ITCC June Member Meeting

Using Gesture-Based Behavioral Biometrics to Identify and Authenticate Online Learners

Presenters: Mark Sarver, Chief Behaviorist at BioSig and Jim Lucari, Head of Certification Development at HPE
Thursday, June 21, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT

Abstract:

As ITCC members look to move beyond physical testing centers to deliver content and certifications online, it is essential to authenticate and validate the online participant. With over 12 million uses in 95 countries, Biometric Signature ID offers a patented gesture-based biometric solution where the participant draws their password using a mouse, stylus or touchpad instead of typing it. This solution requires no additional hardware, no software downloads and has been independently tested to be as accurate as a fingerprint without the equipment or risk of liability.  Hundreds of colleges, universities and businesses use BioSig-ID to identify and authenticate users. Jeff Maynard, CEO, and Dr. Mark Sarver, Chief Behaviorist, will discuss the technology, the applications across multiple industries, forensic reporting and a use case for ITCC members.

If you do not already have this meeting in your calendar,
please contact 
ITCC today to have the invitation sent to you!

ITCC Fights to Support Certified Professionals

Red flags were raised when the ITCC was informed of Louisiana House Bill 748, which proposed restricting use of the term “certified” for professionals, and leadership promptly huddled together to determine how to best serve the Certification community we represent.  The bill included language suggesting that professionals who had earned specialist credentials would not be able to present themselves as certified. If the bills passed with this language, it could set a precedent that certification programs no longer determine if one is certified.

The ITCC leadership took action and quickly joined a coalition led by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence working to change the bill to allow certified professionals to identify themselves as such. ITCC leadership also decided to contribute financially to this work believing it to be in the “best interest” of the ITCC membership.

Due to these efforts, and to the efforts of many associations coming together to oppose the bill, the concerning language regarding the use of the term “certified” was deleted entirely by amendment. “This is a big win for us. It was an opportunity for the ITCC voice to be heard, and we are happy to be a part of the many associations working together to highlight the value of certifications, and proud to positively impact the community,” ITCC Chair, Gibson stated.

The ITCC is a community looking out for and supporting certified professionals within the IT industry. “Our mission is to promote IT certifications, grow professional certifications, and help to shape the industry. We are committed to broadcasting the value of skilled, certified professionals to stakeholders and generating global awareness. United together under ITCC, our voice is stronger than the individual companies members work for, and a huge benefit to the community ” ITCC Chair, Gibson stated.

Holding true to its mission, ITCC keeps a strong pulse on certification issues and works hard to represent the best interest of the industry. if you do hear of additional issues or bills within the industry that ITCC should address, please reach out to info@itcertcouncil.org.

IT Certification Council Awards: How We Determine the Winner

For the past four years, the IT Certification Council has awarded the Innovation Award for new and innovative ideas in IT certification. Often it is very difficult to evaluate and assign a ranking to the contributors.

This year was no exception. Choosing a winner among the top three finalists — even more difficult. How do we do it? Let’s first start with the criteria. Any organization with a focus on IT certifications can participate whether you are an IT company or a vendor. They do not need to be a member of the ITCC for submission of an innovation. In fact, this year the award nearly went to a non-member company.

We start with the written submission. All submissions will be distributed to the judging panel for the first phase of judging. The judging panel is comprised of experienced professionals working in the IT certifications industry. Judges score the applications based on the how well the written submission addresses each of the Judging Criteria Questions. The scores from each judge are totaled to get the submission scores. The top finalists will be selected for the presentation and interview phase of judging.

The scoring for the written submissions are done through a weighted-factor scoring method that once completed yields a total number for each submission. That allows us to select the top three as finalists without prejudice. The criteria is as follows:

  • How strategic was the genesis of the innovation?
    Does it address a known weakness or threat, expand on a strength or opportunity, expand market share, develop a new product, service a new client base, etc.
  • What was the level of innovation?
    Was it to improve an existing process/product/service or create a new process/product/service, was it an application of existing technology in the market or new technology, was it a high risk exploration or a low risk exploration.
  • What values or benefit did it create for one or more stakeholders?
    How did your innovation bring value to those who hold some influence over the certifications you build?  How does it benefit them while still being a benefit to the individual certified professional?
  • How well do the measurable results demonstrate an impact of the innovation?
    Provide hard data. Show how numbers of certified professionals improved due to your innovation, or how much time or effort was saved. Be as specific with numbers as possible.
  • How valuable were the lessons learned for the industry?
    Versus for the organization or the individuals involved.

