Have you ever encountered a work-related software that you don’t understand? Or even a workflow tool that you can’t get a good grasp of? The same goes for many professionals in different fields, which is why associations are now creating certification programs.
A certification program is a learning-purposed program and provides an individual with a chance to earn a designation. Whether you want to become a Certified Network Associate or Scrum Master, there is a certification for anything.
Today, employees receive an average of 33.5 hours of training from their employers, according to a report from the Association of Talent Development (ATD). The average employee doesn’t have the appropriate knowledge base to service their clients in their industry.
Here are some reasons why creating a certification program can enhance your association:
Become a Go-To Governing Body
There is always a reason to teach. Associations are creating certification programs to help members fill a learning gap in their careers.
Any accredited certification program requires an examination upon completion. Afterward, attendees need annual continuing education units to keep the certification. This requires members to come back annually for CEU’s and allows you to be the governing body for the certification.
As your association scales and creates new learning paths, there will be a desire for professionals to advance their careers. Keep them coming back and keep your presence as a governing body alive and well.
Add a Revenue Stream
A certification program can also add a new revenue stream by offering education that isn’t available anywhere else. The bigger the demand from a target audience, the larger the revenue potential.
Professionals benefit from earning income after acquiring a certification, while associations create an additional revenue stream. As you grow your member base, these streams will continue to become a bigger part of your association’s bottom line.
94% of companies now pay for their employees’ professional certifications (Source: Robert Half Finance & Accounting). In turn, there is plenty of reason to consider a certification program as a reliable income source for years to come.
Associations with strong certification programs are both accredited and recognized.
A certification program increases an association’s legitimacy. It also makes them more credible to prospective members. Additionally, any association producing licensed employees is often given better accreditation.
With 95% of companies providing full or partial support for employees to maintain their credentials (Source: Robert Half Finance & Accounting), associations are now finding a niche that can satisfy members. The members’ desire to stay on top of certifications will empower them to become thought leaders in their industry.
Let your association become a beehive of leading minds.
Innovation requires change within an industry, meaning it is up to associations to lead that change. When members see your new education and apply it within their fields, other professionals will want to follow suit.
The continuing education provided to members allows them to blossom into industry leaders. They will guide others to your association and drive traffic to your website as well.
A great example of this comes from the NCCDP (National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners), which began offering programs when they saw a need for further education. Today, they are leaders in the industry, with new members joining on a regular basis.
What can a certification program do for your association? Above all else, it can help grow your network.
The more professionals you reach, the more likely they are to sign-up/renew their memberships with your organization. Becoming certified can lead to a salary increase upon the completion of the program. These professionals will remain loyal to your association as a result.
Let this be a motivation technique for your association. Sharpen the skills of members and hone in on the knowledge needed within your industry. Not only will this allow growth for professionals, but your association’s network will grow as well.
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