Today’s certifying organizations are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one end they have their certification standards, the “thou shalls”, that applicants must meet to obtain the certification. Some might say these standards are carved in stone and are meant to be enforced with the utmost of rigidity. On the other end they have the wide world of technology and the need to find the right blend of software to manage the process of certification for the applicants. Some might say keeping up and staying on top of technology is harder than passing the certification exam.
The challenge is to bridge the gap between the certification standards and the certification software needed to implement them. Reducing the gap is less about understanding technology and more about understanding the elements or behaviors that make up a well-designed certification management system. A broad definition of a certification management system is one that integrates an understanding of certification standards, customer service goals, and operational needs along with the appropriate technology, data collection, documentation, and standard operating procedures.
This paper describes 5 key elements to look for when evaluating a certification management system: flexible configuration, exception paths, structured workflow, automated accuracy, and real-time views.