Each finalist will be asked to give a 15-minute presentation explaining the innovation. Emphasis is placed on clearly defining the innovation, the reason the innovation was developed, the benefits to the different stakeholders, the measurable results, and the lessons learned. Following the presentation, the judges are given 15 minutes to ask questions of the innovation representative.

The judges discuss their evaluation of each of the finalists and then come to consensus on the winning submission. We then notify the winner and announce at our Spring face-to-face meeting.

In addition to receiving an award and recognition for their innovation, award recipients receive a digital badge they can share to highlight their accomplishment.

Innovation Award winners include Microsoft (2015), The Linux Foundation (2016), IBM/Acclaim (2017), and SAP (2018).

Contributing author: Jim Lucari, Vice Chair, IT Certification Council

 

February ITCC at ATP Member Meeting

Mark your calendar to join ITCC February 17-18, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. This member meeting will be taking place during the ATP Innovations in Testing conference. You do not need to attend ATP to attend these ITCC events!

Dates & Times:

  • Saturday, February 17
  • Sunday, February 18
    • Member Meeting: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • ITCC Guests welcome: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

ITCC Member RSVP
Members, be sure to RSVP here. Please note the $50 fee to support covering the cost of Member activities. Click here to view the Member Travel Memo.

ITCC Guest RSVP
ITCC Guests
can RSVP here, and are welcome to join free of charge. Click here to view the Guest Travel Memo.

Hotel Reservations
If you haven’t reserved your accommodations yet, we recommend you do so as the hotel tends to sell out. Reservations can be made here.

ITCC HQ
Have questions about the in-person meeting or your membership? Want to learn more about other members of the group? Interested in getting more involved? Contact ITCC HQ for more information and support!

ITCC January Member Meeting

Blockchain: Turning Academic Credentials Problems Into Opportunity

Presenter: Leon Katsnelson, Director & CTO, Emerging Technologies, IBM Analytics Platform
Thursday, January 18, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT

Abstract:
Academic credentials fraud is more rampant than ever. From diploma mills, corrupt school administrators, and “certificate artists”, academic credentials are under assault destroying credibility of the credentials and the institutions that issue them and devaluing the effort of legitimate learners. Popularity of online learning and micro credentials only amplifies the problem. In addition, the costs of issuing, verifying and safekeeping credentials have skyrocketed. Blockchain provides not only an elegant technological solution to the problems of fraud and escalating costs but also a real opportunity to connect skills with employment, to help national and local governments with economic development and attracting investment and to help learning institutions become really effective at lifelong learning that spans geographic boundaries.

If you do not already have this meeting in your calendar,
please contact ITCC today to have the invitation sent to you!

Be Recognized as an IT Certification Innovator

Innovation Award: Call for Submissions Now Open!

Nominations are now being accepted for the Information Technology Certification Council’s (ITCC) Innovation Award. This annual award serves to recognize leadership initiatives that have positively impacted your company or the IT certification industry.  If you or someone you know has added value to a product, service, or initiative within industry, we encourage your submissions!
Submission Qualifications

  • Implementation of an innovative test, process, or service within the past two years
  • The product, service, or initiative must produce value for one or more stakeholders within the IT certification industry, such as, but not limited to:
    – Increased security of a test
    – Resulted in a new method for evaluating competencies
    – Improved convenience or market access to your certification program
    – Enhanced the respect and demand for certified professionals
  • Open to companies and individuals in the IT certification industry (ITCC membership is not required)

Participants must write a brief abstract of 1,000 words or less responding to each of the questions in the application and a follow-up presentation with an interview will take place if the submission is selected as a finalist.

Nominations will be accepted through Friday, January 5, 2018. The award presentation will take place at an ITCC event gathering during the ATP Innovations in Testing Conference in San Antonio, Texas in February 2018.

