A survey by the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) and sponsored by global communication leadership initiative #WeLeadComms was conducted across the communication profession to understand current perceptions around the value of communication credentials and their importance in the workplace and explore the experiences of GCCC certificants. More than 350 professionals from 28 different countries responded.
Professional. Standards. Credibility.
Participants were asked about their perceptions of credentialing communication professionals. Words like professional, standards and credibility were echoed by participants with a central theme emerging, deeming credentialing essential for communication professionals globally.
Even so, most survey respondents believe the communication profession has a significant journey ahead to earn the same level of respect as other professions.
The good news is, the findings suggest GCCC certificants are more likely to experience higher or equal levels of respect in the workplace, than those without GCCC credentials.
The Value of Communication Credentials
Respondents were asked several questions about the value of communication credentials and GCCC certificants appear to reap the benefits of their credentials.
68% of respondents believe it is either very important or important for communication professionals to be credentialed. When examining the perspectives of individuals holding GCCC credentials, the percentage rises to 93%, in contrast to 54% for those without GCCC credentials.
Only 24% of respondents believe credentialed communication professionals are more or equally respected when compared to credentialed professionals in other professions.
The findings suggest GCCC certificants are more likely to experience higher or equal levels of respect in comparison to those without GCCC credentials.
46% of respondents believe the status of credentialed communication professionals has not changed in the last 10 years when compared to credentialed professionals in other professions. This provides an opportunity for credentialing bodies to increase credibility overall.
Additional feedback suggests there seems to be a general lack of awareness regarding the existence and therefore the significance, of communication credentials. According to respondents, more needs to be done to highlight the value and importance of communication credentials within our profession and beyond.
Why People Pursue GCCC Certification
Changes in respondents’ perceptions between 2020 and 2023 indicate an increase in the importance of GCCC certification among communication professionals. In 2023, 69% of respondents agreed that GCCC credentials give them more credibility in their current work, compared to 32% of respondents in 2020. The two other main reasons why respondents pursued certification include credentials (36%) and confidence (36%).
A third of respondents indicated they pursued GCCC certification because it’s the only communication certification program in the world that meets the International Organization for Standardization standards (ISO/IEC 17024). This international standard was developed with the objective of achieving and promoting a globally accepted benchmark for organizations operating certification of persons.
Overall, possibilities for promotion, increased pay and peer pressure have tripled as drivers for certification since the previous survey in 2020.
Respondents also indicated they pursued certification to demonstrate leadership by being a role model, for personal development, to benchmark self, to promote and support the profession, to gain confidence, recognition and to be competitive.
“Certification helps raise the professional respect of our profession. The renewal process ensures you keep yourself up-to-date, and that you receive recognition for that. Our role relies heavily on our credibility and good reputation – certification helps to establish this.” – Andre Oberholzer SCMP, South Africa
The Impact of GCCC Certification
When certified respondents were asked what career outcomes occurred after they received their credentials, 22% indicated none had occurred, a figure that has almost halved since the 2020 survey.
Most respondents indicated personal benefits in terms of improved personal branding and increased respect and recognition from peers. More respondents have received a pay rise (18%), increased job offers (16%), been promoted (15%) and been approached by recruiters (14%) since the previous survey in 2020.
Respondents indicated that renewing their certification maintains their credibility, keeps their skills and knowledge up to date and demonstrates professionalism and relevance. As one respondent suggested, “I am motivated to renew based on the same reason I pursued certification: to validate and build recognition of my strategic competence as a communications professional.”
GCCC a Catalyst for Progress
The study highlights how communication credentials serve as a tangible representation of a communication professional’s expertise, can enhance their professional standing, and create pathways for career advancement and personal growth in the communication profession.
Don’t just take our word for it, read these insights from certified communication professionals Simon Monger and Adam Fuss who gained their SCMP certification in 2020. For more information about the study, download the two-page infographic.
If you too believe professionalism, standards and credibility for communication professionals is important, consider getting certified today.
To learn more about GCCC certification, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gcccouncil.org
About CMP and SCMP Credentials
The CMP and SCMP certifications were introduced in 2015 and 2017, respectively, to ensure the continuous professional development of communication professionals with a focus on ethical practice. Administered and governed by the GCCC, two tiers of certification are offered for practitioners based on their years of experience: Communication Management Professional (CMP) and Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP). The certification process involves sitting for a three-hour exam under the supervision of a proctor. The CMP and SCMP certifications superseded the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) credentials offered by IABC are the only certifications in the world that meet ISO standards (ISO/IEC 17024). The program is open to eligible communication professionals around the world, regardless of association-membership status. More information is available at gcccouncil.org
Sia Papageorgiou FRSA, SCMP and Mike Klein SCMP
Sia Papageorgiou, is a multi-award-winning strategic communication consultant, trainer and coach based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the former chair of the GCCC and a former IABC regional and chapter leader. In 2021, she was named IABC Asia-Pacific’s Communicator of the Year and in 2022 was awarded the prestigious Rae Hamlin Award in recognition of her exemplary service in advocating the Global Standard of the Communication Profession and evangelizing the power and possibility of communication.
Mike Klein is an Iceland-based communication strategist, researcher, and consultant with extensive internal and political communication experience. Mike has designed, conducted and led internal research initiatives for global multinationals, public sector organizations, and merger and acquisition activities. He has also managed political campaigns in more than 10 American states. Mike is the former Regional Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), holds an MBA from London Business School and is a certified Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP).