Select Only Certifications Developed by Experts

By Rex Black  |  Posted 2010-08-28 Print this article Print

Select Only Certifications Developed by Experts

Selecting a certification developed by a broad team of recognized, published industry experts is important because, in general, such certifications enjoy increased acceptance over certifications developed by a small clique of like-minded people. People in the industry will recognize the names of the authors and developers of the syllabus. To some extent, the credibility, and thus the value, of all certifications rests upon the reputation and credibility of the people who stand behind those certifications.

I also mentioned that the team of experts should be international because so often now we are engaged in globally distributed work. If you are not working in a globally distributed fashion today, you probably will be soon. So you need certifications that have a global reach. If you want to hire (or be part of) a global team of certified professionals, a single common certification is key. This way, the whole team speaks the same language and knows the same concepts.

Of course, if you plan to hire people who hold a certification because you believe the syllabus has value, you want to be confident that those people have indeed mastered the topics in the syllabus. This brings us to the matter of certification exams.

Certification exams are a complicated issue, and some ill-informed polemics about exams occur on a few Internet Websites. Proper creation of exams is the province of a profession called psychometrics. Psychometrics applies the fields of psychology, education and statistics to the process of qualifying people through exams. Any legitimate certification body (that is, the organization developing and administering an exam against a syllabus) will employ professional psychometricians to ensure proper exams.

Rex Black is President of RBCS. Rex is also the immediate past president of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board and the American Software Testing Qualifications Board. Rex has published six books, which have sold over 50,000 copies, including Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Hebrew and Russian editions. Rex has written over thirty articles, presented hundreds of papers, workshops and seminars, and given over fifty speeches at conferences and events around the world. Rex may be reached at

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