Following on from a blog posted here during the week I though I would add my 2 cents to this long running debate. Do we really need Performance Analysis Accreditation? I was always of the belief that it was something that was absolutely necessary for any industry but I’m not so sure any more. As Charlie Barwis reported from his dissertation;
Firstly, is it a prevalent attribute employers were looking for and secondly, how did it rank as a personal attribute required of a new analyst?
- Through the job description audit, being accredited was found to be ‘of average importance’ when advertising for PA roles.
- Through the questionnaire results (n=56 responses worldwide), being accredited was ranked the least important personal attribute required for the role.
Considering how low employers are valuing accreditation and the effort required to establish a credible awarding body it seems unlikely that the situation will change any time soon. If employers are not valuing it – there is little incentive for people to get accredited.
I’m not saying there is no benefit to accreditation but other than (potentially) keeping some scammer’s out of the market it will suffer from the same issues as most qualifications, inflation. Those first students out of UWIC (Cardiff Met) with a MSc in Performance Analysis were at a huge advantage – they were among the only people in the world with a qualification in Performance Analysis, however as more and more people do that course, and the others that now exist, the less value they offer students. That’s not to say they are not worth doing (I did one) but there real value diminishes the more people that get the same qualification.
Accreditation might act the same way. Let’s look at an industry that has worldwide accreditation – Accountancy. Granted the first thing you look at is to make sure your accountant is legit/accredited but that’s not the reason you pick them, word of mouth, reputation, recommendations are all much more important because most accountants have accreditation – its not the thing that separates them. Often accreditation at best demands a minimum standard, but not much more than that.
ISPAS & BASES
The primary issue with ISPAS is that it rewards you on the level you have worked at rather than the skill-set you have. If this was changed to both a more skilled based assessment but also found a way to reward continuous development it would improve it’s standing. BASES has a much more through Accreditation scheme and it would seem to me that between these two organisations there is an existing infrastructure to make a viable accreditation for Performance Analysis possible (in the UK at least).
Accreditation would bring some benefits – not least if it forced people to undertake continuous professional development, but I’m not sure accreditation on it’s own solves many problems – not in the long-term anyway.
Who Will Pay?
The final issue and why I see a solid accreditation system as a long way off is that who is willing to pay for an awarding body? You need to make sure you have representatives from all the major stakeholders in the market, leading professionals, academia, commercial companies, NGB’s and teams. There is a lot of work involved in running an awarding body and if we look back again at the research done – if employers voted it the least important person attribute, what incentive is there for analysts to pay high fees for a sustainable awarding body?