Photography Certification - Page 3
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  1. #21
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    Default

    So now let's go back to Don's comment:

    This being said, I am at a loss to explain how or why the current Board of Directors at the June meeting could vote to eliminate usage of the PPA Certified logo and the term PPA Certified, by September 1, 2007, in favor of the "generic" term Certified Professional Photographer or CPP. This would be like Microsoft Certified being reduce to the term "Certified Database Professional". PPA has spent millions of dollars in brand recognition and now is eliminating that brand from a very popular consumer awareness program. In addition, as of Sept 1 of this year, the recognition of PPA Certified will no longer be used in any PPA publications. The Degree recognitions will once again come first, followed by the generic term CPP.
    Is this true? I did not hear a "no" in what Al said. What goes in the blank:

    _______________________ Certified Professional Photographer
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  2. #22

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    Hi Kirk
    The new Certified Logo simply says Certified Professional Photographer. I am already using it on my price lists and web site. I hadn't thought about it but I should add the PPA and APPI logos to these materials they are all related to one another. Just so you know Al does a great job of staying in touch with the certified photogs. I get regular emails from him sharing updates and information about certification and how to promote it. They aren't private messages but they are specifically designed for certified photographers. If you are certified you know his name. In his post he addressed one of my concerns over multiple certifications. In a nut shell he made sure everyone understands that these specialized certifications are not required to become certified and pointed out that they are most useful to memebers who will use them effectively for marketing. I will stick with just plain certified unless it becomes apparent to me that other certified photographers are gobbling up my market by being more targeted. With under 2000 in the country I don't think that will happen anytime soon. Thanks Holly, Kirk, Howard, Jack, Al et. all... for posting all this! Now I know I've said it before but that Betsy Finn needs some kind of coffee mug or mouse-pad or something for her "CUT THE CRAP" work on this forum. HAIL BETSY

  3. #23

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    Al
    Thank you for reminding me what the NOCA acronym stood for.

    I remember how much you were involved with this back when the Board of Directors recognized that a revamped certification program was essential to the continued existence of that program. I also remember when Board member Charles Strowd introduced the NOCA standards as a guideline for PPA to follow. In order to meet those standards I believe PPA was required to separate itself from the Administration of the "PPA Certified" program. That meant that PPA could no longer be responsible for the development of test questions, the actual testing, preparatory educational programs, record-keeping, image evaluations, promotion and general administrative responsibilities. This was one of the decision factors that prompted the formation of the AVA umbrella association. In the June Board minutes I see that the Certification Committee (a PPA Committee) is still charged with recruiting and maintaining certification liaisons, administering examinations, marketing and promoting the certification program, assisting with the image review portion of credentialing, as well as developing and distributing "how to" promotional pieces. Based upon what Charles presented to the Board back in 1999 and 2000, I don't see how this program currently meets NOCA guidelines.

    As I remember, there was nothing in NOCA guidelines that prohibits the recognition "PPA Certified". The Board of Directors at that time engaged in extensive discussions regarding the vaious product brand certifications, including Microsoft. While not Microsoft administered, that credentialing body is still able to play heavily on the Microsoft Brand Identity.
    The CPA designation, that has been touted in this thread, is administered by the various State Boards of Accountancy and proudly display that State Board brand on the certificate. The CPA program is promoted by the IACPA. Take a look at their web site and see the wealth of consumer information and member links that are available. Last year I completed my educational and testing requirements for my CRTP designation and that is promoted by the CTEC (California Tax Education Council) complete with a web site, quarterly newsletters, consumer awareness program, and legislative representation.

    In addition, it was NEVER the intent of that Board to eliminate the recognition, "PPA Certified". From the day it was determined through test marketing that the old PPA camera insignia was not easily recognizable for consumer awareness, PPA became very concious of "Branding". PPA spent millions of dollars in print media advertising to promote the PPA brand to consumers. Even today, MarCom is tasked with maintaining a consistant and recognizable PPA Brand identity.

    Given the above examples that meet the NOCA guidelines for credentialing, why would anyone want to surrender such a promoted and recognizable PPA brand in favor of a generic "CPP" administered by an equally generic "Certification Commission". In order to commit enough financial resources to promote "CPP" as a brand identity to the level PPA now enjoys, would be a drain on the association and counter-productive. Will the consumer decide upon a photographer who holds various degrees and honors from PPA, and International Association of over 14,000 members with award winning publications, ........... or will they be moved to purchase from a photographer that holds a designation of CPP from a "Certification Commission". If you have to rely upon the branding of a CPA in order to explain and justify a CPP, or relate to a consumer the casual PPA association to the credentialing body, there may be a problem.

    My brag wall is full of plaques, certificates, merits, and Degree recognitions that all bear the PPA brand; (I display every Certification Certificate back to the one I originally earned in 1986)
    These honors represent a high standard of professionalism and a valued code of ethics and conduct. That is an easy sell to my current and potential consumer. Why should I remove PPA from my brag wall in favor of a generic certification issued by an equally generic Certification Commission. In my humble opinion, a generic designation that is not backed by the strength of an identifiable Brand, could have been printed on a home computer and therefore is only as good as the paper it's printed on.

