What Does Certification Mean To You?

We've had some discussion recently in our organization on what certification means, represents and how to promote and encourage more executives in our state to get some letters behind their name.

As an industry professional who currently has three separate credentials hanging out after my name and about to add a Masters of Science there, I am obviously a proponent of those letters.  But why?

Is it the actual letters?  It was noted recently I have more letters behind my name than are actually IN my name. But no, for me it is not about the letters. And it never has been. I use them to for credibility purposes - which I'll get to later.

Certification, for me, is about the process you go through in order to GET those letters. It's about the professional development you have to have, which forces you to attend conferences and training and in turn puts you in contact with amazing speakers and even more amazing peers from all over the place.

It is about learning - gathering new information, new ideas to help your organization move forward. It is also about finding out things that you should have been doing that you didn't know about and now you need to get fixed. And it can be confirmation that you've been doing the right thing.

Finally, it's about credibility. It is recognizing that you are in a career, that you are a professional.  It's letting your board know that you know what you are doing. And for me, the credibility is what it's about. With the consultation work that I do, the certifications show I'm an expert in chamber and organizational management.

So what does certification mean to you?


by Ali Crain, CCE, IOM, ACE

KCCE Executive Director