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By now, certification is common across a broad range of professions. Quality certification programs provide standards and guidelines for professional recognition. While certification is not a license to practice in our industry as is the case with health professionals, accountants and others, it does provide a multitude of benefits:
To the certified individual, certification shows commitment to the profession, provides personal satisfaction for technical achievement goals and professional recognition of competency. Certification is a portable credential - it goes where the individual goes (oftentimes, internationally), thus serving as an international passport of competence to the global job market. Certification serves as a mark of accomplishment and facilitates acceptance by industry and peers by providing a measure of status and credibility among peers. It provides employer recognition - for selection, bonuses, advancement and pay, in the case of skill-based pay programs. In certain cases, certification can compensate for lack of seniority.
Within companies that have adopted skill-based human resources management, salary incentives for certified professionals are provided and it is likely that compensation incentives will increase as more professionals become certified. Certification in our industry promotes the status of lubrication professionals within the workplace and society at-large.
To the company, certification helps employers evaluate potential new hires, resulting in better hiring decisions. It helps in analyzing job performance, selecting contractors, and motivating employees to enhance their skills and knowledge. It assists job recruiters and human resources departments to create measurable job skill programs improving workforce management. It increases confidence and as a result, proficiency and performance (know-how applied).
Certification promotes mentoring within the work environment (in-house expert) and a competitive advantage to companies when marketing services. In situations where competitive grants are awarded based on professional qualifications, certification could set some applicants apart. It is a benefit when testifying or serving as an expert witness and limits liability claims. Certification lowers personnel turnover, increases productivity and boosts profitability.
An Asset to Industry
To the industry at-large, certification helps advance professions and defines a career path where a degreed alternative does not exist. Certification bodies are often used to verify credentials. Certification is the public's assurance that an individual has met rigorous, often peer-developed and peer-reviewed standards endorsed by a professional certification body. In our industry specifically, it dignifies the professions of machinery lubrication and oil analysts.
A good certification program includes competence that is not only specialty-specific, but also focuses on core abilities (application-oriented) and establishes and validates a standard skill level for practitioners (benchmarking through preset body of knowledge). It utilizes skills and knowledge that have been independently examined through processes that meet internationally recognized standards for CM personnel certification (for example, ISO). A good certification program has stringent requirements, international recognition and encourages career-long enhancement of knowledge and skills.