Who can benefit from skill certification?
Any organization that wants to ensure a consistent standard of performance for its employees, partners or contractors should consider implementing a skill certification process. For example, a custom cabinet manufacturer builds high-end kitchens and storage systems that are installed by licensed dealers in other regions. The quality of installation has a major impact on customer satisfaction, so making sure the cupboards are properly installed is critical to the manufacturer’s success.
How does the custom cabinet manufacturer set up a process to certify the skills of their dealers’ installers?
Here are 6 steps to set up a skill certification process:
- Conduct a competency analysis of the skills and knowledge the installer needs to set up the cupboards to meet the standards of the cabinet manufacturer.
- Set a performance standard for the performance of each skill required.
- Build a competency-based training program that provides knowledge and practice required for installers to meet the performance standard.
- Select the requirements for certification. For example, will there be a test of the knowledge required to perform each skill required? If so, what is the pass mark for the knowledge test? Will there be a performance test in which the trainee demonstrates the skills required to install the cabinetry?
- Develop the knowledge test.
- Decide who evaluates the skill component of the test. Provide training to the person who oversees the performance test.
You now have the elements of a certification process.
This process applies to any organization that wants to certify that its employees or partners possess the skills required to meet their needs.
The foundation of the certification process is the competency analysis or competency mapping as it is often called.
Interested in seeing a sample competency analysis that provided the foundation for skill certification? The Competency Group conducted competency analysis for underground miners, minerals processing miners and surface miners and developed certification tools for each occupation. These competency charts are available for download at the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MIHR) website http://www.miningcredentials.ca/en/occupationalstandards/nos.asp.