PLANET Certifications...Where Are We Heading? - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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PLANET Certifications…Where Are We Heading?

As I find myself in my third year of sitting on the International Certification Council (ICC) as the chair, I know the big question for everyone holding a PLANET certification is “what is going on” and “why all the change?”

The ICC, the PLANET board, Canada’s certification council, PLANET staff and many other volunteers have been working diligently over the past 3 years to evaluate, re-align, occupationally analyze, and develop legally defensible tests.  Why all the fuss?  Four years ago a group of volunteers got together in a secluded house in Indiana to discuss PLANET certifications and develop a strategic plan.  With that plan in hand, the ICC was charged to follow its direction to the “T”.  Furthermore, PLANET set in motion its commitment to develop tests that would have an occupational analysis, be legally defensible, and have psychometric data done on them in an effort to align PLANET certifications with best practices of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).  The end result of that being PLANET would get NOCA accreditation and have easily recognizable certifications to the end user, those being our clientele. 

The next area we needed to address was the proverbial alphabet soup.  PLANET currently has two certifications from the ALCA legacy-CLP, CLT- and three from the PLCAA legacy- COLP, CTP, CTP-CSL.  We needed a way for the end user to understand these acronyms clearly.  The strategic plan directed us to find one brand that all certifications could fall under.  The brand has been developed and will be unveiled later this year at GIC.  All certifcations will fall under the brand LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY CERTIFIED.  Our goals for this brand are simple:  it speaks to the end user by telling them we are in the landscape industry and that we are certified, and it ends the alphabet soup which should help everyone become more easily recognized.  All certified individuals will be recategorized under Landscape Industry Certified either in the manager category or technician category.  Current certification tests will be organized under manager or technician levels as well.  Stay tuned as we finish the work on this brand and disseminate information regarding individual certifications.

The final piece of business that still needs finishing is writing the remainder of the new tests.  We have finished the occupational analysis on the lawncare specialty group, and the interior specialty group.  These tests are still in development and will be finished in the next two years.  Don’t worry, those individuals holding one of these certifications will be included in the new brand and will fall under the same guidelines as everyone else. 

I hope this clears the air a little as the certification world is complicated.  I’d like to thank all of those who have worked so hard for us to get to this point and ask for patience as we finish this process started four years ago.