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Globalizing US-based Certification Programs


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Presentation given by Global Professional Skills at the 2009 ATP (Association of Test Publishers) Conference.

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Globalizing US-based Certification Programs

  1. 1. Business Strategy and Planning: Making the Decision to Go International Tina Turner, Global Professional Skills February 24, 2009
  2. 2. Session Outline <ul><li>The movement of US-based certification bodies to the international arena is still a new venture </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s explore together through the key learnings and insights of a specific client story </li></ul>
  3. 3. Reasons to Go International … You have the opportunity to influence the profession on a global scale You have the resources & mandate to grow membership and revenue An international strategy is a logical expansion of your association’s mandate You can find evidence of “local” demand
  4. 4. Setting the Stage: Situation & Opportunity
  5. 5. Case Study: US-based Association Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) History of 85 years of operation in US 20+ year certification: CMA, Certified Management Accountant Domestic cert registration growth rate steady & consistent Minimal, ad-hoc international membership Seeking membership growth: increasing global economy opening international opportunities
  6. 6. International Applicability of Certification BOK that lends itself well to translation Increasing competitiveness of developing countries Tapping into needs of multinational companies Profession with standard “global” elements of competency
  7. 7. IMA’s Goal to Grow Foundation work: brand & product (IP) Strategic plan put in place Vision: The world’s leading association for management accounting and finance professionals. Chapter network expansion opportunity
  8. 8. Why China? Evidence of Demand Market with the highest potential growth Competitive advantage over other associations entering China Expressed interest from Chinese executives, academics & potential members “ There is a long history of testing in China and a huge thirst, particularly from the 7 million plus new university grads each year, for professional certifications.” John Chen, Director, Greater China, Prometric
  9. 9. Learning a New Language: The Translation Process
  10. 10. Conduct a Feasibility Study “ There was incredible value in making a trip to China during the feasibility study phase. Seeing the hunger and thirst for the certification from everyone we met with was very heartening and made the project very real.” Dennis Whitney, Vice President, ICMA Conducted with the help of local experts; included government officials , potential delivery partners , academics , CEOs, CFOs and other associations <ul><li>Examined full financial and risk analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Produced a roadmap and business plan </li></ul>
  11. 11. Translation Starting Point <ul><li>A comprehensive glossary of terms is a critical input for exam translation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First task: agree on English glossary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use as basis for content spec,LOS and item bank translation </li></ul></ul>“ Creating a solid English glossary of terms and then ensuring a proper translation into the Chinese dialect being chosen forms the basis for the translation project.” John Chen, Director, Greater China, Prometric
  12. 12. Localization Goes Hand-in-Hand <ul><li>Part of translation process includes localization : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Broader materials required to support local certification program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customization of content to reflect local case studies and practices </li></ul></ul>“ Localization is about understanding the culture you are entering and how the profession you are certifying will operate in that culture. It is a critical part of the translation process.” John Chen, Director, Greater China, Prometric
  13. 13. Exam Launch & Roll Out Exam translation began Oct-1-06 and was competed by May-1-07 Pilot run from July-07 to Aug-07 Official launch Sept-07 Exam prep materials launched March-1-08
  14. 14. Finding Out What Works: Learnings
  15. 15. LEARNING #1: Create Local Partnerships Enlist local partner associations : content localization & distribution Local university and Government support Sponsorship of local conferences and research Localized web presence Establish delivery partners : Authorized Review Course Provider (ARCP) program “ The Chinese website has been very popular and a relatively inexpensive way to reach our audience. The ARCP program was a key part of helping us reach out to individuals with a practical, localized offer to help them prepare for the exams.” Linda Li, IMA China Mkt Manager
  16. 16. LEARNING #2: Seek Translation Funding Support Find partners to assist in translation funding -- defrays costs and commits others to success of the project CMA exam prep materials translated by a Chinese Ministry of finance publisher at their cost Government and private partners can also help fund marketing materials or other support materials
  17. 17. LEARNING #3: Remember the Member <ul><li>Must focus on creating membership value locally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government and business acknowledgement of certification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing a platform to create a local community </li></ul></ul>“ Building recognition of the certification is critical to showing member value. We needed to work with government and business to ensure they would acknowledge the value of the CMA. Hosting networking sessions for candidates helped them to feel part of a local community of their peers.” Linda Li, IMA China Mkt Manager
  18. 18. LEARNING #4: Understand Capabilities Be clear up front on formats your test vendor can support in translated language Assess internal capabilities – map processes and formats that can be replicated domestically & abroad
  19. 19. LEARNING #5: Clarity on Completeness & Timing <ul><li>Completeness: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exam design docs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity on global vs. local content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Timing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exam prep materials ready when exam is introduced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparedness to handle quality improvement during development process </li></ul></ul>“ One of the things we would do differently is ensure that the exam prep materials were ready – whether from IMA or other providers – when the translated exam is launched. You will not sell the exams until people see how they can prepare.” Dennis Whitney, Vice President, ICMA
  20. 20. The Never-ending Story: Continuing the Journey
  21. 21. “ Go International” Results To Date Dec ‘08 JUNE-06 14% Int’l membership DEC-08 17% Int’l membership China membership growing by 50% every 6 months since exam launch in July-07
  22. 22. The Work Continues Continue to promote the translated examination aggressively Grow government support for the program Continue to leverage existing member base in multi-national companies Prepare for translation into another language ... Continue globalization
  23. 23. Thank You … Tina Turner [email_address]