For application information and to learn more on the process, please download the information page.

ITCC HQ
Have questions about your membership? Want to learn more about other members of the group? Interested in getting more involved? Contact ITCC HQ for more information and support!

IT Certification Council: 10 Years and Counting

Authored by Chuck Cooper

Hard to imagine it’s been ten years already. Back in 2007, a few IT companies, including IBM (who I was still with at the time), HP, Sun, and CompTIA, came together with a common purpose. We wanted to add focus to our certification programs, in what was primarily an education and learning conference forum. We realized that while our programs differed in their product and test content, we shared many of the same challenges in the operation and growth of our programs.

We started with monthly conference calls and used popular conferences as our annual face to face gatherings. Initially, CompTIA helped host our gatherings. Then in 2010, we formalized our Council by bringing in SmithBucklin as our management organization. That’s when we really began to gel.

Our common challenges, as IT certification companies, remained our singular focus. As one of the member companies, I can tell you that I personally benefited from many of the ITCC’s efforts and deliverables. Marketing efforts to grow awareness on “why get IT certified,” and papers on the value of getting certified. Securing Certifications Task Force (which I had the pleasure to lead for about seven years) drove proactive efforts to prevent, detect and apply real consequences to individuals that do non-independent test taking (NITT, aka cheating). Most recently, the Badging initiative, which is taking a leadership role to document and promote the possibilities of badges– and how they can complement a company’s IT certification strategy.

The strength and true value of the ITCC, and my personal involvement over these ten years (even in post-retirement) is collaboration. To meet and share monthly with my peers–experts in the IT certification industry– is of immeasurable value. Even more, it’s the access to these same experts for an ad hoc, quick 10-minute call, to ask a question and get an opinion that helped me in my program.

We had no idea ten years ago, when a half dozen of us started our conference calls, that it would evolve to the current Council, with 22 member firms, with multiple initiatives, social media presence, and monthly education sessions.

I’ve had the pleasure to have served as vice chair of the ITCC for about seven of the years, and chair of the Securing Certifications Task Force for many of those years as well. I stay involved monthly in member and Task Force calls, even after my retirement from IBM, because of the friendships I’ve made with my peers, as well as my belief in and love for the IT certification industry. I have received far more than I have given!


Meet Chuck Cooper

Chuck Joined IBM in 1969. He initially
held roles in Program Development and Marketing of IBM’s Database Inquiry systems and Document Publishing
systems. Chuck helped IBM develop a
new Business Partner channel of Web Integrators (regional system integrators),
and then moved into his role of Program Director of IBM’s Professional Certification programs. Chuck held the position until retiring in 2016. Chuck also served as
one of the founders of the IT Certification Council (ITCC), and was vice-chair of the ITCC for 6 years. He also currently remains involved in the Test Security initiative for the ITCC.

ITCC September Member Meeting

National Instruments Certification: An Engineer’s Approach to Performance Based Testing

Presenter: Nathanael Letchford, National Instruments
 Thursday, September 21, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. CT

National Instruments has been involved in performance based testing for over 15 years to certify users of our flagship software, LabVIEW. Over the past 15 years the program has grown to 2500+ performance based exams administered per year and an additional 20,000+ multiple choice exams. This presentation will cover NI’s approach and philosophy to certification as well as technical and logistical hurdles and accomplishments along the way.

About the Speaker:
Nathanael is a mechanical engineering graduate from Texas Tech University. He began working for National Instruments in the Application Engineering department in January, 2013, specializing in NI’s vision and motion products. In August 2015 he moved to the Customer Education and Certification group to assume his current role of Staff Certification Engineer. In this role Nathanael has lead development on automated grading tools for performance based exams, expanding exam delivery options to an online, remotely proctored, exam delivery system and implemented the pilot program of NI’s digital badging effort.

If you do not already have this meeting in your calendar,
please contact ITCC today to have the invitation sent to you!

ITCC Fall In-Person Meeting

ITCC Fall Meeting Travel Memo
October 4 – 5, 2017 | Seattle, WA

The ITCC Fall In-Person Member Meeting is quickly approaching! Mark your calendar to join ITCC and the Performance Testing Council (PTC) at the Microsoft Campus in Bellevue, WA. Please find additional meeting details on hotel and transportation in the ITCC Fall Meeting Travel Memo.

