11 ways professional certification and licensing boards are coping with COVID

Employee Credentialing During Covid

During our recent fireside chat, we collaborated with customers to identify 11 ways professional credentialing boards are coping with COVID. 

1. Use remote proctoring as an alternative to in-person testing

This was one of the most common responses. 

2. Extend testing/examination deadlines

Another popular response to quarantine restrictions combined with limited test center availability for in-person testing.

3. Extend CE deadlines or reduce CE requirements

A response to professionals having less time available as they balance work and family. Also a response to increased financial hardship.

4. Extend fee due dates and/or reduce fee amounts

Another response to financial hardship.

5. Move content development workshops to a web conferencing platform

A response to the need to keep developing education and testing content with limited ability to meet in person. Obviously applicable to any workshop or similar group activity. Popular technology tools include ZoomSkypeGoogle Hangouts, and GoToMeeting.

6. Install a virtual phone system for support calls

Another WFH (Work from Home) response. Some boards were caught out when staff could no longer answer support phones physically tied to the office. Virtual phone systems route incoming calls to staff cell phones so they can support professionals from anywhere. Popular technologies include TalkRouteRingCentralDialPad, and MightyCall.

7. Implement a customer support chat system

Chat has emerged as a popular complement to phone support. Chat allows staff to support professionals from anywhere outside the office. Some professionals, especially millennials, prefer chat to phone support. Some boards say chat is more efficient than phone support because staff can engage in several conversations at the same time. Technology options include ZenDesktawk.toDrift, and HappyFox.

8. Create a social media chat group for professionals on Facebook

This allows professionals to share experiences with their peers and exchange tips on how to cope and respond. It also provides an easy way for boards to stay connected with their professionals. By keeping a pulse on what is concerning professionals, boards can modify programs as needed — for example, reducing fees for professionals facing layoffs or furloughs.

9. Go paperless with online applications and renewals

Boards that have not yet gone paperless are now making this a priority. Paperless systems eliminate office visits to pick up physical application and renewal packets plus many other financial benefits.

10. Accept online payments for application and renewal fees

This response avoids the need to visit to the bank to deposit checks and money orders. A chore at the best of times, this simple task has become more onerous with quarantine restrictions and limited bank hours. 

11. Switch to digital credential confirmations and verifications

This response again eliminates office visits. Replace print and snail mail with an online directory/registry, automated status verification letters, and digital badges. Digital badging vendors include Credly and Badgr. We provide auto-generated real-time registries and automatic distribution of digital certificates.

Certemy helped us intake an entire field of counselors in a very short period and allowed us to achieve a goal that would have otherwise been unachievable. The software has already paid for itself, and we plan to move the rest of our certifications to Certemy very soon. 

One-Platform for Compliance (Staff, Equipment & Facilities)

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