CertificationEssentialsSTC Summit, Atlanta GA
Session AgendaIntroductionReviewCertification ProcessSubmission PacketSubmission EvaluationMaintaining Certification2
INTRODUCTION3
Your Speaker:Rob Hanna, CIPSTC Certification Commission ViceChairman (2011-2013)STC Associate Fellow (2011)Chief Informati...
5STC CertificationCommissionIncorporated in 2011, in Virginia, as a501(c)(6) organizationIndependent of STCResponsible for...
REVIEWWhat is Certification?6
The Value toPractitionersCertification is an objective,portable, personal credentialthat is associated with highersalaries...
Two ProfessionalCredentialsCertified Professional TechnicalCommunicatorLaunched 2011Broad spectrum of KSAs fromplanning to...
Are You Eligible?All practitioners who meeteligibility requirements canapplySTC membership is notrequiredPrerequisites: co...
The Process10Credentials granted forthree yearsContinue training andprofessional development withannual maintenance feeCom...
Assessing Areasof Practice111.User, Task, ExperienceAnalysis2.Information Design3.ProcessManagement4.InformationDevelopmen...
SUBMISSION PACKET DETAILS12
Your submissionYou have one year after yourapplication is accepted to complete anddeliver your submission to theCommission...
CORE COMPETENCIESSections common to both CPTC and CPTW credentials14
WrittenCommunicationDemonstrate your ability to composecontent and communicate in writtenform.Factors include writing styl...
Visual LiteracyDemonstrate your knowledge of visualcommunication principles that supportwritten content.Factors include te...
ContentDevelopmentDemonstrate your knowledge of contentdevelopment principles and ability todevelop content.Factors includ...
TECHNICAL WRITER CERTIFICATION SECTION18
AudienceAnalysisDemonstrate your skill in analyzingrequirements for developinginformation products.Factors include develop...
TECHNICAL COMMUNICATOR CERTIFICATIONSECTIONS20
DocumentationPlanningDemonstrate your skill in planningprojects for delivering informationproducts.Factors include develop...
DocumentationAnalysisDemonstrate your skill in analyzingrequirements for developinginformation products.Factors include an...
Solution DesignDemonstrate your ability to design high‐level solutions for implementinginformation products.Factors includ...
InformationArchitectureDemonstrate your ability to design theorganization of information products.Factors include selectio...
DITAXMMETADATAWIKISContentManagementDemonstrate your knowledge of contentmanagement principles and ability tomanage conten...
ProductionProcessesDemonstrate your knowledge of finalproduction principles and processes.Factors include handling for bot...
27Preparing yoursubmissionRead and follow all the directionson the candidate instructionsTreat each section separatelyDon’...
Plan for successPlan your time wiselyReview submission detailsResearch each submission areaAssess any works you intend to ...
Manage yourtimeworking several hours per week allow up to2‐3 months for CPTC1 month for CPTW10 hours for project planning5...
ResearchReviewing schedules for upcoming STC webinarsReviewing webinar archivesReviewing scheduled chapter eventsInterview...
Common issues withwork samplesProtected and cannot be used without significant redactingCompromised by limitations of time...
Rework yourwork samplesCorrect any mistakesEliminate any anomaliesEnhance the work samples to include any missing features...
Packaging yoursubmissionGive us your finest work.Only one PDF per section.Do not cross-reference othersections in your sub...
Annotating yoursubmissionDo not add comments orannotations directly to yourPDF in Acrobat.Your identity is far moredifficu...
EVALUATING YOUR SUBMISSION35
36EvaluationYour packet is received andadministratively screenedDouble-blind assessmentEvaluated section by sectionYou mus...
EvaluationmethodologySubmission demonstratesMinimal CompetencyEvaluation is Criterion-BasedSubjectivity has been minimized...
38Maintaining yourcertificationYour credentials are valid forthree yearsTo maintain your credentials:Ongoing professionald...
39Where do I signup—?To get started on yourcertification:www.stccert.orgMore questions? Emailcert@stc.org
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Certification essentials

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Presentation on STC certification credentials for technical writers and technical communicators given at the 60th annual STC Summit in Atlanta, GA.

