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Subject: AIC certification plan

AIC certification plan

From: Christopher Augerson <chris<-at->
Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I remain against the current plan for certification, although I
admit that there should be another means to obtain a professional
qualification than the current application processes for PAship.  I
do believe that it selects for genuine professional qualifications,
but conservators who simply do not know three PAs well enough should
not be prevented from obtaining such qualification. However, I am
concerned that cheating might be possible with the take-home exam
format as now proposed, with questions about a given hypothetical
situation described in the exam, all applicants in a given year
having to respond with virtually the same (or similar) "good"
answer. I note that the UK and French accreditation applications get
around this problem by having the applicant cite examples from his
or her own work, to illustrate questions of ethics, etc. As
everyone's examples will be different, this approach might be less
subject to cheating.

Any new certification scheme, for which cheating is easier than
getting three tainted nominations under the old PA system, should
not be considered to be raising the bar of standards. I believe that
current PAs take their status seriously and are not inclined to
vouch for someone who does not merit it, no matter how much they
might find the person otherwise likable, and that it is not easy for
applicants to obtain three similarly tainted nominations.

We should consider what might happen if, in a year and a half from
now, we have our first batch of AIC-certified conservators, and AIC
marketing of certification as the only current gauge of
qualifications has been successful. Imagine also that the economic
crisis is still with us. What is to stop an institution from using
certification as a determinant, not just in hiring decisions, but
for deciding which conservators to lay off? With neither PAs nor
Fellows grandfathered, there will be a huge backlog of yet-to-be
certified conservators, nonetheless highly qualified. The employment
of these individuals could be in jeopardy.

Those who have paid me the courtesy to bother to read my postings
have enough evidence that I myself do not worry about my ability to
write essays to pass a certification exam. Please believe that my
opposition to the current plan as it exists derives, in large part,
from, having witnessed unfair treatment by employers or potential
employers of yet-to-be accredited conservators in the UK (including
some trained in excellent graduate programs) during the
implementation of the accreditation plan there. It is my empathy for
such individuals, and my wish that my American colleagues will not
suffer in the same way, that I remain against the certification plan
as it now stands, although otherwise I am for improving the current

Please vote, and vote with your conscience, on the acceptability--or
unacceptability--of the current certification plan.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:43
                Distributed: Saturday, January 31, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-43-008
Received on Tuesday, 27 January, 2009

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