With technological and socio-economic disruptions taking the world by storm, the need for workforce development has become paramount. Companies are required to upskill the workforce to stay ahead of the competition. When businesses are grappling with COVID-19 setbacks, they must invest in continuous employee learning and development (L&D). Earning expertise in a niche skill boosts employees’ morale, upgrades their skillset, enhances their self-value and reflects positively on work. Growth opportunities play a crucial role in keeping the employees invested in their jobs. Top performers value companies that prioritize their career paths and customized L&D initiatives.
As per Mercer Global Talent Trends Report 2020, improving the employee experience and transforming talent practices are this year’s top priorities for HRs. HR leaders plan to take a targeted approach by focusing on future learning and workforce reskilling to achieve these goals.
With more time on hands, there is massive scope for identifying skills gaps and training employees on newer technologies or models. Merely identifying the skill gaps and dispensing development plans will not suffice. Training should be followed by online certification. Supplementing training, with online certifications, gives employees a sense of accomplishment, increases participation rate and keeps them engaged. Employees with online certifications tend to be more productive and efficient. This benefits the employees as they gain subject matter expertise and enhances employers’ scope for generating greater revenue. Usually, certified professionals are career-oriented, dedicated and seek continuous growth opportunities.
An online certification validates the successful completion of a particular course. It can be earned after individuals clear an online assessment as per the benchmarks determined by the employer or the industry. Online certification requires proven work experience in a specific field and contributes positively to employees’ credentials. It distinguishes the individual’s expertise in a niche role and backs the industry-related knowledge acquired by them on-the-job. Developing certification programs enables companies to create a preference in the market for a diverse set of software or technology.
An online certification system inspires the employees to follow high standards and helps organizations to differentiate high potential employees from the rest. An online certificate tool enables embracing a particular skill set. The program offers a sense of pride to employees and gives them the confidence to perform well when faced with challenges. Additionally, commitment to work translates into exceptional work quality and drives sales.
Certifications assist companies in equipping employees with hands-on knowledge in the latest methodologies, technologies, or software. They also ensure regular upskilling of the employee’s skills set with evolving job roles. Consequently, online certifications can be divided into two categories:
Usually, inapplicable outside the organization, internal certifications are provided by the company to its workforce. They are a part of an organization’s learning and development initiatives.
External certifications are accredited by a certification body and are applicable in a particular industry for a particular profession. There are three kinds of external certifications:
As a part of software certification, individuals gain proficiency in different software. E.g., Oracle certification, Microsoft certification, etc.
These are conferred by special industry authorities and are applicable globally where these standard processes are followed. E.g., The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping.
Universities and third-party vendors present them as per professional requirements. E.g., Nursing, Food Safety, etc.
Corporates can encourage the workforce to deliver quality work by ensuring the learning and development initiatives don’t remain limited to training. Rewarding the workforce with certification after the successful completion of training gives them a sense of achievement. Employees’ tendency to participate in the L&D program increases significantly, knowing that the employer duly recognizes their efforts.
An online certification implies that an individual possesses specific characteristics, validated by an external assessment or review. It corroborates if individuals possess the necessary skills to perform proficiently on-the-job. A certification tool enables learners to acquire critical skills that would enable them to stand out. Employers equally value people who are driven by a continual urge to learn and grow in their careers.
The modern-day workforce is mindful of the growing need to gain proficiency in a particular field even if it requires self upskilling. The certification platform provides a flexible learning path which professionals may take up simultaneously, with their ongoing work. It is an effective means to widen one’s abilities in a competitive world.
Certifications have become integral to employee development in almost every industry – be it information technology, supply chain management, finance, engineering, or management. Its benefit for both employers and employees is the reason for its growing popularity.
Zeroing in on the perfect certification platform is an easy process. The ‘hit-and-trial’ method of selecting the right certification provider demands significant energies from the companies intending to further their learning and development goals. A majority of vendors are unable to provide a seamless experience to test-takers. Other roadblocks in selecting the right certification vendor include:
It is inconvenient to use different service providers for assessment and certification. In most cases where certificates are issued manually, managing different systems become taxing. When the world is moving towards online learning, manual certification is becoming redundant.
The cost multiplies when companies have to deal with different assessment and certification providers. This offsets the company’s L&D budget, making it difficult for L&D heads to select the right certification platform.