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  • http://www.amrms.com/content/501c3-or-501c6- –-what’s-difference 501(c)(3): Operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, literary, or scientific purposes 501(c)(6): Operated to promote a common business interest, and to improve business conditions in the industry   501(c)(3): Includes membership associations (e.g., professional society), if the purpose is to advance the profession with respect to "educational" activities 501(c)(6): A membership organization (e.g., business league, industry trade association), advancing a common business interest
  • There has to be a reason why so many people in so many professions pay good money to get certified. Here’s the value proposition. A résumé puts you in your best light, but everyone knows it’s not objective. A reference isn’t objective either, and it speaks to you in only one role. Certification is an objective, third-party assurance that you can do the job. And it’s yours, not your employer’s; it goes with you from job to job and field to field because it’s a general certification. People entering the workforce today can expect to change jobs six times in their working lives. The average job attracts anywhere from 200 to 1,000 résumés, and consequently the average résumé gets only six seconds of HR attention. What can you put on yours that will catch the eye? HR people say it’s a certification mark! And at the other end of the process, when a hiring manager has to choose between you and two or three other equally qualified candidates, what is the tiebreaker? HR experts say it’s certification again. Certification shows not just what you do, but what you can do. It opens the door for professional advancement, and gives you the confidence to step through it. Our studies of other professions shows that certified professionals make more money than their uncertified colleagues. I can name you certifications that boost salaries in certain professions 10%, 20%, 30%, and more. But I don’t want to oversell the benefit. A comprehensive study last year by Foote Partners of 225 certifications showed an average salary increase of 7.3%. Imagine making that much more in salary, not just as a one-time bonus, but year after year, compounded, for the rest of your career. Those fees start to look like a bargain! And they are.
  • Who can apply? We set up the requirements so that a lot of practitioners are eligible STC membership is not required, although we charge less for STC members; and certification is not required to be an STC member, so nothing has changed A combination, or sliding scale, of experience and education: Think of the base requirement as five years or about 10,000 hours of work experience, which is comparable with requirements for PMP Bachelor’s degree in related field (such as English, Computer Science, or Journalism) plus four years of experience Bachelor’s degree in specified field (such as Technical Communication, Information Design, or Science Journalism) plus three years of experience Finally, you must agree to abide by the Code of Conduct, which is more specific than the STC Code of Ethics and lists prohibited behavior
  • How do you get the certification? The candidate instructions are available on our website, and you can (and should!) download and study them first. It’s an open-book exam. Here’s the process, from application to renewal. Notice that the application and the submission packet are two separate steps.Or... If at first you don’t succeed, resubmit section(s) and payment
  • What are we looking for? The certification assesses competencies, which are your knowledge, skills, and abilities. These competencies are gathered into five broad, uniform areas of practice where technical communicators provide unique value. To assess competencies, we look at a submission packet with nine sections. The submission packet consists of nine sections, including artifacts, commentaries, and scenarios. Why five areas to nine sections? Think of it as drilling down, or emphasizing, information development (writing, illustration, and editing). Three sections are must-pass, and you have to get a minimum passing score on the nine sections taken together.
  • Here I insult your intelligence, but I have a reason to list each of these V1.0 of the Candidate Instructions list page limits as suggestions; they will soon become requirements V1.0 of the Candidate Instructions imply formats other than PDF are acceptable; PDF will soon become the only acceptable format For more details, go to Rob’s session on Wednesday
  • The certification isn’t a lifetime grant; it would be worthless if it were. We chose a typical period of three years. Continuing education is important, and the certification maintenance process encourages it. You don’t have to attend STC events—any professional society (such as IEEE or ASI) will do. Remaining active in your chapter or SIG counts as professional activity. Chapter leaders: the more certified practitioners in your chapter, the more they’ll have reason to attend your chapter events and workshops.
