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Meeting Recap: STC Certification
2010, Q3 (October 01, 2010)
Meeting Recap

Christina Eftekhar
Christina Eftekhar
By Christina Eftekhar, Carolina Chapter Member

The STC Certification meeting marked one of the most populated STC Carolina events, with 40 members from around the nation attending in person and via a webinar set up for the event.

The discussions surrounding certification are not new; in fact, it has taken since the 1964 annual conference in San Diego to finally reach this point. However, with questions still emanating throughout the technical communication community, Steven Jong, Chairman of the STC Certification Task Force aimed to clear things up. His presentation from the meeting, "Technical Communication Certification: 20 Questions Answered" can be viewed on the meeting details page.

Jong began by clearly defining certification, certificates, licensure, and accreditation, with certification resting at a higher level than a certificate and being much more difficult to achieve.

STC aims to pave the way for the technical communication field to be a recognized profession, which Jong explained is marked by: a unique body of knowledge; a code of ethics; and certification of qualified practitioners.

The STC Body of Knowledge (BoK), started in 2007, is designed to be inclusive and not specific for all types of technical communication. In a very "tweetable" moment, Jong said, "Without a body of knowledge, we are a trade. And without ethics we are used car salesmen."

Without a body of knowledge, we are a trade. Without ethics we are used car salesmen.
Jong used the rest of the meeting to explain the drivers and guiding principles behind certification, value, and requirements. He also listed the six types of certification being considered, which are:
  • User, task, and experience analysis
  • Information design
  • Process Management
  • Information development
  • Information production
  • Review coordination and reconciliation

Although Jong anticipated financial push back, he explained that the pricing structure is not yet defined, but there will likely be significant discounts for STC members.

STC certification is real, and it's coming.
The number of audience questions showed there is still much work to be done, and Jong readily agreed that the finer details will need to be worked out soon. However, admitting to being very ambitious, Jong said he hopes to have the certification "open for business" at the 2011 Summit.

He concluded with, "STC certification is real, and it's coming."

To participate in pilot projects happening now, email Steve at stevefjong at comcast dot net. To learn more about STC certification visit the STC notebook.

Christina can be reached at c dot s dot eftekhar at gmail dot com. End of article.

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