Thinking back over the years, I have had many organizations ask me why IACET is important and what is the value of accreditation. I typically respond by listing both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Attaining IACET accreditation can help you reach new markets and attract students to your classes. Intrinsically, an organization can feel proud of achieving the highest standard in continuing education and training. While those rewards are valuable, it is also clear that there are just practical reasons for adhering to the ANSI/IACET Standard and becoming an Accredited Provider.
To illustrate this practical application, I want to share a recent experience with a training organization---well, two actually. One is an IACET AP and the other is not. The group that is an IACET AP also offers certification programs and requires CEUs to maintain and renew their certification. There is a student who is petitioning to have CEUs applied towards their certification renewal—CEUs that they earned from taking a class from a continuing education provider who is not an IACET AP.
The petition form asks for the student to provide information about the class they took: instructor credentials, learning outcomes, total time spent on instruction, course description, outline, and the assessment method. Also required is a record, transcript, or certificate of completion verifying that all class requirements were completed.
The student is unable to obtain any of this information from the continuing education provider. They called and emailed and no one was able to help. I didn’t believe that possible, so I called myself. Sure enough I received the same response---“That information is not available.”
From a practical perspective this makes absolutely no sense. I question why a student would take a class and spend their money and time without reviewing this information. I don’t understand how an organization designs, develops, delivers, and evaluates their educational offerings without applying a basic instructional design process. It not only seems like “bad education,” but also “bad business.” We now have a very frustrated student who cannot get credit for the time they spent. The certifying organization has wasted man hours trying to review this petition and respond to the frustrated student. No one wins here.
So, in addition to all of the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards enjoyed from adhering to the ANSI/IACET Standard, I’d like to add one more: IT JUST MAKES SENSE!
Amy Hyams, Ed.D.