It’s March, to a large swath of the sports community that means Madness: March Madness. This year many are gearing up to participate in this annual rite of the final games leading to the college basketball championship for 2021. Like everything else, everyone is wondering what that looks like in the middle of a pandemic and social distancing.
But it’s also got my mind is mulling the parallels between basketball and accreditation.
It’s my experience there are basketball players of every size, age range and skill level throughout the US. There are the young ones determined to be a legend, taking every chance they get to take the ball to the hoop. They rush up and down the court and toss the ball up, full of energy, often landing bricks or sailing the ball over the backboard and beyond, then turn and head in the opposite direction without pause. There are the teenagers who have begun to understand the teamwork involved. All legs and elbows, they storm the courts often performing for their young audiences with razzle dazzle and no finesse, worried more about the impression of the cheerleaders struggling to figure out whether the team is winning or losing. By the time a player makes it to the college arena, there is more cognitive awareness of the world outside of the court and the recognition that it’s not just enough to dribble the ball and shoot--there’s strategy and there are team strengths and weaknesses that must be managed in the best interests of the team’s performance through the season.
So where am I going with this as it pertains to accreditation?
As a basketball fan, I understand the value of shooting over, and over again. Shooting free-throws is something I consider valuable, in that each missed shot makes me a stronger outside shooter. You do it over and over again, each time making adjustments to your game to improve the shot. However, to truly elevate your game and bring it to a high level of consistency, you need to be coached on certain standards. You can’t see how to tweak your shot like someone who is an expert watching you execute.
And so it is with accreditation!
In the marketplace, we have a lot of people setting up shop as continuing education programs. Everyone is rushing to deliver programming via the cloud.… some of them quite good. Some of them not so much. With the slick look of marketing brochures, zippy websites and perky presenters, it may be difficult to discern which providers are offering programs that have been tested and are known to deliver consistently. What separates the amateur shops barely above hobby stage?
Accreditation processes are designed to take your programs to a consistent level. Experts look at your operations and identify gaps so you can tweak them such that you are reaching excellence every time you launch a program. Completing the process brings a level of “consistent excellence” that sets your programs above the rest. It broadcasts to potential clients that your program has a sophistication and experience that may not be present in programs that have not been burnished by the process.
Let the games begin. But to do well at the big dance, you need proof that you have the skills and the thought processes to deliver consistent, valuable programming every single session. And that comes from having experts look at your processes and procedures and verify that you meet the industry standards necessary for you to deliver the best performance each time you step in front of your clients.
William Allen is a talent acquisition professional with over 35 years’ experience in developing full life-cycle technical recruiting solutions. He has more recently been specializing in creating strategies for placing technical professionals with high level clearances and implementing systems for hard-to-fill positions and has been active in the industry since 1983, creating large scale solutions for government agencies and financial powerhouses such as NASDAQ. Allen graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in architecture. He brings his talents and skills to IACET as a Development Officer who will focus on corporate relationship building and foundation giving.