MEETING SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
PTC/ITCC Joint Session (1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

  • Introduction of the organizations and how we intersect with one another
  • Case Studies (Linux Foundation and Microsoft)
  • Open discussion based on the brainstorm from August’s ITCC Member Meeting

ITCC Member Dinner (6:30 p.m. / 7:00 p.m.) – Location TBA

Thursday, October 5, 2017
ITCC Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) – Full agenda to follow

MEETING RSVP
Be sure to RSVP here. As we discussed during our last in person meeting, ITCC has been looking at ways to help offset costs of the in person meetings. The Board has been working hard to close the gap and we’d like to try offering a $50 fee to support covering the cost of the Member Dinner. With different reimbursement policies from each of our member companies, a receipt will be provided to mark it as either a registration fee for the meeting or as a meal cost for dinner, whichever the member chooses when providing their RSVP.

If you select registration fee, your credit card will be charged the day of the RSVP and a receipt will be provided. If you select dinner, you will receive a secure link to pay on the day of the dinner for ease of reimbursement from your company. Please RSVP early to ensure we have an appropriate count for the meeting.

RSVP Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/itcc-fall-meeting-at-microsoft-tickets-36192983187

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions when booking your travel.

A special thanks to Microsoft for hosting the meeting! We look forward to seeing you in there.
_______________________________________________________

Upcoming: August Member Meeting
Title: ITCC/PTC Joint Meeting Brainstorm
Date: Thursday, August 17th
Time: 11am CT

If you are interested in joining the August 17th Member Meeting, please contact us for the invitation.

Thank you,
ITCC HQ

Four Ways Employers Benefit from IT Certification

Written by Joe Mignano, VP of Channels at Logical Operations

At the IT Certification Council, we believe in professional certifications, and we’re glad to have the chance to work with industry leaders on the issue.

We think the value of certification to an IT professional is obvious. There is no better way to advertise your skills than to get them certified. Certification benefits employers, too. Obviously, certifications help in the hiring process, but we wanted to mention four benefits that don’t often get much play in discussions of certification.

  1. Certified staff increase customer/client trust. This is most true with IT consulting organizations, when some of your employees will be working to manage or implement customers’ applications or data. The customers want to know the staff handling their data are competent and professional, and they can be reassured by certifications. But in today’s world, even if you’re not doing IT consulting, you are probably handling customer data, and customers are increasingly wary (with good reason) about who they entrust with their data. In fact, if IT certifications aren’t very common in your industry, increasing employee certifications can give you a competitive advantage, even in marketing.
  2. Certified staff are easier to manage. If you are managing an IT operation, one of your major responsibilities is assigning people to projects and problems. If you’re a good manager, you know your staff’s skills pretty well, but if you are new to the team, staff certifications can help you get a jump on that knowledge. Certified staff are also easier to hire because certifications can reduce or eliminate the need for screening tests among job applicants, and they certainly help in sorting them by skills.
  3. Certified staff are more effective in their jobs. There is a reason that certified staff earn, on average, about five percent more than their non-certified counterparts. A recent survey on certification found that 70% of people who took certification training reported gains in their on-the-job effectiveness.
  4. Certified staff are more satisfied in their jobs. This is probably the most interesting and powerful benefit of certification. The same survey mentioned above found that 86% of certified staff were satisfied in their jobs. Note that the Conference Board’s annual job satisfaction report for 2016 found job satisfaction among US workers is at 49.6%. That means more than half of US workers are dissatisfied with their jobs. This is a perilous situation in an era of insider threats. Encouraging certification training among IT staff may be one of the best steps you can take for cyber security.

What are your next steps if you are an employer? Managers within any organizations should compile a list of the certifications that validate key skills needed in each job function. For the employees in those roles who don’t have those certifications, managers should work on a learning and development plan that allows those employees to validate those skill-sets and demonstrate to the business they have the knowledge needed to perform their job.

The member organizations of the ITCC are a great place to look for understanding what certification are on the market today and should be adopted by your organization!