PCA presses forward with certification plan

PCA presses forward with certification plan

Trade association set to launch certification process for members over the next 12 months

VARs have welcomed the Professional Computing Association’s (PCA) plans to introduce its first technical certification for members.

The not-for-profit trade association, which has 800 UK members, will this week meet to discuss whether it is appropriate to include training requirements in its code of practice for the first time.

Keith Warburton, chief executive of the PCA, said: “We hope in the next 12 months to introduce a certification process.

“Until now, the only element of what we do that ties into professionalism is our requirement that members conform to our code of practice, which does not currently make reference to technical skills. But as a professional organisation that wants to raise its profile in the market, training is an issue we need to become mindful of.”

Warburton also said the PCA will this month unveil a range of extra “tangible benefits” for members, including discounts on products such as office furniture, holidays and finance.

Stephen Bushell, marketing director at VAR and PCA member Probrand, said: “Anything that will increase the professionalism of our industry is important. And if it is thinking about a certification based on best-of-breed criteria, we may be able to help it.”

Sue Richards, managing director of PCA member EBM, welcomed the move, but said: “The PCA has to consider if resellers already have high-quality vendors vendor certifications. We do not expect to be asked to jump through any more hoops.”

Warburton stressed the PCA would consult with members before announcing the form the certification will take.

“We will only go down this route if the benefits for our members outweigh the burden,” he said.