  • Today is just an overview; for more information, go to Rob’s session
  • Certification essentials

    1. 1. CertificationEssentialsSTC Summit, Atlanta GA
    2. 2. Session AgendaIntroductionReviewCertification ProcessSubmission PacketSubmission EvaluationMaintaining Certification2
    3. 3. INTRODUCTION3
    4. 4. Your Speaker:Rob Hanna, CIPSTC Certification Commission ViceChairman (2011-2013)STC Associate Fellow (2011)Chief Information Architect –Ascan Enterprises, Toronto, ONSTC Board Member (2007-2009)AIIM Certified InformationProfessional – CIP (2011)4
    5. 5. 5STC CertificationCommissionIncorporated in 2011, in Virginia, as a501(c)(6) organizationIndependent of STCResponsible for establishing certificationpolicies, granting CPTC™ and CPTW™certifications, and overseeing day-to-dayoperationsBylaws, policies, procedures, financesseparate from STCNine commissioners, serving two-yearterms5
    6. 6. REVIEWWhat is Certification?6
    7. 7. The Value toPractitionersCertification is an objective,portable, personal credentialthat is associated with highersalaries, job-huntingadvantages, and better jobopportunities7
    8. 8. Two ProfessionalCredentialsCertified Professional TechnicalCommunicatorLaunched 2011Broad spectrum of KSAs fromplanning to delivery ofdocumentationCertified Professional TechnicalWriterLaunched 2013Focused on core competenciesin technical writing8
    9. 9. Are You Eligible?All practitioners who meeteligibility requirements canapplySTC membership is notrequiredPrerequisites: combination offull-time experience andeducationMust agree to abide by Code ofConduct95 years of experiencein technicalcommunicationfield3 years of experiencein technicalcommunicationfieldQualifying education reducesexperience requirement by up to2 years
    10. 10. The Process10Credentials granted forthree yearsContinue training andprofessional development withannual maintenance feeCommission evaluatespacketTrained evaluators assessindividual sections under non-disclosureYou send submissionpacket and paymentCompleteness verifiedYou send application andpaymentEligibility verifiedCommission returnsevaluationResults within 60 days
    11. 11. Assessing Areasof Practice111.User, Task, ExperienceAnalysis2.Information Design3.ProcessManagement4.InformationDevelopment5.InformationProductionAreas of PracticeSubmissionPacket1.Project Planning2.Project Analysis3.Solution Design4.Organizational Design5.Written Communication6.Visual Communication7.Content Development8.Content Management9.Final Production
    12. 12. SUBMISSION PACKET DETAILS12
    13. 13. Your submissionYou have one year after yourapplication is accepted to complete anddeliver your submission to theCommission.Each section is evaluated independentlyby at least two trained raters and scoredas:PassBorderline PassBorderline FailFailRefer to the candidateinstructionsAvailable for download athttp://www.stccert.org13
    14. 14. CORE COMPETENCIESSections common to both CPTC and CPTW credentials14
    15. 15. WrittenCommunicationDemonstrate your ability to composecontent and communicate in writtenform.Factors include writing style, use ofstructural elements, appropriateness ofpresentation for the intended audience,and consistency.Include in your submission:A representative sample of yourinformation product.A written commentary that explainshow your knowledge of objectivesand audience influenced your writingstyle.15Core Competency 1
    16. 16. Visual LiteracyDemonstrate your knowledge of visualcommunication principles that supportwritten content.Factors include templates, styles,graphics, signal words, layout, andnavigation.Include in your submission:A representative sample of publishedinformation product that you havedeveloped, such as a chart, table,diagram, or illustration.A written commentary that explainshow the layout and design supportthe structure of the information.16Dragga, Sam; Voss, Dan. "Cruel Pies: TheInhumanity of Technical Illustrations"Technical Communication 48.3 Aug. 2001: 265-274Core Competency 2
    17. 17. ContentDevelopmentDemonstrate your knowledge of contentdevelopment principles and ability todevelop content.Factors include your ability to review,edit, and verify content.Include in your submission:An edited copy of the providedsample.A written commentary that explainshow you collaborate, validatetechnical accuracy, and conducttechnical and editorial reviews.17Read Don Bush, STC Fellow“The Friendly Editor” in backissues of Intercom onlineCore Competency 3
    18. 18. TECHNICAL WRITER CERTIFICATION SECTION18
    19. 19. AudienceAnalysisDemonstrate your skill in analyzingrequirements for developinginformation products.Factors include developing anunderstanding of the audience and datarequirements for developing aninformation product.A description of a persona, profile, orother source that details the primaryaudience.A written commentary.19Filippo, Elizabeth. “The Road to Personas"Intercom 56.1 Jan. 2009: 22CPTW Section
    20. 20. TECHNICAL COMMUNICATOR CERTIFICATIONSECTIONS20
    21. 21. DocumentationPlanningDemonstrate your skill in planningprojects for delivering informationproducts.Factors include developing a plan forcreating and tracking the implementationof an information product.Include with your submission:A sample portion of the project plan.A project schedule and/or list ofmilestones. This may include a Ganttchart or MS Project schedule.A written commentary.21CPTC Section 1
