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Future Directions for GISCI and the Exam

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Presentation on theme: "Future Directions for GISCI and the Exam"— Presentation transcript:

1 Future Directions for GISCI and the Exam
Rebecca Somers Somers-St.Claire GIS Management Consultants Fairfax, Virginia February 2015

2 Overview GISP® and other GIS certifications Why obtain certification?
Future directions for GISCI What it means now

3 GIS Certifications

4 GISP® Certification GIS Professional Certification Issued by GISCI
AAG, GITA, GLIS, NSGIC, UCGIS, URISA Since 2004 Certification of GIS achievement, competency, and professionalism: Experience Education Contributions Portfolio; exam to be added in 2015

5 Other GIS Certifications
ASPRS—suite of certifications including: Certified photogrammetrist (1975) Certified mapping scientist (GIS/LIS, RS) (1991) Certified GIS/LIS technologist Esri Technical Certifications Since 2010

6 Other Credentials Certificates Badges and “micro-credentials”
Completion of an education program Badges and “micro-credentials” Indicate accomplishments Licensure Legal requirement

7 Why Obtain Certification?

8 Why Get Certified? Document GIS professional achievement
Professional recognition Greater earning and advancement potential Credentials used to prescreen Credential creep (DiBiase, 2014) Growing preference for GIS certification Grow the GIS profession

9 Growing Preference for GISP® Certification
More than 100 recent (Oct-Nov 2014) job listings included a preference for GISP® Certification Public & private sectors All types of jobs, including: GIS manager Geospatial analyst GIS coordinator GIS technician Project planner Department director

10 Growing Recognition of GISP® Certification
States are endorsing the GISP® Certification, including: North Carolina New Jersey Ohio Oregon California Montana

11 Grow the GIS Profession
It’s not just what you get from certification What your participation contributes: Increase GIS professional recognition Increase GIS professional cooperation Modular and portable GIS certifications

12 Future Directions for GISCI

13 GISP® Certification Development and Status
1997 2001 2004 2015 Feasibility & Discussion URISA Certification Committee GISCI More than 7000 GISPs Dev. of GISP® Certification Process NOTES ON HISTORY: 1990s: Various discussions regarding whether GIS was true profession and whether certification was feasible and advisable began in earnest in the early 90s and continued through out formation of the program. (Key early input by Bill Huxhold, Nancy Obermeyer, David DiBiase, Rebecca Somers, and others) 1997: URISA formed a GIS Certification Committee in 1997. 2001: The first design of the GISP® certification was developed in It was subsequently discussed, and revised throughout Although minor revisions have been made over the years, the basic portfolio established in 2001 and finalized in 2003 remains the basis of GISP certification. The pilot project for the GISP® certification was conducted with a group of GIS professionals in Georgia in These individuals earned the first GISP® certification designation in the fall of 2003. 2004: GISCI was formed as an independent non-profit in 2004. VARIOUS REFERENCES, IF NEEDED: Feasibility research and discussion, selected references: AAG Panel, “Is GIS a new (academic) discipline?” Bob Aangeenbrug (organizer), Mike Goodchild, Derek Gregory, David Cowen, Robert Sack (General consensus: GIS does not stand alone as a discipline.) Obermeyer, Nancy. “GIS: A New Profession?” The Professional Geographer, 46(4) 1994, pp Obermeyer, Nancy. “Certifying GIS Professionals: Challenges and Alternatives,” Journal of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (5:1) 1993,pp Somers, Rebecca, "Defining the GIS Profession." GeoInfo Systems magazine, p , May 2000, Advanstar Communications, Eugene, OR. Various articles and conference presentations and panels—pros and cons of GIS certification: Bob Aangeenbrug, Mike Goodchild, Bill Huxhold, Karen Kemp, Rebecca Somers, Lyna Wiggins, others 1997 URISA Certification Committee: Chairs: Nancy Obermeyer ( ); Bill Huxhold, ( ) Members from public organizations, industry, academia: Bob Aangeenbrug, Heather Annulis, Bob Barr, William Bowdy, Judy Boyd, Al Butler, Tim Case, Roger Chamard, Will Craig, David DiBiase, Peirce Eichelberger, Joe Ferreira, Keith Fournier, Steven French, Cindy Gaudet, Josh Greenfield, Ann Johnson, Karen Kemp, Jury Konga, Joel Morrison, Sherman Payne, Michael Renslow, Warren Roberts, Mark Salling, Joe Sewash, Rebecca Somers, Curt Sumner, Geney Terry, Eugene Turner, Barry Waite, Lynda Wayne, Suzanne Wechsler, Elaine Whitehead, Lyna Wiggins, Thomas Wikle Current GISP® Certification Process: Portfolio—experience, education, contributions

14 Professional Certification Development
1997 2001 2004 2015 GISCI GISP® Certification Feasibility Comm. GISP® Cert. GISCI Start accred. & exam 7000 GISPs 1989 2002 ~2005 2009 2013 NCCA/ICE (Nat. Commission for Certifying Agencies/Institute for Credentialing Excellence) Background notes: During the same time period as the GISP® certification program was being developed, significant developments were occurring in the field of Professional Certification. NCCA developed standards and procedures for professional certification and requirements for certifying organizations. (NOCA was the predecessor of NCCA.) ANSI also developed standards and procedures for personnel certification and requirements for certifying organizations. Note that both of these standards were under development while the GISP® certification was being developed, and were not released until after the GISP certification was released. Therefore, GIS in , GISCI decided to add an exam to strengthen the GISP® certification, better align it with professional certification standards, and to seek accreditation for the GISP® certification. NCCA/NOCA Certification Standards ICE Update 2003 2012 ANSI/ISO ANSI/ISO 17024: Personnel Certification Update

15 Professional Certification Standards
NCCA and ANSI set professional certification standards NCCA and ANSI accredit certifying organizations GISCI plans to meet these standards and achieve accreditation for the GISP® Certification and any other certifications it may develop Certification is for protection of the public, not just advancement of the profession.

16 Professional Certification Standards
Validated by a Job Analysis The tasks job incumbents perform The knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to perform them Independent Accreditation Assessment instrument—process & result Certifying organization’s operations and governance

17 Job Analysis and Certification Development
Job Definition & Certification Purpose Job Analysis Tasks KSAs Linkage & Validity Certification/Assess-ment Specification Resources: Lit., References, BoK, Best Practices Psychometric Validation/review Assessment Instrument Certification

18 Professional Certification
is Based On Job Analysis Essential method for determining the content of a certification assessment Must adhere to accepted methodology Must demonstrate and document job-relatedness Unambiguously required by psychometric standards Not directly derived from Competency model or skills list (GISCI used the GTCM Tier 4, core technical competencies, as a guideline) General BoK (GISCI used GIS&T BoK used as reference) Best practices Job Analysis is a standard, accepted, and required industry practice for the development of professional certifications. A certification assessment cannot be based on or derived directly from competency models, general/academic bodies of knowledge, or best practices, but these may be included, as appropriate, in the certification development resources. An Essential Body of Knowledge is derived from the required knowledge derived from a Job Analysis, so in these terms, it is more direct and specific than an academic body of knowledge.

19 GISP® Certification Update
Addition of an exam to strengthen the GISP® certification Align with Job Analysis Prepare for accreditation

20 Job Analysis First direct job analysis for GIS professionals
Several focus groups of job incumbents spanning all sectors, job types, and levels of experience (more than 50) Validation survey--more than 350 individuals spanning all sectors, job types, and experience levels Results vary somewhat from GIS&T BoK and GTCM—mostly in emphasis

21 Exam Development Job Analysis Exam Blueprint Exam Content Pilot
Cut Score Final Exam

22 Alignment of Portfolio Requirements
Validate (with respect to Job Analysis results) Adjust (to Job Analysis results)

23 Preparation for Accreditation
Exam (to supplement portfolio) Certification process validation and documentation Operational adjustments Governance adjustments

24 Moving Forward Not only validate GISP® certification through accreditation… GISP® certification will serve as foundation for other certifications New GIS certifications Linkage to related certification

25 Additional/Specialty GIS Certifications
Sponsoring organization or interest group discuss with GISCI—define job/certification Determine relationship to GISP® certification GISCI follow standard certification development process (job analysis, validation, etc.) SMEs, job incumbents, and resources from across industry Certification granted and operated by GISCI Business driver—membership/activity for sponsoring organization

26 Additional/Specialty GIS Certifications
“Sponsor” GISCI Job Definition & Certification Purpose Job Description/Scope Relationship to GISP ® Industry-wide Job Incumbents & SMEs Job Analysis Tasks KSAs Linkage & Validity Certification/Assess-ment Specification Assessment Instrument Guidance on Resources Psychometric Validation/review Membership/ Services Certification

27 Additional GIS Professional Certifications Based On
Job Analysis Essential method for determining the content of a certification assessment Must adhere to accepted methodology Must demonstrate and document job-relatedness Not based on Competency model or skill list, BoK, or best practices These are references Certifying organizations follow Professional Certification standards, practices, and guidelines Alignment of the GISP® certification and future GISCI certifications with standard professional certification development processes and modules will also enable GISCI to work with existing and developing certifications by interfacing common modules.

28 What it Means Now

29 What to Expect Two-part GISP® certification process: Portfolio and Exam Begin application process at any time with either component 6 years to complete application

30 GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® Blueprint
Knowledge Area Weight Conceptual Foundations Cartography and Visualization GIS Design Aspects and Data Modeling GIS Analytical Methods Data Manipulation Geospatial Data 12% 14% 29% 17% 15% 13% GISCI will release the exam blueprint (list of knowledge areas covered by the exam, not the specific questions) before the exam is offered, maybe concurrent with the pilot.  This is the information that universities (or any organization) will need to design exam prep courses.

31 What to Expect: Exam Exam pilot winter 2015
GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® mid 2015 All GISP® certification applicants will be required to take the exam once it starts Initially, the exam will be offered at testing centers on specific dates Exam availability will increase shortly thereafter Initially, the exam will be offered through established testing centers.  Opportunities to offer the exam online or by paper-and-pencil events will be discussed later, probably during 2015, with possible implementation later in 2015 or 2016 and beyond. The exam fee is not yet settled (as of September 2014) and will probably be announced before the end of the year (2014).  A candidate can retake the exam if they fail it. However, the number of times a candidate can retake the exam (as well as any required waiting time, will be determined early next year (2015).

32 What to Expect: GISP Certification
Minimal change in the portfolio component Recertify without exam Process changes coming in July 2015

33 What to Expect: GISP Certification Changes
July 1, 2015: Changes take effect 3 year certification and recertification periods Every new applicant must take exam New fee structure Certification application fee: $100 Certification exam fee: $250 Certification portfolio review fee: $100 Annual renewal fee: $95 Recertification: every 3 years; no fee—covered by renewal fees Until July 1, 2015: Current process remains 5 year certification and recertification (“renewal”) periods Current certification and recertification fees

34 What to Expect: GISP Certification Changes
July 1, 2015: Changes take effect GISP certification will cost approx. $100/yr. for career

35 GISCI Directions More than just an exam… Accreditation:
Alignment of GISP® certification and GISCI with accepted professional certification development standards and practice Validation of GISP® certification Stronger foundation for additional/related GIS certifications

36 What To Think About Which certifications are right for you?
GISP® certification: Get certified for what you already have achieved Certification can help advance your career Help grow the GIS profession

37 For More Information Rebecca Somers, GISCI Exam Development Project Manager: Bill Hodge, GISCI Executive Director:

38 For More Information Rebecca Somers, “GISCI’s GISP® Certification, Evolution, and Future Directions”, URISA GIS Pro 2014 Proceedings. Also available at Tripp Corbin. “GIS Certification: To Certify or Not Certify”, URISA GIS Pro Proceedings 2014. David DiBiase, “Credential Creep in the GIS Field—For Good or for Ill?”, Esri blog (

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