certification has been a contentious issue amongst geo-technology professionals
for years. Many arguments have been advanced for it, the chief one being that
certification is the only way through which a true GIS professional can be defined
for the consumer public. There have been counter arguments, for example that
certification will limit the widespread adoption of GIS technology, which is
just a tool that anybody should be free to apply, or that it will only add
another layer of regulation in a global political environment that favours
increased de-regulation. The objective of this paper is to create greater
awareness about GIS certification, which doesn’t exist yet in many countries,
including some developed ones. Such increased awareness may encourage the
standardization of GIS personnel qualifications, which could underpin a better,
more dependable growth of the GIS industry, especially in the developing
countries. Through analysis of key existing literature on the subject, plus the
author’s own professional experiences, the paper explores the issues around GIS
certification, looks at global trends on the issue and discusses the situation
in the Kenyan GIS industry in respect of certification. The paper finds that
there is a global move towards certification, and the relevant work of ISO has
given the issue international attention. However, the paper also finds that the
presence of a strong GIS professional association greatly assists in the
development of a program for such certification, and that the lack of such an
association makes it difficult to succeed.
Cite this paper
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