Since 2007 The Value Of a Veteran has offered comprehensive training on how to recruit and retain military veterans. In that time we have trained thousands of recruiters, hiring managers and supervisors from hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies and higher education institutions. We have delighted in watching our clients utilize what they have been taught to significantly improve their ability to hire and retain those who have served our country.
In the last few months we have received a few inquiries as to whether our training leads to the “Certified Veteran Recruiter” designation. Perhaps organizations are firming up their 2014 training budgets and are trying to determine the difference between training products offered by The Value Of a Veteran and other companies. People have also asked us if we plan to offer any kind of certification in veteran recruiting in the near future, whether for individuals or organizations.
The answer is “no” to both questions, and here is why:
1. There is a big difference between being an “assessment based certificate program” and a professional certification program
A. Assessment based certificate programs are non-degree granting programs that do three things:
- Provide a course of instruction with intended learning outcomes
- Evaluates participants achievement of those learning outcomes via an examination
- Awards a certificate ONLY to those who have taken the course and passed the examination
B. A professional certification program is a non-governmental program that:
- Delivers an assessment based on industry knowledge, independent from training courses or course providers
- Grants a time-limited credential to anyone who meets the assessment standard
The main difference between the two is that one focuses on completion of training and the other focuses on an independent assessment of your knowledge.
2. There are standards that must be met to have a professional certification program. For example, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers a well known and respected certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). In order to earn the PHR designation a person has to:
- Have a minimum number of years of experience working in HR to even qualify to apply for consideration
- Submit proof of experience and a job description which are evaluated before a test is scheduled
- Pass a comprehensive 175-question test within 3 hours covering a body of knowledge over 5 functional areas and attain a passing score
Once earned, certification is good for 3 years, at which point the person must recertify by taking the exam again or provide proof of 60 hours of continuing education
3. While not as comprehensive or demanding as the standards for professional certification programs, there are standards for creation of assessment based certificate programs. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developer. ICE developed a standard (ICE 1100) for creation of assessment based certificate programs so as to distinguish them from professional certification programs. One of the things the ICE 1100 standard is very clear on is that the use of acronyms or letters after a trainee’s name is prohibited as it misleads the trainee to believe he/she has completed a professional certification program. A quote from the standard:
a. “The certificate provider shall not award an acronym or letters to certificate holders for use after their names upon completion of the certificate program
b. The certificate provider shall publish and provide to certificate holders a statement defining the appropriate ways to reference the certificate. This statement shall specify that certificate holders:
- May state that they hold a “Certificate in________”
- Shall not say that they are “Certified in _________”
- Shall not use acronyms or letters after their names to reference the certificate they hold”
So, no, The Value Of a Veteran does not offer the Certified Veteran Recruiter program. The Certified Veteran Recruiter program is a 2-day training course offered by one vendor (which is not The Value Of a Veteran). Despite the name, the “Certified Veteran Recruiter” program does not meet the standard of a professional certification program, and for someone to use the “CVR” acronym as a professional credential after his/her name is misleading as it implies completion of a professional certification program.
And, no, even though the idea of certification was first considered in 2011, The Value Of a Veteran has chosen not to pursue development and administration of a professional certification program for individuals. Clearly, there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into developing and administering a professional certification program, well beyond the development of the body of knowledge to be assessed.
Our 6 years of experience in this space has also revealed one critical factor: when an HR professional (recruiter, diversity pro, etc) is in a job where he/she is responsible for military recruiting or retention, he/she is very interested in learning how to do this well. When he/she changes roles, moves on to a different focus area or moves out of recruiting/diversity altogether, the interest in continuing to learn about veteran recruitment drops precipitously, especially when the professional does not come from a military background. As a certifying body, it would be very difficult to maintain a continuous level of professional certification if those that earn a professional designation do not recertify or maintain continuing education.
We have also refrained from creating any kind of “veteran ready” certification program for organizations. The ones that exist require little more than for someone from an organization to attend a training program (again, offered by only one vendor) and to then get their organization to make a commitment to hire a certain number of veterans, as few as 1 (!), over the next year.
We feel the liberal use of “certified” and “certification” to describe what are simply training programs dilutes the true meaning of the rigorous process of “certification”. A person or organization should have to do more than simply write a check and attend a class to be considered “certified”.
So, while The Value Of a Veteran won’t certify you or your organization, we do provide excellent training programs. Our training courses are the only ones developed by someone with 22+ years of recent military experience and 16+ years of HR, recruiting, staffing, training and diversity program development experience, which is how we differentiate from other training providers. And, our training workshops, webinars and conferences meet the criteria for and are approved by HRCI for recertification credits for those that need the continuing education credits for PHR or SPHR certifications.
If improving recruitment or retention of military veterans is on your agenda for 2014 and you are seeking training for your organization’s recruiters, hiring managers or supervisors, please contact us to learn more about our training programs.