Credentialing for Associations: Building Member Communities that Matter

    Membership associations are crucial to providing industry insights and guidance on required skills for career success.  As work landscapes evolve, associations become communities for collaborative career growth.
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    Creating and promoting a learning path for members to earn credentials increases membership appeal for current and prospective members, especially for associations focused on helping members develop professionally. Adding a digital credentialing component offers members tangible benefits that transfer over to their workplaces.

    Hear from Carrie Abner, Vice President of Credentials and Standards at the International Coaching Federation, on her association's experience launching a digital credentialing program

    Digital Credentialing for Associations Can Be a Game-Changer

    Credentialing has many benefits for associations, including using digital credentials to optimize your association’s learning and credentialing program. And if you choose digital credentials backed by rich metadata, you'll be able to provide members with proof of learning and drive awareness of your brand. They can even help your members stand out on LinkedIn, supporting another key engagement driver—networking—and leading to career opportunities, promotions, and increased earnings. 

    infographic with text "3 Steps for Using a Digital Credential Program to Increase Association Appeal" explaining why credentialing for associations is important

    3 Steps for Using a Digital Credential Program to Increase Association Appeal

    Here are three steps to creating a digital credential program for your professional or trade association:

    1. Identify upskilling and reskilling needs

    Your association members look to you for guidance on building meaningful professional networks and managing professional development, so it’s important to identify the skills they need to succeed and grow their careers. Luckily, as an association, you’ll have access to industry leaders with decades of experience and insight into future trends and hiring needs to determine upskilling and reskilling opportunities. Work with your members to pinpoint these skills to inform your credentialing program.

    2. Build the right content for your members

    What types of industry-specific questions do your members frequently ask? Are there topics or skills your association promises to help them grow?

    Any credentialing content and training you offer should align with your association’s goals. Figure out if you can just provide training or if you need to create a mechanism for members to prove proficiency through testing or some other verifiable process. The course as a whole, its content, and potential instructors are key elements in an effective program. And don’t forget about analyzing learning content consumption to figure out what’s working and what needs to be tweaked.

    Particularly for millennials and Gen Z members, your content needs to cater to their unique values, preferences, and priorities. Download our ''Six Ways to Attract Gen Z and Millennials to Your Membership Association Using Digital Credentials'' infographic to learn more. 

    3. Promote, promote, promote

    Every time a member shares their credential, it’s a meaningful brand impression on popular networking sites such as LinkedIn or in their email signature that gets viewed by their colleagues. Using digital credentials such as badges to recognize members for certifications, training, and event participation lets you represent your brand—and your members—the way you want. And all of this sharing, searching, and viewing can help develop a sense of community and attract new members.

    Build a member community that matters

    To start a successful digital credentialing program for your association, partner with the most comprehensive and connected digital credential provider in the industry, like  Credly Acclaim to market and scale your certification programs. You can also download our whitepaper, 'Growth Strategies for Professional Associations: Maximizing Revenue with Digital Credentials,' to explore how digital credentials can boost demand for memberships and training courses while fostering community engagement.

    Contact us to learn more about how digital credentials can help your association recruit, engage, and retain members

    Download the Whitepaper

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