What’s behind that certification? 6 questions to ask about the agency

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1. Does the certification agency have a solid reputation in the industry?

A credential should be conferred through an organization respected for its expertise and years of experience in the industry, leading to a positive reputation among employers. A simple review of local job boards and state regulations should provide a good indication of the desirability of the credential.

2. Does the agency have a mission to improve patient care?

Health care credentials that are designed and administered through a not-for-profit professional association have a sole purpose of serving and protecting patients, not its shareholders. Let the true mission of the certification agency guide your decision.

3. Is the certification exam administered in the most secure environment?

It is in the best interest of certificants to align with an agency that protects the integrity of their credential. Health care credentials are considered high stakes because of the impact on patient care. The testing environment, therefore, should exhibit the highest level of security. Testing in a school room or on a home computer are not considered appropriate testing environments for these types of exams.

4. Does the agency ensure that certified individuals meet the eligibility requirements?

Some agencies only check a random sample of applicant records. Be sure that the agency you choose carefully reviews each and every individual’s application and supporting documentation to confirm that the candidate actually meets the eligibility requirements. Doing so not only protects the integrity of the credential but also ensures that high standards are consistently met.

5. Is the certification agency accredited through a reputable organization?

A respectable certification agency will be evaluated and accredited through an independent third-party organization, such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Be sure the accreditor is nationally recognized and requires agencies to follow the most rigorous standards.

6. Is the agency easy to do business with?

Look for an agency with a streamlined certification process and an accessible and friendly customer service team to assist if the need arises. Assess their school resources like practice tests, status reports and flexible transaction options.

About AMT: As a professional association for allied health, AMT is a lifelong career partner that provides continuing education, networking and leadership development. Today, AMT has more than 100,000 actively certified allied health professionals in nine distinct specialties, each of whom are full members of our nonprofit membership society. 

See more resources for community colleges at americanmedtech.org.