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Certification Market and Needs Assessment

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									Certification Market and Needs Assessment
Preliminary Report
Presented to IEEE’s EAB by The Holmes Corporation 11/18/06

IEEE Strategic Imperative Improving Its Competitive Position
In June 2006, IEEE adopted 10 strategic challenges, including: • Challenge #3 – IEEE as a leader in professional development. • Challenge #4 – IEEE as a leader in professional credentialing of individuals. • Challenge #6 – Increase the value of technical content and market relevance. • Challenge #10 – Diversify IEEE’s net revenue-generating business.

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IEEE Strategic Imperative Improving Its Competitive Position

Certification has the potential to directly and positively impact each of these strategic challenges and improve IEEE’s competitive position.

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Today’s Presentation/Discussion
• Offer a brief, high-level overview of the certification industry. • Provide background on the Holmes Corporation and our role in driving certification success. • Review the specific IEEE certification needs assessment activities completed. • Relate observations, findings, and recommendations generated to date.

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Overview of the Certification Industry
• The National Organization for Competency Assurance (see www.NOCA.org) serves as the clearinghouse for information on credentialing concepts and accredits organizations that meet its standards. • Voluntary certification is one form of credentialing.

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from National Organization for Competency Assurance

The Certification Industry

Licensure: Process by which a government agency provides permission to an individual to engage in a given occupation after verifying that he/she has met predetermined and standardized criteria. Accreditation: Process by which a non-government agency recognizes that an institution meets predetermined and standardized criteria.

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Definition of Terms, continued
Certificate of Completion: Certificate issued to
someone who completes a professional certificate program. A credential is usually not granted at the completion of a certificate program.

Certification: The voluntary process by which a nongovernment agency grants recognition and use of a credential to an individual after verifying that he/she has met predetermined and standardized criteria.

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Overview of Certification Industry Roles and Responsibilities
Needs and Market Assessment Report & Recommendations
Psychometric Industry
- Alpine Testing Solutions - Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. - Castle Worldwide - CPS Human Resource Services - Pearson VUE - Professional Exam Service (PES) - Promissor - Schroeder Measurement Technologies - Thomson Prometric

Body of Knowledge Outline Domains - Subsets

Certification Exam Creation & Administration
- IEEE Staff & Volunteer SMEs - Testing Vendor
Compliance with: - NOCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs - ISO 17024

Learning System Creation
- HC Project Management & ID Staff - Subject Matter Experts (IEEE Volunteers)

Feedback

Feedback

Customers Use Learning System & Take Exam

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Certification Growth
2 6 ,2 7 6

2 1,14 0 19 ,0 6 2

Learning System
introduced!
7 ,7 0 8 5 ,17 7 4 ,4 6 2 3 ,4 9 6 2 ,7 5 0 2 ,0 5 2 1,3 17

15 ,0 0 5

11,3 0 0 8 ,7 7 2 7 ,9 19

15 2 2 8 1 3 2 0 3 2 0 4 9 0

9 15 8 13 7 13 936 471 529 595 564

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Revenue Growth from Certification Educational Materials
Learning System Gross Sales
$9,000,000 $8,000,000 $7,000,000 $6,000,000 $5,000,000 $4,000,000 $3,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,000,000 $0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002

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Holmes Corporation Background
HC helps associations grow their certification business by:
• Developing, marketing, and distributing and maintaining the certification preparation (educational) materials. • Helping individuals earn their designation. • Generating a significant, sustainable stream of non-dues revenue for the association.

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HC Association Clients

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Certification Needs and Market Assessment
IEEE retained HC to:
• Evaluate the newly emerging certification opportunities within IEEE. • Identify and prioritize the near-term opportunities for new certification designations. • Provide a road map for future success.

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IEEE Assessment Methodology
The assessment methodology includes:
• Reviewing IEEE strategic plan, pertinent demographic data, and recently completed relevant research. • Interviewing numerous staff and volunteer leaders regarding areas of future certification opportunities. • Aggregating macroeconomic data on industry/market size, growth potential, and geographic location.

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Assessment Methodology
This initial effort led to more focused view of:
• Emerging certification potential within the Communication Society (wireless cellular certification). • The Computer Society’s Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) program activities and results. The assessment continues, but we offer the following preliminary observations, findings, and recommendations.

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Observations to date…
• The IEEE brand is one of the most prominent, highly respected, global brands in the engineering field. • IEEE’s diverse societal membership structure represents an additional challenge for “uniform” certification success. • IEEE practitioner members provide access to certification buyers but are not necessarily candidates themselves.
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Specific Findings
• Finding #1: IEEE’s current certification efforts are more “content”-driven than market-driven. • Finding #2: IEEE’s certification efforts to date lack the requisite industry/corporate support for sustained success. • Finding #3: IEEE and the individual societies lack the infrastructure to sustain success. • Finding #4: Given IEEE’s brand equity and global reach, the first successful certification line of business could fund infrastructure capitalization and expansion.

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Recommendations
• Recommendation #1: Current and future certification opportunities should be anchored in corporate/industry need and commitment.
– Level One - Obtain industry champion(s). – Level Two - Gain “pre-purchase” commitment(s).

– Level Three - Involve the organization(s) in product and/or test development.

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Recommendations
• Recommendation #2: Leverage corporate commitment across marketplace competitors. • Recommendation #3: Leverage initial certification line of business success to fund infrastructure and serve as a replicable expansion model. • Recommendation #4: To move forward near-term, conduct laser-focused industry research to validate need and obtain corporate commitment for any and all designations.

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Additional Thoughts
The Computer Society
• • Before pursuing an entry-level certification, work with industry to clearly define corporate need and obtain commitment. Modify or reposition existing designation (or disband it) before launching a new designation. Obtain key corporate practitioners/sponsors to participate in further definition of certification and market need. Still unclear as to whether wireless is too broad. Unable to establish broad corporate need at this point.
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The Communications Society
•
• •

Final Thoughts…While There Is Clearly More Work to Do…
There is virtually unlimited potential for certification success within IEEE. Create and fine-tune the recipe for success; then expand into other areas. Other opportunities for further certification research include:
• • • • Computer/network security Power generation/energy industry Medical engineering Life sciences side of EE

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Discussion
• Questions? • Comments? • Additional thoughts? • Thank you, and the work continues…

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