Dental ProfessionalsAccreditation & FellowshipAccreditationOpen AccreditationPractice Management Article Supporting Open Accreditation

Practice Management Article Supporting Open Accreditation
Excerpts from Cox J. B., Professional Practices in Association Management, ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership. Pages 438 and 443.

“6. The credential should be limited to members only. While most credentialing efforts are developed to meet the need of the members, the most effective ones are not tied to any membership criteria for participation. The credibility of the credentialing effort is enhanced if it is viewed as a membership service.
Of course, members should be encouraged to participate in their association’s credentialing program, and it is appropriate to offer discounted fees to members when an association is the primary sponsor of the effort-but no national certification program should limit participation to its members exclusively. Competency, quality, and acceptable performance have nothing to do with the payment of dues to an association or professional society.

7. Credentialing will increase demand for other association services. Certification and accreditation programs have the potential to boost interest in other services such as education and training, but they should not be developed for that purpose. A credible national credential should accommodate multiple concepts of quality, competency, and performance. This usually means that the parent association’s educational resources are only one of many avenues available for achieving and maintaining competency or a level of performance in a particular field of discipline.

Associations cannot assume that competence can only be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of their particular course or educational program. You can build a certification or accreditation program around one association’s or educational organization’s model, but the reputation of the credential will never transcend this limited foundation.

National Commission for Certifying Agencies, NCCA Guidelines for Certification Approval, Washington, D.C., 1991.
Pare, Michael A, ed. Certification and Accreditation Programs Directory, Gale Research, Inc., Detroit, Michigan, 1995.
Professional Examination Service, Guidelines for the Development, Use and Evaluation of Licensure and Certification Programs, New York, 1996.

About the Author
Michael S. Hamm, CMC is the principal of Michael Hamm & Associates, a Rockville, Maryland-based consulting organization specializing in meeting the unique planning and operational needs of certification and accreditation organizations. Hamm has more than 20 years of experience in association management.”