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We have competencies for people. Whether it’s ATD, LPI, IBSTPI, IPL, ISPI, or any other acronym, they’ve got definitions for what people should be able to do. And it made me wonder, should there be competencies for processes as well? That is, should your survey validation process, or your design process, also meet some minimum standards? How about design thinking? There are things you do get certified in, including such piffle as MBTI and NLP. So does it make sense to have processes meet minimum standards?
One of the things I do is help orgs fine-tune their design processes. When I talk about deeper elearning, or we take a stand for serious elearning, there are nuances that make a difference. In these cases, I’m looking for the small things that will have the biggest impact. It’s not about trying to get folks to totally revamp their processes (which is a path to failure). Yet, could we go further?
I was wondering whether we should certify processes. Certainly, that happens in other industries. There are safety processes in maintenance, and cleanliness in food operations, and so on. Could and should we have them for learning? For performance consulting, instructional design, performance support design, etc?
Could we state what a process should have as a minimum requirement? Certain elements, at least, at certain way points? You could take Michael Allen’s SAM and use it as a model, for instance. Or Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping. Maybe Julie Dirksen’s Design For How People Learn could be created as such. The point being that we could stipulate some way points in design that would be the minimum to be counted as sufficient for learning to occur. Based upon learning science, of course. You know, deliberate and spaced practice, etc.
Then the question is, should we? Also, could we agree? Or, of course, people could market alternative process certifications. It appears this is what Quality Matters does, for instance, at least K12 and higher ed. It appears IACET does this for continuing education certification. Would an organization certification matter? For customers, if you do customer training? For your courses, if you provide them as a product or service? Would anyone care that you meet a quality standard?
And it could go further. Performance support design, extended learning experience design (c.f. coaching), etc. Is this something that’s better at the person level than the process level?
Should there be certification for compliance with a competency about the quality of the learning design process? Obviously in some areas. The question is, does it matter for regular L&D? On one hand, it might help mitigate against the info dump/knowledge test courses that are the bane of our industry. On the other hand, it might be hard to find a workable definition that could suit the breadth of ways in which people meet learning needs.
All I know is that we have standards about a lot of things. Learning data interchange. Individual competencies. Processes in education. Can and should there be for L&D processes? I don’t know. Seriously. I’m just pondering. I welcome your thoughts.