By Linda Anguish, ICE Director of Accreditation Services
Most ICE members are aware of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the ICE component that accredits certification programs. After all, NCCA was the original accrediting body for certification programs, originating more than 40 years ago, and preceded the membership organization. (See more here for ICE’s history). The NCCA currently accredits over 300 individual programs across many industries — but did you know that ICE also accredits certificate programs to its ICE 1100 Standard for Assessment-Based Certificate Programs?
The ICE 1100 Standard is much younger, having existed only since 2009, and has a smaller but growing portfolio of programs that have been accredited, beginning in 2013. Another interesting fact about ICE 1100 is that it was developed and designated as an American National Standard (ANS). Therefore, any changes to the Standard must comply with both the ICE Standards Development Policy and the ANSI Essential Requirements for an ANS.
In December 2017, ICE publicly announced its intention to revise the ICE 1100 Standard. As required of an ANS, ICE announced this project by publishing its intention on both the ICE website and in the ANSI publication, Standards Action. Notification via email was also sent to all individuals in the ICE database, both members and non-members, inviting them to learn more about the process. Transparency and public involvement are welcomed and encouraged throughout the review and revision process.
Michelle Nolin, CPLP, was appointed by the Chair of the ICE Board to serve as Chair of the Main Committee, responsible for overseeing the revision process. “Interest in the Standard update has been tremendous. We were so pleased to have more than 70 individuals register for a webinar we held in April to explain the process,” she says, noting that out of that group, 36 submitted applications to participate. Applications were reviewed for qualifications and interest category, based on the applicant’s interest in the Standard.
The next step was to assign volunteers to various tasks. The Standard was divided into three functional areas to facilitate the review process through working groups called Task Assignment Groups (TAGs), with a leader assigned to each, as follows:
- Administrative TAG, led by James Stobinski, PhD
- Education TAG, led by Carla Caro, MA
- Assessment TAG, led by Sarah Carroll, PhD
“More than 30 people joined a TAG. The groups collaborated and worked very hard, over a period of two months, to carefully review and make recommendations for revisions to the existing Standard,” Nolin continued. “We are very appreciative of their dedication and hard work during this intense period. Each group approached the process in their own unique way, but themes emerged across the three functional areas, and resulted in recommendations to streamline and bring clarity to the Standard.”
The recommendations of the TAGs were then shared with the Main Committee for further review and discussion. The Main Committee serves as the consensus body for adoption of any changes to ICE 1100. There are 18 voting members representing three distinct interest categories on the Main Committee (Producers, Users and General Interest), with no one being dominant. “This structure is very important to achieve openness, balance, and lack of dominance” notes Linda Anguish, director of Accreditation Services at ICE. ICE serves as Secretariat for the Main Committee.
The next steps in the process include public review and comment. The draft revised Standard was published on the ICE website and in Standards Action on October 12th, 2018. For a 45-day period, anyone with a direct and material interest in the revised Standard may submit comments that will be considered by the Main Committee at the conclusion of the period. ICE has planned a number of opportunities to learn more about the recommended changes, including a webinar and a concurrent session at the ICE Exchange in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Nov. 9, entitled “Update on the Update: Report on the 1100 Standard Revision.”
“The whole idea behind the Standards revision process is to gain a wide variety of perspectives through a procedure that affords due process to interested parties,” said Nolin. “We invite members of the community to participate in the public review and comment period to contribute to the improved ICE 1100 Standard. All comments will be considered by the Main Committee and responded to, and may result in additional changes.”
Visit the ICE 1100 Standard Update page to see the draft revised Standard and comment form, and watch for more updates as the process continues.