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Our approach has been seminal to the certification industry. In fact, we wrote the book. Really. It's called The Business of Certification: A Comprehensive Guide to Developing a Successful Program. You can read more about it – and other pioneering things we've authored – below.

The Business of Certification: A Comprehensive Guide to Developing a Successful Program
Our best-selling book, identified by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as one of "Six Books You and Your Association Need," takes you step-by-step through the process of conducting market research and competitive analyses and developing business, strategic, and marketing plans for a certification program. The main points of each chapter are illustrated with lessons learned from association executives who have designed new certification programs and re-engineered existing ones. The book is accompanied by a supplementary toolkit of 21 easy-to-use worksheets. Available through ASAE.

Certification Appeal: Consider All the Angles Before Developing A Certification Program
This highly regarded Association Management magazine cover story highlights key issues that should be uppermost on the minds of board members and senior staff when contemplating the development of a certification program. Discover how to evaluate whether a certification program is the best way to accomplish your goals and find out what it will take to get started. Download PDF file

Certificate or Certification? That is the Question
Why do the distinctions between certificate and certification programs matter? Create the wrong type of program and you will wind up wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars and people resources on a program that fails to deliver. Develop the right type of program, and you can effectively satisfy stakeholder needs and accomplish desired business outcomes. This article, published in the American Society for Training & Development's T+D magazine, outlines key distinctions and includes tips to help you decide which type of program will best meet your needs. Download PDF file

Can We Talk: Five Strategic Conversations You Need to Have About Your Certification Program
Talk may be cheap. But when it comes to making strategic decisions, many certifiers fail to do enough talking. Or at least they don't do enough of the right kind of talking. Published in Associations Now, this article outlines five strategic conversations that virtually all certification program sponsors will (or should) have at some point in the life cycle of their programs. Included are the signs that it's time to talk and the questions to ask to get the most out of the discussion. Download PDF file

2007 Knapp Certification Industry Scan
This report contains invaluable benchmarking data gathered from 125 certifiers on such wide-ranging topics as policies and procedures, examination development, certification/recertification volumes, financial performance, marketing, and future trends. The scan is the most comprehensive research study to date on the certification industry. Download PDF file

Future Trends in Certification
Understanding current and emerging trends is the key to identifying the challenges and opportunities that certifiers will face in the future. This chapter, published in the seminal industry reference, Certification: The ICE Handbook, outlines trends expected to affect certifiers and explains the implications of these trends for certifiers' markets and operations. This publication can serve as a foundation for strategic discussions between staff and leadership and includes a series of questions to get the conversation started. The chapter can be purchased from the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

Succeeding in the Business of Certification 
A succinct guide which outlines the four key steps contributing to the success of any certification program. Tips for avoiding pitfalls in the business of certification are also provided. The experiences of existing certification programs and current best practices are used throughout the publication to illustrate the concepts discussed. This white paper is available from the publisher, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

The Business of Certification: A Three-Part Series Covering the Life Cycle of a Program
This informative series, published by ASAE, explores how to build and maintain a successful
program and salvage a faltering one. It received a 5-star rating from readers.

Part 1: Getting Started in the Business of Certification
As you prepare to launch a professional certification program, you will be bombarded with technical terms such as "psychometric soundness," "legal defensibility," and "modified Angoff method." But dealing with the technical aspects of certification is actually the easy part. There are industry standards and accepted procedures and processes you can rely on for guidance. Succeeding in the business of certification is the real challenge. This article has ideas to help you increase your odds of success. Download PDF file

Part 2: Staying Successful in the Business of Certification
Your certification program may be up and running, but you can't expect it to sustain itself. In Part 2 we discuss the common challenges established programs face and smart strategies to overcome them. Download PDF file

Part 3: When the Business of Certification Falters
Is your certification program running out of steam or beginning to decline? If so, you have two choices: resuscitation or euthanasia. Follow the steps we outline to diagnose the problem and then decide whether to transform the program or pull the plug. Download PDF file

Four Financial Facts About Professional Certification Programs
"If I'd only known then, what I know now" is a sentiment often expressed by staff after launching a professional certification program. This ASAE newsletter article highlights financial facts you should be aware of when considering whether certification is right for your organization. Learn what the development and maintenance costs are and how to pay for them, what your chances are of generating a net revenue, and how to set fees. Download PDF file

Recertification and Continuing Competency
What factors should you consider when developing or revamping a recertification process? What is best practice in the field? What challenges do certifiers typically face in promoting continuing competence? Our chapter in the seminal industry reference, Certification: The ICE Handbook, answers all these questions and also provides valuable benchmarking data on recertification practices. The chapter can be purchased from the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

Customer Engagement: The (Often) Missing Ingredient in Certifiers’ Success
“Engagement” is your customers’ ongoing connection to your organization’s brand, staff, and certification. Why does this matter? Research across industry verticals has shown that engaged customers: buy more, have higher retention rates, have greater trust in the brand, are more loyal and are more likely to recommend or advocate for the brand or product. In this ICE Digest article, we provide the “secret sauce” for engagement.  Download PDF file

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