Certification allows me to demonstrate my knowledge to my peers

A guest post by Michael Nord, SCMP

As a communication professional and strategic adviser, I help people, teams and organizations achieve their goals.

This year I have sat for two certification exams, the SCMP (Strategic Communication Management Professional) provided by the GCCC (Global Communication Certification Council), and a White Belt in Agile Project Management, provided by a client.

Perhaps a bit of background is in order. I fell into marketing and communication, back in the 1980s. After four years in the Royal Danish Air Force, I was looking for work and ended up at an electronics company working my way up from sales to marketing and PR. And that was the beginning of my almost 30 years in communication.

I have since received both a diploma in marketing and an MBA, but hadn’t sought professional certification like many of my peers. When I joined IABC more than 10 years ago, I learned of the ABC (Accredited Business Communicator) program, and I admired my peers who had proudly added this post-nominal to their names.

Over the past year, we at IABC and the international executive board have focused on promoting the new certifications, Communication Management Professional (CMP) and Strategic Communication Professional (SCMP) and I felt a kind of peer pressure when people I work with, and people I respect and admire passed their exams. When the talk came around to taking the exam during the IABC World Conference in Montréal, in June, I felt it was now or never.

I reached out to some of my nearest IABC friends and asked their advice on how to prepare, and as part of the application, I also reached out to my CEO to ask for a letter of recommendation. He wrote: “Michael is a people-centric person and has excellent diplomatic and ambassadorial skills—offering leadership and mentoring of his own to senior executives and CEOs in large energy companies.”

I must admit I was nervous leading up to the exam, as I have never been good with exams and the challenge with multiple choice is I start to question myself. Going into the exam room I was a bundle of nerves. My yoga breathing though helped me calm down and the atmosphere in the room was quiet and serene.

Afterward, I was exhausted and went for a drink in the beautiful Canadian sunshine with a fellow board member. We spent the time evaluating our exam and were not quite sure whether we made the cut or not. But to my joy, I received the notification a week later that I had passed and now have added the SCMP designation to my name. Thank you.

It makes me feel proud that I have done this and as a dear IABC friend said, “this is a testament to your career and work.” I am glad I have now joined a club of people from around the world and I can only encourage others to do the same. Whether you are in the early days of your career and go for the CMP certification or you are further in your path and go for the SCMP certification; It is not just proof to your employer and peers—it is also a proof to yourself, that you truly are a strategic communication professional.

If you happen to attend the Asia Pacific regional conference, Fusion in Melbourne—that is your chance! Otherwise, there will be other opportunities.

Good luck.