certification

Customer Education – The new era of knowledge validation

With changes in educational paths and the workforce, it's never been more important to have valid, fair methods of verifying skills and qualifications.

Throughout my career, I have always been involved in learning and assessment from some perspective, whether it was instructor-led training, e-learning, LMS, or assessment and certification. My first foray goes back a long time to the days when technical training was Novell NetWare 3.x and when a Word Intro course (this was pre-Windows) was two days long….well, three days with wine for lunch in France.  

This background has all been really useful in providing context to my work over the last six months, which has been working closely with customer education teams. I must confess, prior to this time I would have used the term customer training, but I have realised that customer education encompasses so much more.   

The thing that I am most interested in now, though, is the final part of the customer education journey: knowledge validation, or certification. Even in the days of NetWare, the value to someone being trained in the classroom on a five-day course was to, of course, learn new things, but pretty much everyone who attended a course would go for certification. The network engineers realised that it was necessary and —even more importantly—lucrative to validate their knowledge. From the perspective of those paying for training for staff, if you were investing money in people, you wanted them to demonstrate a return on that investment by proving their competency.  

Certification is important, but it has to be of high quality to be meaningful. To this end, the exams need to be fair, valid, and reliable. That is to say, they must be psychometrically rigorous and measure the things that need to be measured—accurately—so that the test performs consistently and no group is being disadvantaged. Adding some questions at the end of a training course is not high-quality certification.  

So this brings me to my point: A lot of the customer education programs that I see do not have psychometrically valid exams associated with them. There are many reasons for this, and this is not a criticism as we all must work within the constraints of our organisations. It could be that those responsible don’t know how to create exams, they don’t have the resources (whether people or time) to do it, or they do not have the funds to be able to do it.   

At Certiverse we have been aiming to solve these challenges, and our growing portfolio of customers is evidence that we are able to do so. By using natural language processing (NLP) and workflow automation, it is easy to go through the entire test development process from job task analysis, survey, blueprint, and test development to test delivery on our SaaS platform. The NLP and workflows make it quick and easy to develop content. 

Perhaps most importantly, we have all the program management and psychometric expertise to guide and help you through the process, most of it built directly into the system. This means you don’t need any experts, apart from the ones who know your product, to create psychometrically valid exams. It also means you can create a range of exams at a fraction of the cost and be up and running quickly. 

There’s a world of opportunities available for professionals seeking to validate their knowledge, as well as organizations who require proven knowledge in their candidates and staff. With Certiverse, current, relevant, valid credentials are easily within reach for all.  

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