    Sincerely,
    Don Mitchell

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mitchell
    In addition, it was NEVER the intent of that Board to eliminate the recognition, "PPA Certified".
    Don,

    As you know it's very different sitting on the outside and being judgmental and different sitting in a room with a lot of other photographers weighing the information at hand. The board has the luxury of listening to and appraising information brought to us by marketing professionals, our staff, and others. This was a discussion on the board and after a debate, the conclusion of the board was to eliminate PPA Certified for very different reasons than you expressed in your note. As I remember, your statement about NOCA not requiring removal is not the way I remember it. I remember that NOCA said we needed to have the Certification Commission at arm's length from PPA. The board has been continually monitoring the transition and that is what we are in right now, a transition. This has taken a lot of discussion at the executive board and full board agendas. I think that you will contine to se echanges as we progress in this process.

    You are very entitled to your opinions about this, but I'm afraid the board came to different conclusions. We feel the path we choose is the right one.

    As you know well Don from serving yourself so well on the board, the board of directors isn't a bunch of old men with cigars in a back room. It's made up of a bunch of working stiffs, like yourself at one time. Myself, Ann Monteith, Dennis Craft, Ron Nichols, Ralph Romaguera, Sandy Puc, and all the others. Basically not what you would call shy or wallflowers. Discussions are very lively these days. We don't jump hastily into decisions that affect all the members. BTW, you wouldn't recognize the format of the board meetings. We've made changes so that discussions that need time get it fully. We've looked at how other organizations run their meetings and have adapted some very interesting changes to be more efficient with our time at the meetings.

    So your statement "it was never the intention of the board" is incorrect. This very well is the intention of the board. We voted that way after due discussion.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Normal, Illinois
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    Default PPCC Certified Professional Photographer

    So then, unlike the software certifications (such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Professional) that are closely identifed with known names, certification for photographers will be more like that of automechanics: ASE Certified Automobile Mechanic, which is not tied to any publically recognizable entity.

    Except that I can go to the asecert.org web site and find a whale of a lot more confidence-inspiring information about ASE certification. But the certifiedphotographer.com site (which I presume is the official site of the shadowy and mysterious "Professional Photographic Certification Commission"--does anyone know who they are?) is a lot more sparse.

    Although the certified photographer website says "...recognized throughout the industry," the Kodak site has nothing about it (where else is a customer going to look for a second-party "industry" endorsement of the program?). There is more information on the PPCC in this forum thread than there is published anywhere else.

    We can expect public confusion, and it will be necessary to build the importance of the PPCC up, which means winding down rhetoric about the PPA. It would probably help if the web sites weren't identically designed.

    Witness the Wikipedia entry:

    The Professional Photographers of America is the largest not-for-profit association for professional photographer in the world. In spite of the name, membership is not limited to America. Currently there are more than 14,000 members in 64 countries.

    Founded in 1880, The PPA is an association that seeks to help its members advance their careers by increasing the members’ business acumen as well as broaden their creative range.

    Their Professional Photographic Certification Commission is the leading certifying body for photographic and other imaging professionals in the world. They currently have over 1,500 professionals that have earned the Certified Professional Photographer credential. {emphasis mine}

    Therefore, the answer to my question finally winds down to: "PPCC Certified Professional Photographer" (which sounds faintly Communist to me...the Soviet Union was the "CCCP," but that's just my personal hangup).
    Last edited by KirkDarling; 08-09-2006 at 06:27 PM.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  6. #26

    Default Cpp

    Further CPP comments

    Thanks David for your very kind comments but I have to confess that I’m not the one who sends out information to CPP members. Actually, David Mithofer on PPA’s staff is responsible for putting that message together. The content comes from various volunteers and staff members.

    Betsy, you deserve more than just two complements!

    Some of the points people are making are interesting and everyone is pointing out how we can improve – that is a good thing. Getting that kind of feedback is one way we can get better.

    Kirk made a good point in using the ASE certification for auto mechanics as an example of a well know certification program that does not advertise who is the certifying organization. I like to use CPA as an example because very few people are familiar with the certifying body, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The key is that the public recognizes “Certified.”

    Photography isn’t one company such as Microsoft or GM and we know that the general public understands what “certified” means. The intent of the Certification program is to provide photographers and members with a tool that they can use to showcase their professionalism to the general public, to give them a means of enhancing their marketing and one that can stand up to legal scrutiny.

    That being said I can assure everyone that we are working hard to increase the value of certification to CPPs. Your suggestions are helpful and please keep them coming.

    Thanks,

    Al Hopper, CAE
    PPA
    800-786-6277, ahopper@ppa.com

  7. #27

    Default

    Al....David.... Whats the difference
    Just kidding, Sorry I got you mixed up. But I know I've gotten emails with your name on them to Is it the copyright action stuff? Anyway it is good stuff. - David

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