Well, it looks like the GIS Certification Institute has finally settled on their plan to change the GISP certification program. Effective July 1, 2015, all professionals applying for their initial GISP certification will be required to take and pass the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam, now being developed, in addition to meeting the current standards for certification via a portfolio based review based on ethics agreement, education, experience, and professional contributions.
Already have a GISP badge? All current professionals holding GISP certification with a recertification date after July 1, 2015 will recertify for a 3 year period, and will pay an annual renewal fee of $95 for each of the three years of the new recertification period. The portfolio points for continuing education and service to the profession required for the 3-year recertification will be reduced proportionately from the current 5 year requirements. All professionals certified or recertified before July 1, 2015 will remain certified under the current 5 year recertification policy and fees until the next certification expiration date and then will begin the new 3-year renewal and recertification process.
The cost for certification will change too, from $250 every 5 years to $450 every 3 years. Let’s say you want to be in this GIS profession for 25 years. Under the current system without considering the new system, you would have paid $1,250 over your lifetime. Under the new system, you will have paid $3,750. That is a 300% increase! For a comparison, our Engineers only pay $125 every 2 years for certification!
Is getting a GISP worth it? That is up to you and what you want to do. I would expect that if you worked for a GIS consulting company, they would want their employees to be GISP certified to make the company more marketable. In Education, maybe. In government at the management level, most jobs I’ve seen that even mention it have “GISP preferred” or “GISP a plus”, but I suspect that more will start requiring them and it might make sense to get one if you want the job. And if you can, try and get your current employer to pay for it!
I will not interject my personal opinion about the GISP, other than when I look at hiring someone, I don’t care if you have a GISP or not. Anyone can take a test or attend conference. It is what you know and what you have done that counts before I decide to hire you. Save your money! -mike