How We Help You

Creating a new certification

The potential opportunities associated with creating a new certification are enticing. But before jumping in, you need to conduct a careful analysis of goals, costs, and complexities associated with developing and maintaining a program.
That’s where we come in!

Start with the Facts

Schedule our 60-minute briefing, “What Every Board and Staff Should Know About the Business of Certification,” to gain a deeper understanding of the processes and resources needed to launch and maintain a program and the factors known to increase program success.

Collect Insights and Data to Guide Decision Making

How feasible is it for our organization to offer a certification? What is our potential for success?
To help you answer these questions, we provide:

  • Market research to gauge stakeholder interest and identify potential challenges
  • Market Success Scorecard™
  • Competitive analysis
  • Program volume projections
  • Business case development

Design Your Credential

Many considerations go into the design of a credential – stakeholder needs and preferences, available financial and personnel resources, conformance to quality standards, and operations and governance. Juggling so many balls in the design process — without the benefit of prior experience in credential development — can be overwhelming. We’ll guide you along the best path for your organization.

Our “Design-a-Certification” Workshop will provide you with a blueprint for building out a credential customized for your stakeholders and organizational goals. With your credential design blueprint in hand, you’ll be ready to select a testing partner to assist you in developing the assessment process.

Map Your Business and Marketing Strategy

Organizations that assume, “if we build it, they will come,” often find themselves saddled with an underperforming certification program that drains resources. And even established, widely-recognized credentials typically capture only a small portion of the market. Given these challenges, business and marketing strategy needs to be top of mind – not an afterthought.

Together we’ll map a game plan for success which includes:

  • Your go-to-market strategy
  • A well-crafted, impactful value proposition
  • Points of differentiation from competitors
  • Opportunities for building and/or leveraging a certification ecosystem

Managing your portfolio of credentials

Noticed a problem (or two) with your portfolio?

Maybe you’ve discovered that having a single successful credential (even a spectacularly successful credential) is no guarantee that the next one you launch will match this triumph.  Or perhaps you’ve found that the resources needed to sustain some of your credentials exceeds their value to your organization and the market. 

You’re not the only one. This is a common phenomenon. 

Working together, we’ll analyze the performance of each credential and the portfolio as a whole on a variety of variables, such as revenue generated and strategic alignment. With a fresh perspective, you’ll be in a better position to make the right decisions and tough choices on strategy and resource allocation and to maximize the ROI of the portfolio.

Need to Discontinue a Credential? 

We know how easy it is to become over-extended with under-performing programs and legacy credentials. More than a few of our clients have found themselves in the same circumstances.  Read more about our time-tested process for sunsetting credentials in this ASAE article.

Revitalizing a faltering program

Have the volumes of your formerly successful certification program reached a plateau? Begun to decline? Even worse, has your program never lived up to expectations? These are the symptoms of an ailing credential and a sign that it’s time to diagnose the problem and identify a remedy. 

Make the Right Diagnosis

Before you can begin “fixing” a program, you need to understand the factors contributing to the problem. But often, internal politics and hidden agendas get in the way of an accurate diagnosis.

We will:

  • Conduct market research on stakeholders’ perceptions of your program and its value
  • Analyze changes and trends in the larger environment and how they may be impacting your program
  • Evaluate the design of the credentialing process for unnecessary obstacles and lack of alignment with market demographics, needs and preferences  

Identify the Remedy

We don’t just tell you what the real problem is. We also work with you on what to do next with your program. The most common options are to:

  • Resuscitate the program
  • Place the program on “life support” 
  • Sunset the program

Yes, these decisions can get emotional. From the volunteers who started the credential to the current credential holders and staff. But we can help you navigate swiftly through this process and move forward with confidence. 

Make the Change

Whichever remedy is selected, we’ll work with you to create a high-level action plan for the implementation process, and we’ll be there to provide guidance as you complete the plan.

Need Some Preliminary Answers Fast? Our Certification Vital Signs™ Assessment fits the bill.

We’ll evaluate your program against 10+ vital signs – proprietary success indicators derived from our work with more than 200 certifiers. The vital signs cover five dimensions:  Brand & Marketing, Customer Focus, Value Equation, Competitive Position, and Certification Requirements. This practical assessment is the perfect starting point for strategic decision making or identifying areas of focus for subsequent in-depth research. And it’s delivered to your desk in just 2 weeks! 

Launching a micro-credential

Don’t let the name fool you

These “tiny” credentials pack a powerful punch. Their flexible design and narrow focus make them ideal solutions for meeting both workers’ and employers’ need to verify learning and skill development which takes place continuously throughout the career journey. In credentialing, bigger is NOT always better.  

Why you should be thinking about micro-credentials

Micro-credentials appeal to people in all stages of their professional development, including those who are:

  • preparing to enter the workforce
  • progressing through their career journey
  • changing career paths 

Yup, basically everyone can benefit from a micro-credential.

Why Knapp is THE go-to choice for micro-credential design

We have the longest history of prototyping and designing micro-credentials in the certification community. We’ll make sure you avoid pitfalls and missteps in the design and introduction of your first micro-credential and work with you to build out a micro-credential framework that integrates with your credential portfolio.

Future proofing your credentials

No one wants to think about major disruptions, like a global pandemic, but they do happen. One day you’re operating normally, the next you’re putting out fires and cutting expenses as quickly as possible. But what if you could future proof your program? We can help!

Trend Briefing

Our 90-min, virtual trend briefing gets you up to speed quickly on the trends impacting the credentialing industry. The briefing is customized for your industry and profession.  

Future of Certification Workshop

Ready to roll up your sleeves and develop future-proofing strategies? We’ll facilitate a workshop with your team and board to engage in an in-depth exploration of implications of the trends for your organization and identify strategies needed to maintain your credential’s relevance and success in the future.

Visioning the Future of the Profession

Planning for the future of your credential requires that you first have a clear perspective on the possible futures for the profession. How will (or should) the role, scope, and value of the profession evolve in the next 10-15 years? How might professionals’ own perceptions of and connection with the field change? 

We facilitate Future Foresight work sessions to explore a range of plausible futures for the profession and the challenges and opportunities they may present for your programs. 

We also use a variety of research methodologies to gather insights and quantitative validation from stakeholders.

Knapp on Demand consulting

Want to brainstorm with a creative credentialing colleague? Tap into the insights of an objective expert who’s seen the successes, failures and lessons learned of hundreds of credentialing programs?  Get real-time advice on a challenge you’re facing? 

Our Knapp on Demand service was designed for just this purpose — and any other consulting need that doesn’t fit neatly into the box of a formal scope of work. Use it for: 

  • A one-time consultation
  • Periodic, as needed consultation, on your certification business
  • Ongoing insights and guidance during a program design/redesign or implementation of a new business or marketing strategy 

Whatever your needs, you can count on timely, priority access to our expertise with Knapp on Demand.