In a recent team discussion, we were discussing certification, in the context of capacity building, and whether or not the certification should include a written test. Tests have their place no doubt, when they are used as one of a multiple different ways for the students to obtain certification.
But we need to be careful on how we judge success. If judge the ‘success’ of the trainer or teacher is how many students pass the written test, then very quickly the teachers will ‘teach the test’. It is natural for this to happen, and should be expected. The teaching style and content will change as the metric has led the system to produce good ‘test-takers’ not people who have learned.
With tight budgets and short time slots, figuring out how to do capacity building with certification is tough. Perhaps we need to question why we need certification – what is the problem certification is solving and can it be solved differently? Perhaps we need to look at trade apprenticeship models more than university models? And maybe, just maybe, we can consider being proudly unaccredited and being project based, encouraging each other to show up with their best selves and contribute, not competing against each other or some test.