Creating a certification program
A certification program is a defined set of components or training programs offered by your organization to members to prove that they have achieved a measured level of knowledge within a designated timeline.
Plan out your certification program carefully since an enrollee must complete the required number of units and all of the required stages in the program before a program is considered complete.
Here are the basic building blocks to setting up or defining your certification program:
From the Staff site, go to Certification > Define programs > Certification programs:
- Select Create a new certification program.
- (Definition tab) Define your certification program information and click Save.
- Name - (Required) Provide a name for your certification program.
- Status – Select Active or Inactive. Inactive programs will not be viewable by any users, including staff. However, participants who have already enrolled for the program will be able to see programs marked as inactive.
- Deadline Period – (Required) Provides a time limit in which to complete the program. Enter a numeric value, and choose years, months, weeks, or days from the drop-down menu. Once an enrollee has begun the program, the deadline period will initiate.
- Grace Period - Provides a time extension past the deadline for enrollees to complete the program.
- Unit Key - A unit of measurement to track progress using industry-recognized terminology. Select a unit from the drop-down. If the unit type you need is not available, you can add one in Adding unit types. Programs without a unit key will not appear to the public.
- Requires Approval - Select this checkbox to require approval of program completion, once an enrollee has completed the required stages and number of units.
- Maintenance Program - Select this checkbox to indicate that the program is repeatable and allows enrollees to enroll again after completion.
- Designation – Describes an acronym, such as CPA, that follows the contact record's name to indicate they have completed the requirements of a certification program and have earned this designation.
- Add Designation - Ensures that the designation is added to the contact record upon successful completion of this certification program.
- Certification Program Group – Select a program group option from the drop-down list. Program Groups can be used with any certification program to associate multiple certification programs together. To add program groups, see Defining program groups.
- Prerequisite Program – Select a program from the drop-down to set it as a prerequisite requirement.
- Automatically enroll when prerequisite is completed - Select this option to automatically enroll a contact in the program if they complete a program defined as a prerequisite. This option is only available if a prerequisite program is defined.
- Required Number of Units – Enter the total number of units enrollees must fulfill for the program to be considered complete.
- Certification Number Format – (Required) Indicates the digits for earned certifications using hash mark symbol (#) as a numeric placeholder for incrementing the value. Use letters, hyphens, and optional numbers to track the certifications that have been awarded within a program in a sequential numeric order. For example, enter CSP-###00 so that the certificate awarded for the first completion is indicated with CSP-00100.
- Allow enrollees to cancel enrollment - Enables enrollees to cancel their enrollment in a program.
A program component is a single piece of a certification program that is required of a student to complete a certification program. A component must be fulfilled in order for an enrollee to gain credit for a stage of a certification program.
Components may represent any type of program requirement, such as course completion, event attendance, enrollment or application fees, applications, resumes, or letters of recommendation. Components can have one or more offerings which provide the enrollee with a specific way to complete the requirement, such as details about when and where a component can be completed. Offerings can be linked to an iMIS event or product to facilitate completion of the requirement.
Once defined, program components can be added to a program stage as requirements. Components can be re-used across multiple certification programs. For more information, see Defining requirement stages.
Note: If a component is completed in one program and is included/re-used in another program, the enrollee gets credit for the component in both programs. For components that shouldn’t be given credit in multiple programs when completed (for example, a component requiring an application fee), it is best to make a copy or create a new component.
Before you begin:
- If the component represents a fee or charge, the product for that fee must already be defined.
- If you want an event (such as a training class) to be associated with the program, the event must already be defined.
- Go to Certification > Define programs > Program components > Create new Component.
- On the Definition tab, specify the component properties. This area specifies the details of the component such as the number of units the student earns for completion, or the grade available.
- Name – (Required) Enter the name of the component as it will appear to enrollees in the list of requirements.
- Code – (Required) Indicates the code that you can use to look up the component, up to 50 characters in length. Enter only letters and numbers, no symbols.
- Description – You can enter a description of the component. If you want to provide a link to users, you can enter HTML in this field.
- Number of units – Defines a number value to indicate how many units such as credits, or hours, a student earns upon completing this component. This value may be overridden when the component is added to a program.
- Allow enrollee to report completion – Indicates that a program enrollee can record their own completion of the component.
