As an existing professional member of the ACS I was certified the easy way: by transition from the old scheme. New members have to undertake further education (such as with the ACS Computer Professional Education Program (which I wrote the Green ICT course for).
The certificate looks good on the wall, but on its own a paper certificates of little value. My clients never visit my office and so will never see the certificate. I communicate with them online and so need to be able to present my credentials online.
What is of more value that the paper certificate is the online ACS Certified Professionals Register which allows you to check my certification is current. You can also get a link to my web site and send me a message to verify I am the person listed in the register.
Some improvements could be made to the register:
- Register Web address: Give the register a simple web address, such as http://register.acs.org.au and include that address on the certificates. This way clients can verify the details of the paper document online.
- Member Web Address: Provide a unique web address for each entry in the register. At present you have to do a search to find me in the register. Instead a web address for my entry could be provided (such as http://register.acs.org.au/?no=7675474). I could then link from my online CV to my entry in the register. That would impress my clients, promote the scheme and allow verification.
- Online more like certificate: The register has a good simple web design. But it could be made to look more impressive, like the paper certificate, so that those reading it will be impressed that this is important information. One of my students did research on how to make a web page credible and an important factor is using organisation logos. So having the IP3 logo on the register page would increase its gravitas. Including the web address of the entry prominently on the page would also be useful. I can then append a copy to a job application, tender or expert witness statement to a court.