Certification: What is it?
A certificate, a label or a seal ... it's a «sign» of confidence, quality, and compliance with a charter or qualification guidelines. This certificate may concern:
- the organisation of an enterprise (for example, good management according to ISO 9000 on quality management or respecting sustainable development standards);
- the characteristics of a product or a service (for example, certification that electrical devices conform to safety standards, or that office furniture meets size and suitability standards);
- the competences of a person.
A competency certificate attests that the certified professional is qualified to perform his job (at a fixed level of qualification) and is able to provide services which are normally part of his profession at level. Several professions have developed such a certification process at national, European or international level: project managers, auditors, specialists in value management, engineers and professionals in the information and documentation sector.
The European certification of competences in information-documentation is a strong component of the professional associations’ strategy to enable the recognition of the profession and the services provided by the professionals acting within organisations. The Euro-certification of competences is a clarification tool for the positioning of information-documentation professionals: the same profession may have several competences depending on the level of knowledge and know-how involved and the degree of responsibility assumed.
The Euro-certification is the result of a collective effort of several national professional associations which agreed to work together to develop the profession by putting in place common resources.
The Euro-certification is a decentralized system of certification of competences but it is based on a common guide of competences (the Euroguide LIS) and follows a common procedure, regardless of the certifying body who implements it, since this certifying body is recognized by CERTIDoc, the consortium managing the European system.
The rules of the system conform to the international standard ISO 1724 regarding the certification of personnel.
By certifying professionals, we assure that they possess the competences at a level sufficient to carry out their job and perform their professional duties satisfactorily.
The certification of competences is a tool that helps to further professional development. It is an adjunct to career development as well as a healthy and reliable way of evaluating one’s own competences.
It can encourage professional and geographic mobility (in the context of international careers, for example) and sere to grant recognition within a company hierarchy.
It can also enable professionals who do not have an academic diploma to be recognized as competent by their peers.