Bob Smart, CISA, CISM, CRISC, MACS Snr, MBIS
Certifications bring clear benefits to professionals through improved global employability and earning potential. The fact that certified professionals in audit, risk and security can be paid up to a quarter more than comparably skilled and experienced staff without credentials confirms that organizations rate highly formal professional designations.
How do businesses realize this value?
Here is an example: You are about to hire an expert to perform a security review of a source code for a key application that is being developed. You have two short-listed candidates. One has recommendations as a very efficient reviewer, while the other has several relevant professional certifications. Which one would you choose?
A challenge with many professionals in information governance, risk, compliance and security management is that businesses rely on their professional judgment for decisions, full consequences of which are often not widely understood and may take a long time to materialize (e.g., several years until an overlooked application vulnerability is exploited). However, none of these occupations are regulated under state licensing laws and practitioners are not subject to malpractice liabilities. This is why professional designations provide employers with some form of (much needed) assurance that these experts possess the necessary experience, skills and knowledge of relevant frameworks, and commitment to continuous education. The trick is that not all certifications are made equal; therefore, businesses must be able to evaluate and recognize the credibility of relevant certifications.
My recent Journal article discusses the benefits that certifications bring to businesses. It also provides employers with steps to help them determine the value of individual certifications and to create a list of preferred credentials in a cost-effective way.
What benefits does your organization draw from staff certifications? Have you won a major contract due to your commitment to formal designations for your staff? Has your insurance provider recognized your reduced risk through a lower indemnity insurance premium? Has your support for professional certification improved staff retention rates? Have your employees become more motivated and enthusiastic about new learning and development opportunities?
Please post your comments and share your experiences and methods used to determine the most suitable certification(s) for your staff and deliver the most benefits to your organization as well as the employees’ professional development.
Read Bob Smart’s recent Journal article:
“Why Should Organizations Care About Professional Certifications?,” ISACA Journal, volume 2, 2013