There are so many intrinsic reasons that organizations have for obtaining and maintaining IACET Accreditation and their AP status. Many talk about “ensuring quality” and having validation that they have quality learning programs. Some indicate that the IACET Accreditation gives them recognition in their industry, or allows students to earn CEUs. But, and I think we can all admit it, the truth is---that for most of us, there is a more extrinsic motivation for earning and maintaining IACET Accreditation---we want to increase market share! We want a competitive advantage. We want to attract more students. We have a financial motive! Even if our training is exclusively “internal,” we still want to know that we are using our resources effectively and efficiently and we want to maximize the value of the time and money we spend on training. We want to justify the training department’s existence and expenditures to our boss, our Board, our CEO.
So what can we do to ensure that we realize and enjoy both the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of IACET Accreditation? The answer is truly in how we market our AP status. If we don’t create awareness and value for the IACET accreditation internally and externally, we will never realize a return on our investment.
So, how do we market our IACET accreditation? Of course there are the basic Marketing 101 strategies: using the IACET logo on your website, flyers, and brochures; purchasing banner ads on the IACET website, and typical promotional activities such as press releases and advertisements. But I believe and will argue that we can all get more creative and proactive than that!
We can take a “bottom-up” approach by teaching our students and prospective students how to be “savvy consumers” of continuing education. We can educate our support and instructional staff of the value of the IACET accreditation so they become promotional agents for us! We can use webinars, conference presentations, and industry publications to educate our constituents and shareholders on IACET accreditation, the IACET CEU, and the Standard of quality it represents.
We can also take a “top-down” approach by contacting regulatory and governmental agencies, licensing boards, professional associations, and legislative bodies. We can educate them on what makes the IACET CEU stand out above all others. We can unite with others in our industries to make IACET CEU the Standard for all professional license and certification renewals. But we have to be proactive! They will not come looking for us!
Finally, we can look to IACET for resources to assist in our marketing efforts. Have you logged into the IACET website lately? Have you downloaded the marketing collateral that’s available? Have you submitted an article to The CET Connection? Have you nominated your organization for an award? Have you accessed the directory of “Who Accepts IACET CEUs?” Have you asked to be sent brochures to distribute? Have you invited an IACET representative to speak at an event you are hosting? There are resources and support available to you! You earned it! Make IACET work for you!
We all put a lot of effort, time, and resources into obtaining and maintaining IACET accreditation and adhering to the Standard. We know that our accreditation designation indicates that we are the BEST! Now we have to make sure everyone else knows that! What are you doing to make that happen?
Submitted by Amy Hyams, EdD