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The Diversity of Credentialing Specialists

When I reflect on the ICE Exchange conferences I have attended over the years, there is always one standout memory that defines each event for me. From Portland in 2015, for example, the standing-room-only crowd at the briefing on the new NCCA Standards is quite memorable! From the 2016 conference in Colorado Springs, thinking back on the credentialing specialist certificate holders entering the darkened Annual Business Meeting, waving their flashlights as we all clapped to “Because I’m Happy,” makes me smile. 

As an ICE board member — and in keeping with musician Alan Price’s observation that “success has a thousand fathers, and failure is an orphan” — I feel a smidgen of pride about the credentialing specialist program. We all knew it was a good idea, but who could have imagined it would be such an unqualified success? ICE first offered the credentialing specialist certificate program in January of 2015, and already four cohorts totaling 288 enrollees have successfully completed it. Two of the certificate holders, I am delighted to add, are my BOC colleagues Wendy Miller, BOCO, LO, CDME, chief credentialing officer, and Michelle Yoon, credentialing manager. 

In Colorado Springs, I was immersed in everything that is enjoyable about being ICE chair. One especially amusing observation I made was that, as chair, I was welcome everywhere, even without an invitation. I enjoyed “crashing” the public member breakfast, so the next day I stopped by the credentialing specialists’ breakfast. As I slipped into the room, Executive Director Denise Roosendaal was inviting the attendees to introduce themselves. Hearing their backgrounds and reasons for pursuing the credentialing specialist certificate gave me a glimpse at the diversity of backgrounds in the group, as well as their unique reasons for pursuing the certificate. 

For example, Gayle Rosnick, certification director for ASIS International, commented, “The course was eye-opening for two reasons: It validated my knowledge of certification industry best practices and also taught me things I knew I needed to better understand, like psychometric terms and practices.” 

Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, PHRca, interim director, certification products at the HR Certification Institute, said, “Having spent the majority of my career as a subject matter expert in human resource management, the credentialing specialist certificate gave me the opportunity to demonstrate to myself and the world that I had transformed myself into a credentialing professional.” 

“I urge those in leadership positions within credentialing organizations to set an example for their staff by earning the certificate,” noted Jerry B. Reid, Ph.D., executive director at the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. “Although I originally trained and worked as a psychometrician, for the past 25 years I have served as executive director of a large certification organization with 85 staff members, 15 certification programs and 330,000 certificants. While psychometrics is an important component of credentialing, there’s a larger body of knowledge that the staff of a certification organization needs to master for their credentialing programs to be successful. I have had to obtain that knowledge the hard way through on-the-job experience. I’m a firm believer in the advantages of structured education, and when ICE introduced the certificate program for the credentialing specialist, I was intrigued and wondered if this might be a way to help my staff learn the credentialing-specific body of knowledge more effectively as well as to continue my own professional development. After looking over the descriptive materials, I signed up as a candidate. I’ve since encouraged ARRT staff to follow my lead in earning the credentialing specialist certificate.” 

It’s clear to me that those who pursue the credentialing specialist certificate come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have many different motivations for participating. What resonates for you? Personal and professional development? Showing others what you do and what you can do? Setting an example of a commitment to continuous learning? Whatever your reason for starting down this path, I invite you to investigate the next step. July 3 marks another opportunity to begin ICE’s certificate program for the credentialing specialist. Learn more here: http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/specialist

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