    22. 22. DocumentationAnalysisDemonstrate your skill in analyzingrequirements for developinginformation products.Factors include analyzing audience, task,and data requirements for developing aninformation product.A sample portion of a persona,profile, or other document thatdetails the primary audience.User requirements, use cases, usertask analysis, or needs analysischaracterizing task content requiredfor the information product.A written commentary.22Filippo, Elizabeth. “The Road to Personas"Intercom 56.1 Jan. 2009: 22CPTC Section 2
    23. 23. Solution DesignDemonstrate your ability to design high‐level solutions for implementinginformation products.Factors include research methodologyand synthesis of research results into anoverall design solution.Include with your submission:An actual or simulated work sampleof a project design document. Thesample may be a documentation plan,document specification, or equivalentdocument.Written commentary on the projectincluding considerations for universalaccessibility.23CPTC Section 3
    24. 24. InformationArchitectureDemonstrate your ability to design theorganization of information products.Factors include selection andconstruction of an organizationalframework that defines the informationarchitecture.Include with your submission:A project outline, storyboard,template, DTD, or other evidence ofthe framework for the informationproduct.A written commentary that explainsthe rationale for organization andlevel of detail selected for theframework.24CPTC Section 4
    25. 25. DITAXMMETADATAWIKISContentManagementDemonstrate your knowledge of contentmanagement principles and ability tomanage content.Factors includecollaboration and workflowtopic‐based authoringstructured authoringsingle‐source authoring and reusemetadataversion control and archivingInclude a written commentary.25CPTC Section 5
    26. 26. ProductionProcessesDemonstrate your knowledge of finalproduction principles and processes.Factors include handling for bothelectronic and print outputs.Include in your submissionA commentary that explainsElectronic and print channels andproduction processes.QA processes for final production.Working with production servicessuch as commercial printers.26CPTC Section 6
    27. 27. 27Preparing yoursubmissionRead and follow all the directionson the candidate instructionsTreat each section separatelyDon’t skip anythingKeep it simple and readableObserve all page lengthsProofread carefullySubmit only PDF files (we do notaccept other formats)
    28. 28. Plan for successPlan your time wiselyReview submission detailsResearch each submission areaAssess any works you intend to useDraft your submission and let it sitSelf‐assess your submission28
    29. 29. Manage yourtimeworking several hours per week allow up to2‐3 months for CPTC1 month for CPTW10 hours for project planning5 hours per section for research, and10 hours per section for preparation.29
    30. 30. ResearchReviewing schedules for upcoming STC webinarsReviewing webinar archivesReviewing scheduled chapter eventsInterviewing STC mentorsReviewing articles and presentations, andReading books by renowned STC visionaries.30
    31. 31. Common issues withwork samplesProtected and cannot be used without significant redactingCompromised by limitations of time or budgetProduced in collaboration and do not accurately reflect the quality ofyour work, orProduced many years ago when standards or technology weredifferent.31
    32. 32. Rework yourwork samplesCorrect any mistakesEliminate any anomaliesEnhance the work samples to include any missing features asked forin the submission requirements, andReplace product or company names with fictitious names rather thanredacting them in the content.32
    33. 33. Packaging yoursubmissionGive us your finest work.Only one PDF per section.Do not cross-reference othersections in your submission.Remove all self-identifyingreferences.Signed PDFs cannot becombined with other PDFs.33
    34. 34. Annotating yoursubmissionDo not add comments orannotations directly to yourPDF in Acrobat.Your identity is far moredifficult to obscure in Acrobat.Change your User Name andInitials in MS Word beforeannotating.Use track changes feature toshow your edits.Remove identity in MS Word1. Click Office button2. Click Word Options3. Select Popular settings4. Change User Name to Candidateand Initials to CPTC.5. Print document to Adobe PDF.6. Select Document showing markupfrom Print what drop down.34
    35. 35. EVALUATING YOUR SUBMISSION35
    36. 36. 36EvaluationYour packet is received andadministratively screenedDouble-blind assessmentEvaluated section by sectionYou must pass corecompetenciesResults returned within 60days36
    37. 37. EvaluationmethodologySubmission demonstratesMinimal CompetencyEvaluation is Criterion-BasedSubjectivity has been minimizedScoring demonstrates a highlevel of parity between raters.Raters and scores arecontinuously evaluated tomaintain parity.37
    38. 38. 38Maintaining yourcertificationYour credentials are valid forthree yearsTo maintain your credentials:Ongoing professionaldevelopmentStay active in the fieldAnnual maintenance feeRenewable without retest,resubmission packet, orrecertification fee38
    39. 39. 39Where do I signup—?To get started on yourcertification:www.stccert.orgMore questions? Emailcert@stc.org

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