Our new chairman is taking a lead in developing a professional certification scheme for those who work with assistive technology.
Antony Ruck has set up a working party to investigate and report back on how best to establish a scheme for AT professionals.
Professional certification is a process through which a person proves that he or she has the knowledge, experience, and skills to perform a specific job or function.
Certification usually involves an exam or exams and provides a guarantee that an individual has achieved a certain level of proficiency.
“In terms of our industry there are many roles that would benefit from professional certification, from those who assess and make AT recommendations for individuals, through to those who enable and support those individuals in the use of their AT,” said Ruck..
“The list of roles professional certification could apply to is both long and varied, so a single course and exam is unlikely to fit the requirements of our target audience.”
Proper understanding of AT is vital to reduce the risk to disabled people, to make efficient use of investment in assistive technologies and to avoid possible litigation.
Practitioners want to be good at what they do, and to prove and improve their skill sets, helping them do their job, and making them more employable.
Employers want to be able to benchmark the value of current or potential employees, and to demonstrate their value to current and future clients.
Funding bodies want certification to ensure end users receive value for money: a professional service level at the right price.
Manufacturers and publishers want it: to ensure users enjoy the best possible experience of their products; to ensure products continue to be recommended; to minimise service and support costs by encouraging safe and knowledgeable use and to promote their companies.
Council members discussed various options for different groups of professionals, including approving existing courses, requiring certified practitioners to have undergone CRB checks and insisting that they have public liability insurance.