Decision Points for Certification
Mulkey and Naughton (2005) present three key decision points businesses should identify and address when considering launching a certification program. The points they present are (a) the purpose or business driver behind certification; (b) the problem that will be addressed; and(c) the bottom-line contribution, if any, that certification will provide. In short, the question of why launch a certification program must be considered. They feel these decision points are core considerations and must be tackled before moving forward with a certification and assessment program.
In their research, Barksdale and Lund (1998) have similar findings in that a key decision point is the elucidation of the business goals for certification. According to their research, organizations with unclear business goals, and who have not clearly defined their target audience, have certification programs that frequently fail.
They expand on these findings with a list of key elements used when evaluating a certification program's success. These elements consist of obtaining clarity about(a) business drivers, (b) business needs, and (c) business values.
Tracey Flynn in her GoCertify interview ("Interview: Tracey Flynn" n.d.) argues that the biggest mistake an organization can make when planning a certification program is to underestimate the amount of senior management support needed for success. According to Flynn, because of the resource demands required for success, members of management must be engaged in the process and agree on all steps involved, including the assessment development processes.