The Global Standard for December 2009

The Global Standard for December 2009

*** A message from Ned Lundquist, ABC, chair, IABC Accreditation Council

Greetings and welcome to the first edition of “The Global Standard.” This will be my way of communicating with accredited communicators, candidates and those who are just curious. This newsletter is a forum about accreditation, but more importantly, for those communicators interested in learning more about becoming accredited, the value of accreditation and the process to attain accreditation. If you have a question, a topic for discussion or something you’d like to see in the The Global Standard, e-mail This newsletter, posted at the IABC eXchange site will replace the ABC List, which I started several years ago. If you received the ABC List in the past, you will need to go to and sign up for The Global Standard. After November we’ll be shutting down the ABC List listserv for good.

I started the ABC List newsletter in 2002, because I was shepherding some accreditation candidates through the process and wanted some way to gently remind them about accreditation and the value of what they were engaged in. In 2002 I explained that: ”This list is a forum for accredited communicators, and more importantly, those professional communicators who seek to be accredited and wish to learn more about the process and the value of accreditation.”As the idea was to help keep accreditation in the forefront of the minds of candidates, as well as engage ABCs with the questions that candidates have, I also felt it could be a tool to share information with those undecided about getting started with the accreditation process. So with that in mind, I’m going to try and accomplish a little of all three of these objectives in each issue of The Global Standard.

Over the next few issues, which I hope to post monthly, I will discuss the value of accreditation, the process of becoming accredited, and some of the exciting new paths open to you to achieve this designation. As chair of the IABC Accreditation Council, I get asked a lot of questions about eligibility, comparisons between an MBA and an ABC, or how to overcome inertia. So this forum will be used to answer those questions. I invite you to ask me any question you want about accreditation, and I’ll give you an answer, or connect with someone who has an answer. Let’s take a look at a few of the questions and answers:

*** Question: I have reviewed the criteria for accreditation under IABC. I assume that there are no exceptions? Specifically, I have a Bachelor’s degree, but only THREE years of full-time communication experience.

Answer: While you do need five years of experience with a four-year degree, you can take the next two years to put your portfolio together. You’ll be ready to go when you reach the five year mark.

*** Question: I am an IABC member hoping to obtain my accreditation. I have six years of full-time experience, a two-year diploma in Communications, and several university course credits (equal to a year or more) in communication-related fields such as English, writing and communications theory. I can provide the official transcripts to verify these additional courses.Looking at the chart which states six years full-time experience and three years of post-secondary education—does this apply to my educational experience, or do you need to have some certification/degree for it to qualify?

Answer: With a two-year degree you would need seven years of experience. I’ll be happy to review your transcripts to see if your academic record adds up to three full years, in which case six years of professional communications experience will qualify you. ***

Some people look for a reason to put off getting accredited. Here’s a colleague who I’ve been pestering, and who I talked to earlier that day who finally found that perfect reason she had been looking for to get started: ”My horoscope for today: “Many will offer advice, but most of it isn’t helpful….Get the ear of someone you respect. You need to bounce your ideas off of a wise person who can help you see what you need to do next.”

Dude, that wise person must be you! I guess now I’ll have to come up with a timeline for accreditation.

Seriously, I did talk to my boss when I got back. She thought it was a good idea, and something to work for this year—no more excuses!”

*** For senior communicators:

Question: Does the IABC offer an accreditation process specifically for those with so many years of experience?

Answer: The senior accreditation seminar is a pilot project that recognizes that senior communicators may be working more at a strategic level, advising the CEO, and leading communications teams, rather than developing and executing programs themselves.

Applicants for this program must be full-time professional communicators with a minimum of ten years of experience in business communication (organizational communication, public relations or communication management) and hold a bachelor’s degree or a total of 15 years of combined post-secondary education and work experience. Instead of the normal portfolio requirement of two different work plans and work samples, the EAS allows for an oral presentation. With either option, one must show the recognition of a new, situation or opportunity, some research or analysis of the situation and how it relates to the over all business objectives, establishment of key messages/audiences/media, establishment of measurable objectives, the plan, execution, and results tied to the objectives.

*** Here’s more on the EAS:

The Executive Accreditation Seminar is not a fast track program; it is not a relaxation of the standard, and it does not make the process of becoming accredited easier. IABC recognizes that senior communicators often work at a strategic level and are less involved in the tactical execution of a communication effort. EAS offers a modified path to becoming accredited for very senior communicators. EAS substitutes the requirement to submit two written portfolios containing work plans and work samples with an oral presentation of an organization’s business objectives and communications plan, measurable objectives and results. The individual must have performed at a high-level and must have a meaningful portfolio submission to share that demonstrates knowledge and application of the strategic communication principals. This presentation does require preparation prior to the seminar. Additionally, the participants will work as a team to conduct strategic communication planning as part of the leadership development process.

The Executive Accreditation Seminar curriculum is designed with more than 60 hours of onsite work including structured sessions composing about 55 hours and team meeting sessions of 8 hours. In addition, participants have pre-work on their portfolio to bring to the weeklong onsite program which is not included in the onsite time commitment.

At the end of the week, the candidates will take the accreditation exam.

In addition to completing the requirements for accreditation, the participants receive executive level content from the academic partner institution (in this case,

The EAS is not an easier path to accreditation. But it may be a more appropriate path for some senior communicators.

*** The accreditation application:

We’ve streamlined the application from a rather complicated form that you filled out in detail and had to scan and email, fax or mail, to a much simpler one-page application that accompanies your resume. It’s easier for everyone.

*** October was Accreditation Month. We had some pretty cool prizes to help you overcome your inertia. Check them out!

*** If your chapter is holding a workshop, fun shop, exam prep session, exam date, pinning ceremony or the like, let us know and we’ll publicize your event here in The Global Standard. Send your input to

*** If you have a question about accreditation, send it to

*** Do you know who your Chapter Accreditation Liaison is? You can check the list here for a local contact that can help you get started, or keep moving with the process:

*** Upcoming teleseminars: Developing Your Accreditation Portfolio

10 December

Presenter / Amy Santoro, ABC / LucidWorks Strategic Communication Planning

*** About The Global Standard:

This forum is for those professional communicators who seek to be accredited and wish to learn more about the process and the value of accreditation.

Candidates, prospective candidates and ABCs are invited to send questions, comments and observations to

IABC Accreditation: The Global Standard. A Personal Statement. © 2009 International Association of Business Communicators.

601 Montgomery Street, Suite 1900 San Francisco, CA 94111 USA

+1 415.544.4700 Be Heard(R)

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