Here's some interesting guidance I found, from a financial regulator on the concept of professional designations. I think it can apply to any field
"When deciding whether to approve the use of a [financial] designation, consider whether the designation has: (i) a rigorous curriculum; (ii) an emphasis on ethics; (iii) a continuing education requirement; (iv) a method for determining the individual’s current status regarding the designation; (v) a public disciplinary process; and/or (vi) been issued by a reputable or accredited organization."
Another document from the same source suggests the following questions:
- What training or courses are required to earn the certification?
- Does the designation or certification require a certain level of work experience or education?
- Did you have to pass an exam? What kind of exam – in-class or online?
- For how long is your certification valid
- Can someone check that your designation or certification is current?
To all of this, I would add: "Can the certification be obtained through a grandfathering clause that bypasses any exams?"
I wonder what "public disciplinary process" are in place with the associations behind the designations I've obtained. Hmm, I should probably know that.