Published in TDAN.com April 2002
Update on DAMA and the ICCP
“Certification, in itself, is not a goal, but Professionalism is.”
Dr. Paul M. Pair, Fellow of the ICCP, 1982
What is certification? Certification is a process for ensuring that an individual has the knowledge, skills and/or abilities needed to perform a job, job role, duty or responsibility at a standard
level of performance. It must have Measurable Validity, be Legally Defensible and be Work Related. Certification is not a class, an event, an end-of-course exam, a self-assessment, or a job
evaluation. It isn’t subjective, a qualification, or a prerequisite. Certification is a combination of Experience, Education, and Testing that indicates a professional level of dedication to a
particular discipline or field.
The Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) is an independent certification organization that offers two vendor & product-neutral certifications, the Certified
Computing Professional – CCP (experience based, professional level) and the Associate Computing Professional – ACP (entry level); and also Proficiency Certificates in 11 computing and 6 language
areas. The ICCP establishes recognized professional standards within the information systems and information technology industry. ICCP examinations test comprehension and knowledge of stringent
industry fundamentals, not product specific characteristics.
Certification for IT professionals began way back in 1962 with the Certified Data Processor (CDP) designation offered by the Data Processing Management Association (DPMA – today know as the AITP).
The ICCP was formed in 1973 by a consortium of 8 professional associations including the DPMA and the Association for Computing Professionals (ACP), at the time and still the largest professional
societies in the IT field. Today the ICCP is the certifying body representing the needs of over 75,000 IT professionals in 7 constituent and 17 affiliate associations internationally.
The ICCP has offered the CDP since 1973, followed by the Certified Computer Programmer in 1977 and the Certified Systems Professional in 1986 (with the Association for Systems Management). In 1994,
a single designation, the Certified Computing Professional was created. All of these certifications are based on Experience, Education, and Testing. The ICCP was the first program to introduce
Professional Development (in 1986) in the form of a re-certification program requiring certification holders to continue to develop professionally in order to maintain their standing by
participating in educational and professional activities.
The Data Management Association (DAMA) International has been an affiliate society of the ICCP for a long time, well over ten years. About 1994 DAMA worked with the ICCP to create a specialty exam
in Data Resource Management (DRM). This year, we upgraded the status of our participation with the ICCP to Constituent status. What this means is that DAMA is now a voting member of the
organization and participates on the board of directors in setting the direction of the future of professional certification in the information systems and technology field.
In keeping with our mission to be the Premier Organization for Data Professionals Worldwide, we want to expand the scope of the current DRM exam which today is an even balance between data
administration and database administration topics. We realize that the field has expanded and today data management professionals have a much broader range of responsibilities than just ten years
ago. To that end, we are looking to add Data Warehousing, Meta Data Management, Data Architecture, and other topics to the examinations. We are considering creating three separate exams in Data
Management, Data Warehousing, and Database Administration, and perhaps offering a separate certification and designation for data management. The ICCP is very supportive of our goals and anxious to
work with us to develop these programs.
Today, DAMA International has two directors who sit on the ICCP Board and who are actively engaged in moving these programs forward. The first order of business in this regard is to develop the
additional exam topics and generate the test bank for each subject. Following that, we will test and validate the questions and then consider how to package them in one, two or three separate
If you are interested in helping develop these tests and set the direction for the future of data management certification, contact one of the two DAMA directors to the ICCP:
- Brett Champlin, CCP, firstname.lastname@example.org, (847) 667-6733
- Pat Cupoli, CCP, email@example.com, (856) 424-7812
Column submitted by Brett Champlin, the Vice President of On-Line Services with DAMA International. Please visit the DAMA International web-site at http://www.dama.org.