As the end of year approaches, there is no doubt credentialing is top-of-mind as association members work to fulfill their requirements before year’s end. It’s also a great time to reevaluate your credentialing programs, as a whole. We know from the 2017 Member Loyalty Study that credentialing is one of the most valued member benefits and a key to retaining members. However, as uncovered in our recent Association Digital Member Study, members rate their technology experience with credentialing as third tier, signaling the need for improvement in this area.

Here are a few ideas to help you prepare for a successful credentialing program in 2018.

Find out what your members what.

How? Ask them. Surveys, focus groups, and 1:1 conversations and emails are all good ways to gather feedback from members. Not only does this give members a vested interest in your learning program, it also allows you to understand what types of courses and credentials are the most valuable to your members.

Consider an online credentialing course.

Our research shows that members who perceive their organization as an early technology adopter are significantly more satisfied with their membership and feel more connected to their organization. Instead of asking your members to travel to an onsite location to complete a course, consider creating, delivering, and archiving an online course for convenient consumption. There’s no greater investment than in the member experience.

What about a certification program?

When it comes to credentials, there’s an accrediting body certifying that members have not only completed a course, but have achieved a specific level of knowledge as a result. It’s possible that your organization is not ready for credentialing or perhaps would not benefit from such a program. If that’s the case, you may want to think about offering a certification program you design and approve on your own, with certificates that can be shared with employers.

Incorporate key trends.

From tackling new technology to generational shifts and competing resources, associations are finding themselves in the midst of a constantly shifting landscape. When it comes to credentialing, it’s critical to embrace change and understand key trends, such as digital badging and micro-credentialing. Strive to create a learning program that’s unlike anything offered anywhere else.

To learn more about how to take your current learning programs to the next level with engaging credentialing and certification programs, check out our webinar, “Credentialing is King.”