PR — On December 31, 2008, the Grandfathering Provision of the GIS Certification Institute’s (GISCI) certification program expires. A typical applicant for Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP(r)) certification must claim and document achievement in three distinct categories:
1. Educational Achievement (formal and informal courses and conferences
related to geospatial and GIS technology).
2. Professional Experience (professional positions involving GIS).
3. Contributions to the Profession (professional and personal activities
designed to elevate and promote the GIS profession to others).
Points are awarded for achievement in each of these three areas. Minimum
points, as well as an overall point minimum, are necessary for
certification. The problem with seasoned professionals is that many lack
the GIS-specific education and contributions necessary for
certification. However, all have solid experience and professional track
records that speak for themselves. The Grandfathering Provision was
GISCI’s equitable solution to this dilemma.
Grandfathering provisions are typical of new certification programs. The
GISCI Grandfathering Provision is for experienced practitioners. A
practitioner’s experience is allowed to compensate for deficiencies in
the other two achievement categories. If a minimum number of years and
experience points are met, then the individual may obtain certification.
Due to the lack of widespread GIS-related educational and professional
activities in years past, the Grandfathering Provision makes those areas
optional for seasoned practitioners. If an applicant claims at least 200
Professional Experience points, the education and contributions sections
of the application are noncompulsory. 200 points is three times the
amount of professional experience that a traditional applicant must
claim. Grandfathering is not a fast track to certification. Instead, it
attempts to mirror the career trajectories of dedicated visionaries.
The Grandfathering Provision period was set at five years to provide a
temporary window to these established practitioners. After December 31,
2008, all applicants must submit under the regular guidelines. GISCI
advises all candidates eligible for the Grandfathering Provision to
submit this year for consideration.
GISCI is an independent, non-profit organization providing the GIS
community with a complete and voluntary certification program. There are
1,920 GISPs(r) as of December 25, 2007. For more information regarding
the GISCI certification program, please visit www.gisci.org or call