The new diversity certification preparation course offerings will accommodate
different learning styles and expand IDC’s national presence
Plainfield – April 10, 2013: From leading events-based diversity initiatives to building a high-performing global team, the role of diversity and inclusion is ever-changing. The Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) launched an online credentialing process in 2011 that has also evolved in order to meet the demands of today’s diversity and inclusion professionals. This year, IDC will introduce a classroom-based preparation course for its Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) and Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) credentialing programs. The courses will be offered in Plainfield, Indiana and McKinney, Texas for the September and November exam windows.
The Institute for Diversity Certification was formed for the sole purpose of providing diversity and inclusion management preparation courses and materials; administering diversity certification exams; and designating diversity and inclusion credentials to Certified Diversity Professionals and Certified Diversity Executives. IDC is a subsidiary of the Society for Diversity, the #1 nationwide professional association for diversity and inclusion with members in 34 states.
Diversity and Inclusion are still hotly contested topics—especially in today’s workplace and on college campuses. Yet, a properly functioning diversity and inclusion program will benefit all employees and students, and not just certain groups. It will also allow for improved business performance by linking diversity and inclusion interventions directly to corporate goals for improving revenue, cost savings, and innovation. Additionally, diversity and inclusion enhances competitive positioning and ensures that long-term objectives are viable.
Leah Smiley, IDC founder says, “Diversity and Inclusion really works. Look at Xerox, Chrysler, Sodexo, General Electric, American Express, McDonald’s, and other corporations where you have diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence. The key is getting your staff trained so that they know how to achieve better business outcomes through diversity and inclusion. You also want to make sure that your diversity and inclusion team takes a strategic, and systemic, approach to facilitating cultural change. And this requires specialized knowledge, and skills.”
The IDC diversity and inclusion certification exam is a uniform test that assesses a candidate’s knowledge of 16 broad competencies. IDC also assesses a practitioner’s skills through the Candidate Project evaluation. The entire program consists of a 300+ page study guide; a classroom-based or online preparation course; and a 170-question multiple choice exam. The proctored exams are offered in partnership with pan, an Experian company, where candidates have access to 800 testing centers around the world.
More than 100 candidates have enrolled in the online preparation course since 2011. La Toya Smith, CDP, was one of the first candidates to complete the program while she worked at the University of Evansville. Smith says, “I feel that by undergoing this process I was forced– in a good sense– to refresh my memory and learn for the first time some of the most important information for me to know as a diversity and inclusion professional. I have undergone another diversity certification process, and I feel that this one is much more legitimate and structured. In addition, I feel that the content was more thorough and useful.” Today, Smith successfully transitioned to work in Diversity and Inclusion for a Fortune 1000 corporation. She recognizes that her credentials played an invaluable role in her transition.
IDC candidates represent the corporate, nonprofit, education and government sectors and include diversity and inclusion practitioners; employee resource group and diversity council members; Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Officers; human resource professionals; marketing and communications staff; senior level executives and line managers; as well as consultants. Smiley adds, “Turnover in the Office of Diversity is a huge problem right now. Promotions, resignations, and other terminations, have stalled some terrific diversity and inclusion efforts. That’s why it is important to equip more than one person to lead diversity and inclusion efforts at an organization.” Employers such as Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Missouri Department of Transportation, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, U.S. Air Force Academy, Indiana State University, and more, have sent several people through the program at a time.
IDC’s credentialing process is driven by Diversity and Inclusion industry best practices and generally accepted business principles. A team of diversity and inclusion, human resource, and organizational development experts created the study guides and test questions. A testing consultant, Dr. Howard Mzumara, Director of the Testing Center at Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI), provided testing guidelines and reviewed each of the exams. And an international group of diversity connoisseurs first piloted the program in the beginning of 2011. Since then, IDC has implemented many quality-improvements to ensure that its program is geared up for international expansion and accreditation, which is a worthwhile but lengthy process.
All IDC designees must pass the exam with an 80% or better. Currently, the exam competencies include The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion, Generational Intelligence, Empowering Women in the Workplace, LGBTA Employment Issues, and Measuring the Impact of Diversity and Inclusion, to name a few. The curriculum includes case studies and real life examples of impact—not theoretical tenets. Also, much of the content addresses management expectations, linking diversity and inclusion goals to organizational objectives, and getting quantitative results. The CDP program centers on day-to-day operations, while the CDE exam centers on the global diversity and inclusion strategy.
Diversity Certification can be very expensive. An organization can pay $8,000 to $14,000, plus travel, for professional credentials. In contrast, IDC’s program is both high-quality and affordable, averaging $2,000 per Candidate. It is also available from anywhere—ensuring consistency in instruction and application. Further, the program design assumes that learners retain information best when they have multiple educational resources. IDC’s study guide, preparation course, Candidate Project and exam all lead to more confidence, transformative organizational outcomes, and third party verification of excellence as a diversity and inclusion professional.
The Plainfield and McKinney preparation courses are intensive 3-day, hands-on learning sessions instructed by individuals who have passed the CDP or CDE exams. These industry experts will share best practices, as well as test-taking techniques. Registration is available online on a first-come, first-served basis–space is limited in the classrooms. For more information about IDC, call (317) 837-4961 or log onto www.diversitycertification.org.