Certified courses and certification
We write our own courses to meet our customer's need rather than the requirements of a certification scheme - though often these two objectives do not conflict.
CERTIFICATION SCHEMEThus far, we have chosen not to take part in any certification scheme as this would have meant that we would lose editorial control of our notes and agenda and/or have to increase our prices. Where examination schemes are available we keep one eye on the curriculum of the exam to ensure we're preparing trainees appropriately where the exam is their objective.
This is something we're often asked about, so here's a bit more detail which originated in an answer to an emailed question inviting us to join such a scheme ...
"The training we provide is "in-job" training to employees of companies and other organisations to enable them to perform their role in their position. Our primary task is not to give trainees a general grounding that will increase their employment prospects elsewhere, nor to have them spend their time and money learning elements of the subject with might be of common interest but aren't relevant to them. One of the great advantages that we have that sets us apart from other trainers is our small group size and the personal attention we can give; even public courses presentations are tailored to fit the group we have each time and we focus on each individual's needs. We have a minimal dropout rate and much of our business comes through recommendation; I think that speaks for itself. We are not a school or college with a primary goal of getting our trainees through an exam to provide an indication of employability".
"Certification schemes are organised by companies wishing to promote the products they sell. Occasionally it's the certifaction or course notes they want to sell, but more often it's their software tools. It's our philosophy that you should not send trainees from an "Open Source" course back trained up to use that Open Source software primarily through a third party software tool. Most of our customers have limited budgets, and I know how I would feel if I sent someone on a course and they came back with "and now I also need to spend ..." because of how their training was delivered. If a piece of licensed software gained (say) 30% market penetration -- in other words, if 1 in 3 programmers routinely used it -- this view would no longer be relevant as by that point it would be approaching a de facto standard rather than just an aspect of how we chose to train. I am happy to demonstrate third-party software where appropriate, but I could not justify raising prices to meet extra costs of perhaps a hundred pound per trainee, nor could I justify changing our courses to promote 3rd party products to excess, in order to claim an official certified course."
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