Beyond Certification: the practical approach


Above Picture: Our Classes are re-designed to integrate Practical Learnings

Certification is usually a means to an end – to acquire or maintain a secured and lucrative job or it may sometimes be used to separate oneself from competitor(s) seeking the same position in the workplace. However, having played and facilitated the certification game for 13 years now, I dare say it is another “rat-race” scheme except one earnestly ventures it from a “personal development” perspective – using certification as a milestone towards career growth and development.




Before starting my classes, I tell delegates to tell me their motivations for seeking out the certification they were pursuing. The answers are usually the same, despite difference in phrases and words; the answers are focused on achieving an external goal. If you take a cursory look at these answers as an educationist – one may see nothing wrong with such objectives. In fact, the delegates should be applauded for their ambitions:




“I want to switch career; after spending 5 years in the banking industry, I thoroughly despise it”



“I want to be more productive at my workplace”



“I must achieve the certification with regards to my company’s appraisal effort”





I am guessing your thoughts by now; “is there really anything wrong with these answers?”




Ok, check this out: After a consensus feedback on how great and wonderful the training was, 90% of the delegates fail to meet the 50% cut off mark of the mock exams. It is not the failure that is the problem but the attitude towards the failure:



“I did not have time to read; I was working throughout the whole week”.



“Please, give me my training certificate even if I fail”.



“The questions set are just too difficult”.





Can you spot anything wrong?



What happened to their initial goals of switching careers, gaining productivity at work and meeting their company’s criterion?




When one is trying to achieve an external goal, these are the three things that happen:


  1. Improve oneself to meet the goal
  2. Distort the system to achieve the goal
  3. Distort the data one need to surmount the barrier to the goal



Most of the delegates are not interested in achieving the goal through Number 1 hence their inability to take ownership of the problem.



NOTE: Failure is not a bad thing – it’s the system giving you a feedback that you do not understand the course program as you thought you did.



Certification makes you aware of the course program but if you want to understand the program, you need to move beyond certification by taking practical action or as I have come to personally understand through a Chinese proverb:


‘Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.’


In order to increase the understanding of Project Management to our delegates, PMtutor goes beyond certification to give Practical Approach in our PMtutor Classroom Program here.