- Requires grade – When selected, requires the user to enter a grade when recording a completion.
- Requires approval – Indicates that staff must approve completion of this component.
- Certification staff only – Indicates that only staff users will see this component when it is included with a program.
- Status - Indicates if the component is currently Active or Inactive. Only components marked Active are available for selection when creating a certification program. You cannot select an Inactive component as part of a certification program.
- Grade – Defines values for the grading system you want to use for this component.
- File attachment – (Required) If the component requires an attachment to fulfill the requirement (i.e. filled out application, proof of completion, etc.), select Required. If the user may include an attachment but it is not required for completion, select Optional.
- Inactivate Component (button) – Select this button if you want to make a component inactive. When you are prompted for confirmation, programs currently using the component are listed.
Note: The Allow enrollee to report completion option does not apply to staff users. Staff users can always record completion of the component for a program enrollee.
Note: If Allow enrollee to report completion is not selected, then only staff users may record completion of the requirement, so approval will likely not be required.
- Click Save.
Offerings can be defined for a specific component, which provide enrollees with one or more specific ways to complete the component. An offering may be an event, a product, or a custom collection of information such as date, time, and HTML links. Offerings are optional for components.
- Go to Certification > Define programs > Program components > Create new Component or open an existing component.
- Save the component if it is a new component.
- Click the Offerings tab.
- Click Create new Offering.
- Enter the information for the offering, including;
- Type – Specify that the offering is a Custom, Event, or Product type of offering.
- Event - (Required if you specify Event as the offering Type) Link the offering to a specific event. Click select to find and select the event.
- Product - (Required if you specify Product as the offering Type) Link the offering to a specific product. Click select to find and select the product.
- Name – (Required) Enter the name of the offering as it will appear to enrollees when they are viewing the component.
- Code – (Required) Defines the code that you can use to look up the component, up to 50 characters in length. Enter only letters and numbers, no symbols.
- Description –You can enter a description of the component offering. If you want to provide a link to users, for example a page or website where they can find more information about the offering, you can enter HTML in this field.
- Status – Specify that the offering is Active or Inactive.
- Date – Specify the date that the offering occurs.
- Allow date changes – When selected, this offering allows registrants to change the date when recording completion of the requirement.
- Purchase completes requirement – (Available only if you specify Product as the offering Type) This indicates that the requirement is satisfied when the user completes the purchase of the product. If not enabled, the user will have to record completion manually after purchasing the product.
- Provider – Defines the person or company that manages the offering or gives the training. This list is created based on the records selected in the Certification > Manage Providers. For more information see Managing providers.
- Location – If a Provider is defined, this indicates which provider location applies to the offering. Provider locations are also defined in the Certification > Manage Providers area.
- Link Requirements – Not used.
Note: When defining an offering that is an event, the Date defaults to the event end date, but a staff user can manually change the date. The Date field becomes the Completion date field after saving the Event offering.
Note: If there is no Date defined for the offering, then Allow date changes must be selected so that users can enter the date when they complete the offering.
Note: For product offerings that represent fees or charges for the certification program, Purchase completes requirement should be enabled so that the fee requirement is marked as completed. If the offering may require that the enrollee do something additional after purchase to complete the requirement, for example reading a book they purchased, then this option should be deselected.
- Type – Specify that the offering is a Custom, Event, or Product type of offering.
The requirement structure for a certification program consists of one or more stages, each of which can have one or more requirement sets, notes, and email notifications when the stage is completed. A requirement set is a list of components that are required to complete that set. Within a stage, you can use either AND combinations of sets, meaning both are required to pass the stage, or you can use OR combinations of sets, meaning either one or the other allows the member to pass through a stage.
A simple program may have a single stage with a single requirement set containing a list of requirements. Enrollees in this type of program would be able to complete the requirements in any order. Multiple stages can be used to create categories of requirements, or to distinguish between requirements that are required and optional (by setting the stage to required or optional). You can also define multiple stages to enforce a required order for completing requirements.
Note: Changes to requirement structure (such as stage order and which requirements are included) will not be reflected for users who have already enrolled in the program. The program structure is set at the time of enrollment.
Before you begin:
Plan the structure of your program and the requirements that will be needed carefully prior to defining them in iMIS.
