Organizations that rely on a specialized workforce must recruit and retain individuals with licenses and certifications. Keeping and training these high-skilled, professionally certified employees can give these organizations a competitive advantage. But knowing which employees hold a required certification or license, and who needs what training to keep those credentials, can be a logistical headache.
"One of the key challenges is being able to warehouse the certification in one main repository so the organization has one common place to go to produce reporting against certification," says Liviu Dedes, senior director of organization and leadership development at Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., whose 240,000 employees provide food and beverage services at sports arenas, convention centers, colleges and businesses. "This includes the criteria and all the components that make up the certification as well as the final certification itself."
To make the job easier, a growing number of software tools are now available to automate the certification tracking and reporting process and to provide training courses needed to maintain or upgrade certification.
Certifications are important in many fields because they demonstrate that an employee meets minimum standards, giving businesses the benefits of a better-skilled workforce and leveraging the value of the employee's qualifications.
Industry and vendor certifications cover professions ranging from accountants to vocational therapists to security guards. In addition, some professions, such as nurses and teachers, require their own specialty training that affects the duties they can perform. Licenses for specific skills, such as driving a truck or carrying a concealed weapon, also may be required for certain types of jobs.
To be effective, businesses need to centrally track and monitor all these data.
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