Plan, Document, Recertify

Ramani Sundaram
We all work hard to be certified professionally like PMP (Project Management Professional), CPE (Certified Professional Estimator), CCP (Certified Cost Professional), etc. When it comes to re-certification, I have seen many rushing in the last minute or letting their certifications expire.

After working so hard to earn the initial certification, it will be annoying to see the certification expire and become inactive by failing to renew by the deadline. A little bit of organization may help us to make our re-certifications easy. We should realize that our re-certification period actually starts as soon as we become certified. Just as we do it for our tax returns, if we plan, schedule the different activities for earning professional credits, document and maintain our records, it won’t be difficult. Re-certification through professional credits is always preferable than re-taking the exams.

Why is Re-certification necessary?

  • Shows your commitment to the profession

  • Proves your continued competence and vouches you stay current in the profession, learning new practices and methodologies

  • Prevents your credentials becoming inactive

  • Benefits the individual - Staying certified gives the individual continued recognition. In addition to the experience, re-certification can add value and give an edge over others when changing jobs

  • Benefits the firm – Helps a consultant, if there is a client requirement to have current certified professionals in the payroll.

  • Some organizations allow re-certification either through earning professional credits or by taking exams. Of course re-certification through credits saves money, time and effort

Plan

  • Know your certification cycle and the expiration date

  • Understand the recertification requirements and procedures

  • Remember the different categories –Professional development, Education, Volunteering, Publication, Presentation, etc. and the maximum points allowed under each category

  • Read FAQ section of the organization's website and familiarize with the requirements

  • Keep abreast of changes, if any, to the process

Document

Establish a filing system by keeping either hard or soft copies of documents. Create a folder and keep all the copies of certificates, meeting attendance sheets, copies of publications and presentations. If there is an audit, the hard copies may be helpful. Document all the contact hours earned through self-study. In addition, find out what type of document is acceptable.

Record online

Some certifying organizations allow certification credits to be recorded online. Making use of this facility will enable you to track your certification points easily.

Monitor

Most of the certifications are for three years. Divide the required total CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for each year of the recertification cycle and try to attain at least that many CEUs every year. Monitor your status every year so that you do not have to rush to make it up in the last year, avoiding additional stress and anxiety.

Submit

Some organizations have a system to remind the individuals when it is time for renewal. In addition, try to set up your own calendar reminders. When it is ready, submit your recertification package with all supporting documentations and fee.

In summary, create a schedule in advance and follow your plan. Find the right way to make it easy for you and every effort will be worthwhile to maintain the certifications, which were so hard to obtain!