Certification has multiple meanings that are worthy of consideration by those engaged in direct hire recruiting or temporary services work. First, it is a process through which an organization---the National Association of Personnel Services---grants recognition to individuals that meet certain peer-established criteria. Those criteria indicate that the certified individual has mastered a body of knowledge or set of skills determined to be important or essential to the practice of their profession.
In the NAPS case, the body of knowledge represents the employment laws of the nation and how they relate to the day to day functioning of the staffing professional. Mastery of that body of knowledge is determined by passing a certification examination.
The Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and Certified Temporary Staffing-Specialist (CTS) training manuals are currently receiving a thorough “scrubbing” by NAPS legal counsel Marc Freedman to reflect new and amended laws and additional considerations about how those laws are interpreted and applied. NAPS intends to inform the membership and CPC/CTS holders of the 2014 revisions via a live webinar and through publication once the work has been completed this spring. Watch www.recruitinglife.comfor information about the webinar.
Most professional organizations add two additional elements to their certification requirements. First, they grant a certificate to a professional with the understanding that she or he will function in their professional work in accordance with organizationally established standards of ethical conduct. Second, they ask that certificate holders show evidence of continued education that relates to the practice of their profession. NAPS program rules address both of these standards.
Certification is voluntary, unlike licensure which is mandated by a state to practice in certain roles and often required as an employment standard. As a voluntary standard, certification is viewed at that “extra step” taken in ones’ personal professional development, a signal to their peers, as well as the candidates and clients they serve, that they strive to be the very best at their profession. Certification, however, can also be a standard that staffing firms require for their direct hire and temporary staffing service consultants.
No discussion of the definition of certification would be complete without an examination of why individuals seek certification and why staffing firms would want to function with a full complement of individuals who are certified. Those reasons include:
- Credibility - A cadre of certified staffing professionals sends a “standard” signal to clients. Referring them to the National Registry of Certified Staffing Industry Professionals (www.nrcsip.com), a NAPS sponsored website, will permit them to define for themselves what certification means and what staffing professionals must do to earn certification.
- Career change protection and marketability – As staffing professionals grow and experience personal career development, having certification on their resume can lead to new and expanded opportunities. One never knows when the letters, CPC, CTS, PRC or CERS behind their name will add to their marketability.
- Personal development and success – Certification has its “ego” rewards, measures that are 100% personal. Earning the NAPS credential offers a gratification that can boost confidence and create a professional “swagger” of sorts. Over the history of the NAPS certification program, studies have indicated that certified staffing professionals have earned more and been more successful than their peers.
In any competitive economic environment, any and every measure that results in the distinction of having earned a greater professional identity, as determined by a professional organization, can be both a tangible and intangible benefit. Professional certification can tilt the career and business scales in your favor!
For information about how to register for the NAPS certification program, visit www.recruitinglife.com or contact Carolyn Boyer at NAPS headquarters. Carolyn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706/531-0060.