Association Management Is Not Certification

Associations and certifying boards have many areas of overlap. Within both organizational structures, there is a leadership that is looking to serving its people, and both acquire large amounts of data requiring efficient and secure management.

However, the differences in the core functions of these two organizational types means that software solutions for associations are not sufficient for the needs of a certifying board.

Most associations focus on the following areas, and these needs are supported by association management software.

  • Annual Meetings
    An opportunity for association members to connect, network, and learn in one central location.
  • Poster Sessions
    Members gather for informal meetings where research and other items of interest are shared.
  • Journals
    Many associations publish a journal, in hard copy or online, that details the research and happenings of their membership.
  • Lobbying
    Associations use their collective power to petition local, state, and federal governments to protect their members' interests.
  • Membership Building
    The association thrives on numbers, so the organization puts a large emphasis on growing membership.

All five of the above tasks have one thing in common: they have nothing to do with certification!

It's in the name: a certifying board's first priority is certification management and maintenance.

Certifying boards require several critical tasks that are either secondary or completely irrelevant to associations, including the following:

  • Certification
  • Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
  • Continuing Education
  • Item-Writing for Examinations
  • Credential Verification

Where an association often has the flexibility to add many members without regard to their qualifications, a certifying board does not have the same luxury. The certifying board's value is tied directly to the rigorous assessment of the certified individual's merits. In some cases, like with medical boards, there may even be potential legal and financial penalties if an unqualified person is certified. Without its standards, a certifying board has no purpose.

For this reason, a Certifying Board Management System (CBMS) needs to have a thorough, efficient, and reliable exam functionality. Online item-writing, exam development and scheduling, and verifications are vital tools for a certifying board that can't be accomplished with association management software.

Of course, many certifying boards will pursue low-cost association management software options, cobbling together additional third-party solutions that round out the necessary functionality. However, this kind of approach leads to a massive decrease in efficiency, as board, staff, and people have to navigate multiple interfaces and platforms, often juggling multiple login credentials. They lose valuable time searching for the desired features or information among multiple locations.

This can also lead to a negative impact on data accuracy, as people struggle to reconcile the information across incompatible systems. The use of multiple systems also multiplies the security risks for a certifying board. Every interface has their own weak points, and with every additional interface used, the potential for falling victim to phishing, hacking, or ransomware increases.

The only option for a certifying board looking to upgrade their information, process, and people management is to utilize a purpose-built CBMS. ROC-P is the industry-leading cloud-based software for certifying boards. It will make your data more secure, more accurate, and more accessible. Contact the ROC-P team today to find out how you can reach new peaks of performance in as little as 4 weeks.

 

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