Definition of Certification

For decades, most of the training offered in the industry is not for certification – it is training to a certificate – there is a significant difference. Although the certificate is valuable, it is not a certification as defined by the credentialing organizations that are the standards in all other industries.

The Definition of Certification

The American College Dictionary defines “certified” as “guaranteed or reliably endorsed.” In general, there are three levels of assurance that can be provided through certification: first, second, and third party.

First-party certification defines most Executive Protection training. The training provider offers the student some type of assurance that their training is of value, but the question students need to ask before attending the program – of value to whom?

ISDA is a second party certification which requires an association to provide the assurance that the training received is of value to the student and the market it serves. It is incumbent on the association to monitor the level of knowledge, skill, and experience of its members to ensure the value of their certification, and as with first-party certification – of value to whom?

The ISDA Certification Driving Skill Standards are derived from decades of research conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers, ISO, and NHTSA. Their research has created a better understanding of how drivers make decisions in emergencies and how long it takes for measuring driving skill and therefore, survivability in an emergency scenario. It is these standards that are used in the ISDA Certification Process. Also ISDA will require a minimum of two years of continuous experience.

Third-party certification involves the independent evaluation of the level of knowledge –skill and experience by expert unbiased sources. In general, third- party certification is considered the highest level of assurance. Third-party evaluation is provided by two organizations – American National Institute of Standards (ANSI) and the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Certification approval from these two organizations is a very expensive and an arduous task.

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