As you’ve heard by now, at the STC Summit on April 30 the Board of Directors approved a business plan to begin a certification program for technical communicators. While this was the culmination of my three years as chairman of the Certification Task Force, it also represented the completion of a task that was first discussed at the Annual Conference in 1964 and first taken up by STC committees in 1975. A lot of people worked for a very long time on this!
These are the major elements of the program:
- The program is aimed at the widest possible range of practitioners, covering six areas of practice that cross disciplines and subjects where technical communicators provide unique value
- The program is aimed at experienced practitioners, not just STC members (but not new graduates)
- For the time being, the assessment is performance based, not examination based (no tests!)
- Once granted, certification is good for three years (if you want to stay certified, you need to recertify)
- Assessment is carried out in the manner of the publications competition and Fellows vetting process
- We hope to start accepting applications beginning at the 2011 Summit
I am the chairman of the Certification Committee, a Board-level successor to the Certification Task Force. I will post more about the details and remaining issues, and I hope you will comment and ask questions, because as yet nothing is completely nailed down. The small matter of implementation is not so small! But we are no longer blazing a trail and choosing paths; we are following others down a path we have selected. I know we can get there!