Business of Certification Workshop



Tuesday, November 6
9:00 am - 5:00 pm 

The Renaissance Austin
Austin, TX

Early Bird Rate*
ICE Member: $355Nonmember: $385

Regular Rate
ICE Member: $400Nonmember: $430

Register Today

The Business of Certification Workshop will be hosted during the pre-conference day of the ICE Exchange. 
*The Early Bird Rate expire Friday, October 5, 2018.

Intended Audience

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

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.
  • 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: ICE 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.


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 also co-authored the “Future Trends in Certification” chapter in the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE) Certification Handbook. Lenora is a recipient of ICE’s prestigious Industry Leadership Award for innovation in the field of professional credentialing.

Jennifer Naughton, MA Ed, SPHR, Principal and Founder, Naughton Consulting 

Jennifer has 25+ years of experience in the selection and training industries. She is passionate about assessing, building, and credentialing the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the globe.

Jennifer served as the senior director at ATD, a membership organization dedicated to serving talent development professionals, and at the ATD Certification Institute, which certified them. While at ATD, Jennifer was responsible for the start-up and the performance of the entire certification business. Her accomplishments included launching two industry-wide competency models, two global certification programs, and designing the innovative stackable credentialing framework into which they fit. Prior to ATD, Jennifer was an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and a Research Scientist at HumRRO, focused on human capital projects and initiatives for the federal workforce.

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: