A fundamental role of most professional associations is to establish, maintain and advocate for professional standards within its industry. Many professional organizations develop credentialing standards for their members and support independent psychometrically-based certification by others. Since its inception in 1997, GPA has been dedicated to the establishment of a valid credentialing process for grant professionals. Visit the Grant Professionals Certification Institute to learn more.
GPA’s Credentialing Initiative
In 2000, at the Second Annual GPA Conference in Berkeley California, the GPA membership voted through formal resolution to explore the feasibility of offering some form of professional certification. The membership would cast reaffirming votes over the next two years before GPC moved forward with their “marching papers” to develop the field’s psychometrically driven professional credential.
GPA created the Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI)™ in 2004. GPCI (pronounced “gypsy”) is an affiliate 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation of the Grant Professionals Association (GPA). It is dedicated to the identification of grant professionals who display outstanding expertise and ethical practices in the grants field. GPCI was established as a means of ensuring the credibility, integrity and independence of the certification process and is a criteria of the National Commission of Certifying Agencies. After a rich seven years history of exploration, due diligence and test development, GPA proudly announces the availability of the GPCI Certification.
Independently established credibility stands as one of the main benefits of a nationally-recognized certification/credential. For fields such as ours where there is no recognized academic degree, certification is the only authoritative, independent measure available by which to determine a person’s experience, skill and knowledge as defined by our peers.
Certification impacts potential job marketability. Through certification, employers can be more secure in their hiring practices. Established standards can be used by grants professionals to educate employers. Job descriptions will better reflect the true work we do. And equitable compensation will follow. Employers and funders will be more efficiently served by qualified grant developers rather than unqualified grant writers who may waste time and money producing unrealistic programs that do not meet funder goals. Certification offers a way to make this distinction.
In addition to the myriad of benefits to us as individuals and to the beneficiaries whose lives we affect, certification is important as we track the movement by government to regulate and/or license the grants profession. With almost half of our nation’s states already requiring some form of registration, the tenor of regulation is resonating louder each day. The question becomes “should the grants profession influence government by providing them with valid information and mechanisms that we, as grants professionals have produced, or should government take the lead and define our profession?”
Certification should not be viewed as a policing agent or gatekeeper, and it should not be thought of as a noose around our necks. Certification allows us to stand out as a profession, increase our stature among other professions and influence authority.
The Credentialing Committee and GPCI’s have worked hard since that historic first meeting back in 1997. Learn more about GPCI and the field’s first professional credential – the Grant Professional Certification™. Visit the Grant Professionals Certification Institute to learn how to become a GPC.