New Ways to Get IAAPA Certification
IAAPA Certification allows attractions industry professionals to distinguish themselves as highly knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled in the global attractions industry and show their commitment to the profession. Next year, IAAPA will launch a new certification program, transitioning to an assessment-based certification model to bring the program to more industry members than ever before. Reno Deschaine, vice president of IAAPA Global Education and Member Services, shares details on what industry professionals can expect from the transformed IAAPA Certification program.
Why is IAAPA changing its certification program, and how will it benefit members around the world?
Right now, the only way you can become certified is by attending IAAPA events, and traditionally, until COVID-19, the majority of our events have been face to face. Members don’t always have the opportunity to attend our events, so by transitioning to this new assessment-based version, it now opens it up to anybody in the industry around the world who meets the basic qualifications to sit for the exam. They no longer have to earn a certain number of hours of education before we allow them to be certified. It’s going to be more broadly available to all of our industry members around the world, so that’s a huge advantage.
How is the certification program’s redevelopment work being done?
I would like to say a huge thank you to the IAAPA Global Education Committee for all of the time, effort, and energy they put into the program this year. This wouldn’t be possible without them.
The global education committee is helping us through this process, and it includes things like a job task analysis and a global survey to validate the results of the analysis. All of that ultimately allows us to understand what the syllabus is going to be, as well as the blueprint for the exam.
Also, we’re going to have an ongoing need for volunteers around the world to help us write questions for the exam. (Contact Alissa DeMeglio, program manager, certification, at [email protected] to find out how to get involved.)
What are the changes coming to the current certification program’s three professional designations?
Today, we have three different certification programs. Through the work of the committee, we have decided to sunset the leader designation (IAAPA Certified Attractions Leader or ICAL). Anyone who has earned the ICAL certification will be grandfathered into the executive certification program (known as IAAPA Certified Attractions Executive or ICAE). IAAPA Certified Attractions Manager (ICAM) is being retired, and we’ll introduce a new level of certification (yet to be announced), which will be automatically granted to the individuals who currently hold the ICAM designation.
When will the new certification program launch?
We look to launch during the first quarter of 2021.
Why is IAAPA doing this work on the new certification program now?
We’ve been planning this work for the last two years, and while we have been providing additional tools and resources to help members through COVID-19, we also have to keep moving forward with the new certification program because it’s so critical to the future of our education ecosystem and helping IAAPA members in their careers and professional development.
Should individuals who are interested in becoming certified wait for the new program to roll out?
No, don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today! If an individual currently meets the requirements to become certified now, I recommend doing it now. Obtaining your credential now will help provide immediate proof of your competence, credibility, and commitment to our industry. Individuals who earn the certification now will continue to hold their certification once the new programs launch.