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How the Pandemic Changed Certification Programs

Its impact provides lessons for the future of certifications

The onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic was a moment of truth for issuers of professional certifications. For the first time, they faced the challenge of an abrupt and extended disruption in their ability to fulfill their core function: evaluating and confirming occupational and professional competencies.

While the pandemic revealed blind spots in certification program management and operations, it also highlighted certifiers’ strengths and sparked insights and changes that will better position them for the future. These are five lessons association certifiers learned during the pandemic that they can apply as they move forward in 2022 and beyond.

The Certification Program Supply Chain Deserves More Attention

Arguably, the biggest “aha” for certifiers was that a certification program has a supply chain. “Pandemic-related closures and travel restrictions impacted how various functions, such as exam construction, delivery, and proctoring were performed,” said William Ellis, MS, RPH, executive director of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). “We have been made more aware of core business activities and the need to at least consider a Plan B to accomplish these.” Certifiers are now taking steps to actively manage their supply chains and mitigate associated risk. For example, many plan to continue to offer live, remotely proctored, online exams in addition to administering exams at testing sites.

Please select this link to read the complete article from ASAE's Center for Association Leadership.

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