Competency Credentials FAQs

Who are Competency Credentials intended for?

Competencies are intended for anyone who wants to certify their knowledge and expertise in applying the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. This includes experienced administrators, newcomers to the field, resident directors, study abroad advisors and senior international officers – all benefit from building their knowledge, skills, and credentials relative to these Standards.

I’m interested in entering the field, but I don’t have paid experience? Can I enroll?

Although experience in the field is valuable for completing a Competency, it is not required.

When and where are Standards Workshops offered?

Workshops are offered throughout the year in the U.S. and abroad. They are also offered prior to The Forum’s annual and European conferences. Beginning in 2017, two half-day Standards workshops are scheduled in one day and correspond to the related Competency. Pre-recorded Standards workshops are also available online at no additional cost. Registration for the workshops is included in the Competency Credential fee.

What if I’ve already taken one or more of the workshops?

Standards workshops attended since March 2015, when the 5th edition of the Standards of Good Practice was released, count towards the corresponding Competency. Registration fees paid to attend workshops are credited toward the Competency.

What if I decide to enroll in the Professional Certification Program?

Although Competencies stand on their own, they can also be used as a stepping stone to Professional Certification. By earning the three Competencies and completing a Culminating Project, participants are awarded the Certified Professional Mark. You may enroll in the Professional Certification Program at any time; fees paid toward Competencies are credited toward Professional Certification.

Does my Competency expire?

Competency Credentials expire five years after the credential is issued. New editions of the Standards of Good Practice are released approximately every five years and new content is added. For this reason, Competency earners are expected to update their knowledge of the Standards to maintain the credential. To renew a Competency, earners are expected to complete additional assignments. The renewal fee for a Competency is $350. Participants who subsequently complete the Professional Certification Program maintain their Competency Credentials as long as they retain their Certified Professional designation.

Is there an advantage to earning the Professional Certification?

Individuals who complete the Professional Certification Program earn all three Competency Credentials and the Certified Mark. Certified Professionals maintain their certification through professional activities and their credentials, including their Competency Credentials, do not expire.

Will new Competencies be added in the future?

Yes, as the Standards of Good Practice evolve and advanced training opportunities are developed additional Competencies will be issued to acknowledge expertise in specific content areas. For instance, an advanced Competency in risk management is planned for the future.

Will a Competency help me get a job in the field or advance my career?

A Competency represents a commitment to the Standards of Good Practice in Education Abroad. Knowledge of the Standards, and demonstrating the ability to accurately apply the Standards, represents specific training in the field.  Additionally, the digital badge issued upon completion helps communicate your verified skills to employers.

How long does it take to complete a Competency?

This is entirely up to you, but it is expected that you will complete the program within two years of enrollment. Standards Assignments take four or more hours to complete and feedback from the Certification assessors may require you to resubmit assignments until it meets the expectation of the Competency. After attending the workshops it is important to focus on completing assignments.

What if I enroll but don’t complete the Competency?

There is no refund if you do not complete the Competency, however you have access to Standards of Good Practice workshops, both live and recorded, for up to two years.