Recently I crossed path with an old friend of mine and had a long chat with her at one of the cafe nearby my office. She owns a training company that offer courses and certifications for functional safety personnel certification programs. At one point she was telling me that for the last 18 courses, she had an amazing 100% of the students passed.

“Did you develop those syllabus internally Sally?” I asked. She replied “Nope.” According to her, those syllabus and examinations are developed by independent consultants who also grade the exams.  Then a certification agency collects the names and issues a certificate based on the pass and fail information from these consultants.  I was whispering to myself, this is crazy.

Why did I say this is crazy? This kind of programs violate many of the requirements of ISO 17024, the international standard for Certification of Persons. These requirements was developed by theInternational Organization for Standards or ISO for good reason.  There is a conflict of interest where instructors who collects fees is the same group of people who grade the exams.  To me, it is like a pay-for-certificate kind of courses. And the certificates offered are of with no quality. This arrangement is definitely a questionable arrangement.

The main objective of a Certification of Persons courses is for someone to demonstrate their true competence.  Imagine a medical courses are being arranged like this? I definitely am not comfortable to deal with a doctor or a specialist who participated in this kind of program and being certified for what they are trained for.

Would you go to this doctor?