By Johnna Gueorguieva, Ph.D., CAE, ICE Chair
At the 2018 ICE Exchange Awards Breakfast, four of our colleagues (bravely) shared their path to and through credentialing. I was intrigued by the presentations and it made me ponder my own winding path to where I am now.
I found my way to credentialing by chance 18 years ago. I was working as an executive assistant at Accenture when I was contacted by a friend. She wanted me to be her manager of psychometrics for a national certification program. I said, “Sure!” Then I quickly Googled “psychometrics” to find out what I had just agreed to do. I had no idea that this friend had changed my whole life.
My passion for credentialing had been ignited, but I didn’t realize that until I left the field for two (long) years to work in K-12 testing. I was fortunate that shortly after deciding to go back to credentialing, my classmate Liz Koch was looking for a director of testing for the Dental Assisting National Board. I gratefully accepted her offer nearly 13 years ago and now serve as their Chief Credentialing and Research Officer overseeing exam development and psychometrics, government relations, intellectual property, and research.
My co-workers, classmates and colleagues have all embarked on a different pathway to credentialing. What unites us, however, is that we all made it here by happenstance and, regardless of our backgrounds, paths or goals, we all have found a passion for what we do.
What really strikes me is that none of us grew up with the dream of working in credentialing. It’s not a field anyone knows exists until they happen upon it – or someone grabs you by the hand and pulls you in.
Now that we’re here, what’s next? It’s no longer enough to be an expert in just your area anymore. Whether you’re in customer service, marketing, government relations or exam development, you have a responsibility to understand credentialing at its foundation. Your value to your organization, candidates and certificants lies in your understanding of the credentialing field. And guess what? ICE can help you gain that knowledge.
One of the greatest values of my ICE membership is having access to amazing resources that allow me to learn about those other areas, developed by leading experts in our field. Credentialing is a field that invites you in and doesn’t discriminate. No matter your role or educational background, the ICE Academy has a white paper, webinar or in-person workshop to help expand your knowledge and build your expertise. You can become that colleague who is known as the go-to person with all the answers!
My favorite of all ICE resources is the annual ICE Exchange. There is no better place to dig into a topic and learn more, find out what’s happening in our field right now, and to meet with colleagues and make new friends. You may be like me – a lifelong learner. I’m always eager to expand my knowledge and be a resource for my colleagues.
I invite you to ponder your journey and to discover new resources through the ICE Academy. And I especially hope to meet you in person at the 2019 ICE Exchange in San Diego!