Certification Path

The certification path involves a number of steps. A proposal for standards in a particular area of specialization is first presented to the appropriate division, which develops the “standards for professional practice,” or competencies, required for that area of specialization. The proposal is then sent to the ALA Committee on Education and, if approved, is used by the ALA-APA Board. The ALA-APA Board appoints a Certification Review Committee (for that particular certification program) to oversee the development and validation of the certification exam. The Certification Review Committee also approves providers of coursework to satisfy the competencies. In order to provide fair and equitable access to certification, the coursework will be provided throughout the country, as will access to the exam. When individuals pass the exam, they will be certified in that area of specialty by the ALA/APA for three years, renewable by demonstration of continued professional development.

Specific decisions about participants, providers, certification, governance, and funding have been developed into certification guidelines. The guidelines are backed up by suggested procedures to be followed at each step of the process and by a governance process developed for the CPLA certification program of PLA/LAMA/ASCLA that can serve as a model for every certification program. Finally, a suggested process for investigating the certification of Library Technical Assistants is proposed.

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