Who is the ideal candidate for certification? Ever since the ACMP (Association of Change Management Professionals) launched the Certified Change Management Professional CCMPTM (Certified Change Management ProfessionalMC ) certification program, I have been pondering this question.
Although the criteria may still evolve, the ACMP recently clarified elements of its certification process. Essentially, obtaining your CCMP can be achieved via a two-step process:
Conceptually I can see the benefit of certification. It will increase the profession’s credibility in the eyes of the organizations and employers who pay for change management services by ensuring all change management practitioners share the same best practices and standards and use a common vocabulary.
But is going through the trouble and cost of certification worth it for everyone? For instance, if I was new to the profession I would definitely see a CCMP certification as beneficial. Either it would provide me a competitive advantage over other practitioners having the same level of experience as me or, in the very least; it would provide prospective employers and/or clients a reassurance as to my qualifications.
The certification would allow me to put the letters CCMP at the end of my signature. Having obtained a CPA/CA professional designation way back in the 90’s… I can tell you that it gave me pride to be part of an exclusive “club” and it also gave me a bit more confidence in my abilities. But most importantly, it gave me credibility in the eyes of employers at a time when jobs were few and there was fierce competition in the market. At that time, having a professional designation was a prerequisite to getting any career advancement.
Now that I work in change management, I wonder what the CCMP certification can offer for seasoned practitioner like myself. I have been working in change management for over 17 years now and have many mandates and client references under my belt. So I ask “Will it really make a difference for me”? “Is it worth the trouble”? To be honest I am still pondering this question, and having asked around I don’t think I am alone. I would love to hear what your thoughts on the matter are.
But maybe most importantly, I wonder if certification is responding to a real need in the market or just the desire of change management practitioners. Will organizations and employers be willing to pay more for the services of a certified professional?
One thing is clear for me though. Regardless of whether or not I decide to get certified, I have already read the new Standard and can confirm that I will continue to apply it and that I see a value in knowing it and adopting a common language among change management professionals. I do believe that one day The Standard will become the benchmark against which the quality of our work will be judged and that, I believe is a great thing for our discipline!