Certification programs benefit both individuals and organizations. They document a level of proficiency attained in a particular field of study. Whether the certificate recognizes academic, technological or vocational accomplishments, earning one can boost the market value of the person and the institution for which she works. Professional certifications also help organizations find qualified job candidates.
Evaluate the need. Consult with professionals in the field to determine what area of expertise will most benefit your organization and others.
Define the field of study in which certification will be given. Choose an area that is in demand and will be valued by employers and peers in the profession.
Determine what certification type you will use. Choose between certification and accreditation, or even higher levels of learning. You may want to offer skills-based training or a more traditional curriculum-based approach. If marketing this to the public, decide what type is most likely to attract the number of clients and amount of revenue you desire.
Establish a curriculum. Look for material that is already on the market. If you can't find what you need, call on your advisory team to help create curriculum original to your program.
Select the teaching system. Possible methods are online instruction, audio or video courses, correspondence courses, classroom instruction, group study, webinars, workshops or a hybrid of more than one.
Set standards. Determine whether participants should meet prerequisites to be accepted into the program. Establish what those entry requirements will be. On course completion, use an assessment to prove proficiency before moving on. The assessment may be a written or oral exam, a presentation or demonstration, or a written report.
Assign a monetary value. Charge a fee that conveys quality, yet is within an affordable range for individuals and employers. Consider offering group rates to increase enrollment.