Re: certification

Subject: Re: certification
From: Denise Fritch <dfritch -at- INTELLICORP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 17:10:01 -0800

After reading the various threads dealing with certification of technical
writers, I may as well add my two cents. I'm against certification for
several reasons. Here are a couple examples of what has happened in other

In California, you can have a Ph.D. in accounting, yet unless you have taken
and passed the CPA examination you cannot associate the words "accounting"
or "accountant" with your name. To do so is a violation of the law. Just a
bit extreme isn't it?

In the trades industry, there are apprenticeship programs with various
levels of expertise. Besides limiting the number of "masters" (or whatever
name they may use for senior levels), the program says little more than that
a person has been in the program for a certain amount of time and met
whatever requirements had been deemed appropriate by their union. It
certainly doesn't ensure that the person you hire will do an excellent job
on your project.

In the past decade and a half I've hired a couple of writers directly from
college. I've also hired and worked with interns from a local university's
tech writing program. There have been times I've even had to fight
development department management to hire those people. Yet experience and
mentoring has helped nurture each of those young writers. A "requirement"
for "certification" from some outside group (to which I might not even
belong, let along agree with their views) will not change who I would hire
in the future.


Denise L. Fritch

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