Institute for Credentialing Excellence

Business of Certification Workshop

This workshop is designed for strategic decision-makers of certification programs and other senior staff and board members responsible for developing business strategy. 

Virtual Workshop Dates - Updated Dates 

The Business of Certification Virtual Workshop will take place in three sessions over three consecutive weeks. 

Session 1: 10:00 -12:30 pm ET, Monday, October 18, 2021

Session 2: 10:00 -12:30 pm ET, Monday, October 25, 2021

Session 3: 10:00 -12:30 pm ET, Monday, November 1, 2021

Quality Content

Once your certification program is up and running, you discover the real truth about managing these programs: ensuring psychometric soundness and legal defensibility is the easiest part of administering the program. There are widely available standards and accepted practices you can rely on for guidance. Succeeding in the business of certification is the real challenge.

This workshop provides a unique opportunity to take a focused, deep-dive into the business of certification. Learn about processes and tools which will aid you in thinking about your markets differently and increasing your revenue. The workshop will address five fundamental questions pertaining to the development of your certification business strategy:

  1. What is our value proposition and how can we enhance it?
  2. What is our business model and how can it guide our decision-making?
  3. What approaches are most relevant at different stages of the certification program lifecycle?
  4. How do we identify and evaluate new revenue opportunities (e.g., market expansion, additional products)?
  5. How should we retool when our certification business falters (i.e., when volumes decline, plateau, or are below expectations)?

Learning Objectives

  • Use value dynamics to identify opportunities for creating greater value for credentials.
  • Describe the key elements of a certification business model and how they relate to the formulation of business strategy.
  • Identify the stages of the Certification Product Lifecycle and the strategies most relevant at each stage.
  • Delineate tools and processes which can be used to identify new revenue opportunities and list factors to be considered when deciding whether to pursue these opportunities.
  • Identify the unique challenges associated with managing a portfolio of credentials (vs. a single credential).
  • Summarize the most common reasons for a faltering certification business, possible strategies for mitigating these circumstances, and exit strategies to implement if problems cannot be resolved.

Recommended Reading

We recommend participants read, The Business of Certification: Creating and Sustaining a Successful Program (2nd Ed). The book discusses the application of business principles such as marketing and business planning to the creation of certification products and provides insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by established certification programs. 

Please note: I.C.E. members can receive a discount on the purchase of this book. Email for additional information.


In this interactive learning event, we will provide ideas, processes and tools you can use immediately to guide your organization in defining a clear vision for your future business strategy. You also will have the opportunity to share your challenges and "wins" in the business of certification and learn from those of your colleagues. The virtual workshop will be delivered in three, 2.5 hour sessions held over a period of three weeks (one session per week). Participants will be asked to complete short assignments prior to each session.


Lenora Knapp, PhD, President, Knapp & Associates International

Lenora Knapp is the President of Knapp & Associates International, Inc., a management consulting firm that has served the credentialing community for 25 years. The firm’s work is focused on helping organizations maximize the success of their certificate and certification programs. Prior to her employment at Knapp, she worked for management consulting companies in the development of marketing and communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies.

Lenora is the founder of the Knapp Certification Re-Think Tank™, an elite group of industry influencers established to re-think, re-define and completely re-shape the business of certification. She co-authored The Business of Certification, a best-selling association management publication recognized by the American Society of Association Executives as one of “Six Books You and Your Association Need.” and authored the “Future of Certification” chapter in the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE) Certification Handbook (2nd Ed). Lenora is a recipient of ICE’s prestigious Industry Leadership Award for innovation in the field of professional credentialing.

Jennifer Naughton, MA, SPHR, President, Naughton Consulting 

Jennifer Naughton is the President and Founder of Naughton Consulting, a firm that specializes in certification and certificate program strategy and start-up. 

Jennifer has 25+ years of experience in the learning, assessment, and certification industries and is passionate about maximizing talent in organizations. She has published over a dozen books and articles including the most recent “5 things you need to know about stackable credentials.”  Prior to Naughton Consulting, Jennifer was a senior director at the Association for Training and Development (ATD) where she launched two international certification programs and created a stackable credentialing framework for the training profession. Prior to ATD, Jennifer was an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and a Research Scientist at HumRRO focused on human capital projects for federal government clients. Jennifer has a Master’s in Education from George Washington University and lives in Arlington, Virginia with her cats Snowshoe, Patrick, and Jack.

Pre-Workshop Assignment

Please map your organization's business model using the Business Model Canvas prior to the workshop. You may find it beneficial to print the canvas in poster size. The purpose of this activity is to “put to paper” your business model and value proposition. During the workshop, we will draw on the insights you have gained from completing the canvas.

If you are not familiar with the canvas, the following two-minute introductory video, along with the questions embedded in the canvas, should be sufficient to orient you to the process:



First Registrant
Member Rate: $375│ Non-member Rate: $450

Register Now - 1 participant

Second Registrant from the Same Organization
Member Rate: $335│ Non-member Rate: $405

Register Now - 2 participants


Please note: A limited number of individuals can register for this workshop. Registration will close once we reach capacity.