification?
    Legitimize the contributions of, and respect for, our profession
    Establish uniform worldwide performance standards
    Increase the employability and salary of certified practitioners
    Satisfy employers’ expectations
    Reduce hiring risk for employers
    Bring in non-dues revenue for the Society
  • 7. 7
    What is STC trying to achieve?
    Certification is voluntary
    Certification focuses on uniform areas of practice where technical communicators provide unique value
    Applicants must meet prerequisites to be eligible for certification
    Applicants must demonstrate knowledge, skills, and experience
    Assessment involves a variety of methods
    A core certification provides the basis for certification growth
    Applicants must agree to adhere to the STC Code of Ethics
    Opportunities are provided to applicants for remediation
    Once granted, certification must be maintained
  • 8. 8
    What is STC certifying?
    User, task, and experience analysis
    Information design
    Process management
    Information development
    Information production
    Review coordination and reconciliation
  • 9. 9
    What’s the value of certification?
  • 10. 10
    What’s in it for me?
  • 11. 11
    What’s in it for employers?
    Employers find that certified professionals are more often competent and successful than uncertified ones
    Employers spend less to hire, train, and replace certified employees
    Therefore, employers seek out and pay more for certified professionals
  • 12. 12
    What’s it gonna cost?
    TBD, but consider these association fees:
    ISPI: $995
    The Data Warehousing Institute: $975
    ASTD:  $799
    Human Factors International: $750
    IEEE: $645
    STC online certificate course $595 (member)
    APMP: $450
    ASQ: $450
    IIBA: $450
    PMI: $405
    Accreditation in Public Relations: $385
    ABC: $320
    AMWA (certificate): $275
    BELS: $250
  • 13. 13
    What might be in the application packet?
    Résumé or curriculum vitae
    Attestation from you and your client (boss)
    Signed Code of Ethics
    Work samples and artifacts
    Accounts (stories) of projects
  • 14. 14
    How will evaluation work?
    Several sessions per year
    Application screened by STC office
    Packet examined by three trained evaluators (who receive honoraria)
    Under non-disclosure
    Each evaluator looks at three packets (evaluator-applicant ratio is 1:1)
    Evaluate against established criteria
    3–0 vote: certify
    2–1 vote: return for clarification
    1–2 or 0–3 vote: reject
  • 15. 15
    What about the BoK?
    The STC BoK is being fleshed out
    It will become the basis for future examinations
    It will become the basis for future specialty certifications
  • 16. 16
    Listing on Web site
    What are certification marks?
    Steven Jong, RTFM
  • 17. 17
    I have a tech comm degree. Why should I get certified?
    Certification assesses both what you know and what you’ve done
    However, a technical communication degree (or equivalent) is a solid foundation to becoming certified
  • 18. 18
    I can’t demonstrate/don’t know an area. How can I get certified?
    Use completed projects, not current ones
    Use samples from previous jobs
    Redact samples
    Do the case study instead
    Take a class first
  • 19. 19
    I’m not a writer. What about me?
    Specialty certifications (future)
    Requires BoK
    Opportunity for partnerships
  • 20. 20
    Will I have to maintain my certification?
    Yes—certification is good for three years
    To maintain it, continue your education to maintain current skills or learn new skills, and stay active in field
    Reapplication packet contains fee and proof of course attendance
    Screened by STC office
    Results: Recertify or return
  • 21. 21
    Only STC has the international reach to offer international certification
    We can use the same model internationally
    Requires the BoK
    We must revalidate our work outside the North American market
    What about international certification?
  • 22. Certification Committee
    Carolina Chapter, August 2010
  • 23. Certification Committee
    Carolina Chapter, August 2010
    If you want to learn moreor help out
    STC Certification Committee
    Steven Jong,