Certification providers often spend considerable time in awarding certificates. Assessment evaluation, report generation and certificate dissemination increase the turnaround time in certifying qualified candidates.
It is a challenge for service providers to maintain the integrity of the issued certificate when scaling the process. Lack of trained proctors gives way to cheating. Instead of cost-cutting, where necessary, companies use non-proctored online exams. Hence, the merit of getting such certificates is highly questionable.
We understand that selecting an online certificate system can be taxing. So, to make your job easier, we have curated a checklist to help you choose the certification tool that aligns with your organizational needs.
Organizations widely use Learning Management Systems (LMS). However, since there are limitations in using LMSs, companies need an online certification tool that can easily integrate with their existing systems. Having a third-party online certification partner enables you to extrapolate your L&D benefits in the form of due accreditation to the workforce.
You can eliminate all the payment hassles with the right certification provider on-board. It serves as an engine that efficiently manages candidate registration, evaluation and certificate issuance. Some market players also provide discounts that can be availed during payment checkout.
A good certification platform enables you to create workflows and add custom logic. Individuals are graded as they meet the minimum score for passing different assessment sections. Dashboards also provide a holistic view of candidates’ status, such as test completion, pending tests and those certified.
Online proctoring has eliminated all the apprehensions concerning the integrity of the test results. A good certification vendor provides various options for proctoring- auto, live, secure browser, record, and review. Secure browsers don’t let individuals navigate outside the test window. The certification software disables screen sharing and blocks all the blacklisted websites and applications. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled proctoring flags multiple cheating instances, ensuring reliable outcomes.
White labeling is integral to brand building. Top-notch certificate vendors help you curate easily customizable certificates according to your brand guidelines, theme and color scheme.
Scale Your Certification Program Now
Organizations can select questions from our rich question repository based on a wide range of job-role specific competencies or bulk upload customized questions. Our online certification software supports 17+ knowledge and application-based questions. Setting up a custom grading logic allows positive and negative grading.
At this stage, candidates register themselves, apply discount codes and make the payment for certification. At the backend, organizations undertake white labeling of the certificate to be issued.
There are multiple options for virtual proctoring. A three-step authentication process eliminates chances of impersonation. Human-led proctors can interact with candidates via test window, and pause or resume the test. AI-enabled proctoring catches multiple cheating instances. The entire test can also be recorded.
Mercer | Mettl’s automated online certification platform decreases the turnaround time of delivery by giving real-time reports. We also provide in-depth analytics based on individual and group-level insights for future reference.
How one of Canada’s Largest Food Safety Providers Certified its Workforce in a Secure Environment
This forward-thinking education provider is dedicated to improving the level of food safety knowledge and skills of Canadian food workers. Its mission is to reduce food-borne illness through education, promotion and advocacy for better food safety.
The organization was facing multiple operational challenges, such as managing rescheduling and repayments. Due to a lack of a well-integrated solution, the firm was manually customizing certificates.
Mercer | Mettl’s online certification platform automated the client’s certification process by integrating with its LMS seamlessly.
Mettl Certify enables end-to-end creation, execution and management of online certifications. It also improves the candidate experience. Here is a list of our unique selling points that will enable you to scale online certifications effortlessly.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in India has mandated registration on the portal- The Databank – for all Independent Directors in the Board of Indian Companies. On the portal launched by MCA, the independent directors will be directed to an LMS, which includes a wide array of e-learning courses on various topics, including the Companies Act, securities laws, basic accountancy, board practices, board ethics and board effectiveness, etc. The directors are also required to clear a basic online proficiency self-assessment test provided by Mercer | Mettl, to complete the process.
There are currently more than 100,000 independent directors in India, and all of them will have to undertake the Mercer | Mettl certification. Individuals aspiring to become independent directors can register themselves on the government portal for certification. This responsibility and partnership with the government is a significant affirmation to the prowess of the Mercer | Mettl’s technology platform. It is a pleasure to partner with the Government of India for such a crucial step toward improving the corporate governance landscape in India.
Originally published December 4 2019, Updated December 6 2023
A writer at heart, Megha has been in the content industry for 4 years. Starting her career from print, her journey spans across IT, legal and consulting industries. She has been associated with Mercer | Mettl as Assistant Manager, Content Marketing for 2 years.