You must fill out the Definition tab for a certification program and click Save in order to view the Requirement tab.
You must define components in the Program components area in order to select them as requirements in a requirement set. See Define the program components for details.
- From the Staff site, go to Certification > Define programs > Certification programs > Requirement tab.
- Enable the Stages must be completed in order checkbox if you will be using multiple stages and would like participants to complete a particular stage of certification before proceeding on to the next stage.
- For each stage you want to include, click Add Stage.
- (Optional) Enter the name and description of the stage. The name will appear to enrollees as a section header for the stage’s requirements.
- Select the Required checkbox if the enrollee must complete the stage in order to complete the program.
- Add the component(s) that will be required in the stage. One requirement set is present by default.
- To add a requirement, click Add a Requirement located to the right of the stage.
- Find and select the component you wish to add, and if needed, change the Number of units that will be needed for this component. This will not change units defined in the program component.
- Add each requirement that is needed for the set.
- Additional requirement sets can be added and combined using AND or OR. For example, you can either require an exam component for entrance into a program or a staff approval component stating the requirement qualifies them for entrance into a certification program. To add an additional set to a stage, click Add a new Requirement Set located below the stages requirements tab. Select AND or OR from the drop-down list between the sets as appropriate.
- To send an email notification when a stage is completed, go to the Email Notifications tab for the stage. Click Add Email. See Defining certification communication for details on creating an email output process.
- Provide a Process Name. By efault, these email queries are located in the document browser at $/Common/Shared Documents/Processes.
- Select Assignees, select the user(s) to receive email notification and click Continue. By default, the available values are Certification User, Certification Manager, Certification Admin, and Registrant.
- Click Define Completion Stage and specify the completion stage. This completion stage acts as the final stage for a certification program, but is intended for staff use only. It does not contain any requirements. For example, you can use the completion stage to send out an email confirmation when the last program stage has been completed.
- Click Save.
Note: If this option is selected, then all stages will be set to Required, as enrollees will be required to complete each stage before moving to the next stage.
A unit type determines how the program and the components will be measured. For example, if the program definition uses hours as a unit type and the number of units required is 84, then the completion of the program will require 84 hours. You will select the unit type at the certification program level.
- To view existing unit types, click Find.
- To define unit types, go to Certification > Set up programs > Unit types and select Add new unit type.
Program groups allow you to categorize or associate multiple programs together. For example, you may have multiple certification programs related to industry certification, including maintenance programs, so you can group these programs together by assigning each to a single program group.
- From the Staff site, go to Certification > Define programs > Program groups.
- Click Create new Program Group or select the program group you would like to edit.
- On the (Definition) tab, set the Status to Active or Inactive. Only groups marked Active are available for selection when creating a certification program. You cannot associate a program to an Inactive group.
You can identify iMIS contacts (individuals or organizations) as training providers so that they may be linked to specific offerings that fulfill requirements. Each provider may have multiple locations associated with the contact.
Before you begin:
You must define an iMIS contact record for each trainer in order to manage their information as a training provider. If a contact record does not yet exist for the provider, go to Community > Add contact and add the contact information for the new provider.
- Go to Certification > Providers.
- Click Add a Provider.
- Select a Provider.
- Provide a Location Name.
- Provide a Status.
Note: You can sort results by location, committee, contact name, or company name.
Note: Providers with a status of Inactive will not appear in the Providers list.
- Locate the provider in the Providers list.
- Click the Location Name link for that provider.
- Click Add a Location and provide a location Name.
In order for website visitors to view and enroll in certification programs, you need to add the Certification program list content item to a content record, which may also contain other content items. This content item allows end users to view what programs are available, enroll for a program, record requirement completions, and track their progress in programs in which they are enrolled.
In order to expose the Certification program on your organizations public website, you must add a content item to a content record. When you open the Content Gallery, you can enter the relative path to the Certification program list web user control (~/AsiCommon/Controls/CertificationManagement/CertificationProgramHistory.ascx) in the Or, enter a path to a web user control field. This is a relative URL to the web user control from the root (~) of the physical path for the IIS application or IIS website that hosts iMIS content management websites. By default, the root corresponds to C:\Program Files\ASI\iMIS\Net.
This auto-generates a Content Web User Control content item that points to the Certification program list web user control. See Configuration options for more information.