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What is Changing in GIS Certification . And why should I be Certified? Eric Bohard, GISP. What’s Out There?. ASPRS - Certified GIS/LIS Technologist Approx. 10 ASPRS - Certified Mapping Scientist Approx. 70 SSSI - GIS Professional (Asia/Pacific) Approx. 90 GISCI – GIS Professional

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what is changing in gis certification

What is Changing in GIS Certification

And why should I be Certified?

Eric Bohard, GISP

what s out there
What’s Out There?
  • ASPRS - Certified GIS/LIS Technologist
    • Approx. 10
  • ASPRS - Certified Mapping Scientist
    • Approx. 70
  • SSSI - GIS Professional (Asia/Pacific)
    • Approx. 90
  • GISCI – GIS Professional
    • Approx. 5,300

(there is some double counting with individuals being certified in multiple programs)

gis certification institute gisci
GIS Certification Institute (GISCI)
  • Thisyear will be celebrating 10 years in existence
  • GISCI is a member based organization made of representatives from geospatial professional organizations:
    • Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
    • Geographic Information & Technology Association (GITA)
    • University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS)
    • Association of American Geographers (AAG)
    • National States Geographic Information Council (MSGIC)
    • Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS)
why was a certification program created
Why Was A Certification Program Created?
  • To establish GIS as a profession
  • To provide a means for attaining recognition by allied professions and colleagues that the GIS professional has demonstrated professional competence and integrity in the field
  • To encourage long-term professional development that will help existing professionals maintain currency in GIS technology and methods

To ensure ethical behavior by members of the profession and provide a basis for judging the validity of allegations or complaints against GIS practitioners

  • To assist prospective employers assess and hire GIS professionals
  • To ensure that those who produce geographic information have a core competency of knowledge
  • To assist aspiring GIS professionals choose their educational opportunities wisely
what is certification
What is Certification?
  • Certificate – An award given to an individual recognizing completion of an academic or training program.
  • Certification – A process, often voluntary, by which individuals who have demonstrated a level of expertise in the profession are identified to the public and other stakeholders by a third party.

Licensure – The granting of a license to practice or be titled a profession. Often regulated by states and indoctrinated in legislation. Designed to protect the public’s health, safety, and guard against incompetence

  • Accreditation – The process of evaluating the academic qualifications or standards of an institution or program of study in accordance with pre-established criteria
what is a gisp
What is a GISP?

GISP is a certified Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Professional who has met the minimum standards for ethical conduct, educational achievement, and professional practice by making contributions to the profession as established by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI)

why become gisp certified
Why Become GISP Certified
  • Recognition of accomplishment from employer
  • Recognition of competency from other professions
  • Professional standing among peers
  • Agree to abide by a Code of Ethics
  • Compared to other certifications, GISP affordable
gisci certification
GISCI Certification
  • is a professional recognition program for GIS Professionals who have at least 48 months of experience
  • is attained by the application scrutinized by an independent group of GIS professionals (peers)
  • is awarded to individuals who can document achievements for:
    • Education
    • Experience
    • Contributions to the Profession
gisp process
GISP Process
  • www.gisci.org
    • Step by Step Guide
    • Application Forms
  • Build a Portfolio
    • Documentation of Education
    • Documentation of Work Experience
    • Documentation of Contributions
  • It’s all about points – need 150
  • 30 points for Education
  • 60 points for Experience
  • 8 points for Contributions
  • 52 points can be counted in any of the above
  • Adds up to 150 which is the minimum
  • No benefits to claiming more points
  • Remember, you need to document everything so save yourself some time by submitting enough points to become certified
  • Once application is complete with documentation, mail with $250 fee
  • Checked for completeness
  • Randomly assigned to peer reviewers
  • Deficiencies identified, if any, and applicant given opportunity to explain/amend
  • Part of the process is agreeing to a statement of ethics
  • Process takes about 2 months
  • Initial certification is good for 5 years
  • Need to renew every 5 years. ($125)
  • Based on points from education, experience, and contributions to the profession
    • 10 points for education
    • 10 points for contributions
    • No minimum for experience
    • 20 additional points to be earned from a combination of education, experience, and contributions
    • 40 points needed
other stuff
Other Stuff
  • Is GISCI Certification tax deductible?
    • No
  • Do I have to be a member of one of the GISCI member organizations?
    • No
  • Should I get this certification if I use GIS in my job as a _______ (planner, landscape architect, engineer, forester, etc)?
    • Not really

Should I pursue the certification if I am a frequent user of GIS in my job as a _______ (planner, landscape architect, engineer, forester, etc)?

    • Not really
  • I am a professional ________ (planner, landscape architect, engineer, forester, etc) and I spend most of my time doing GIS analysis, programming, managing, designing, and assisting others using GIS. Should I seek a GISP?
    • Yes – this is what is necessary to become a GISP
what is changing
What is Changing?
  • Exam
    • Due to be implemented first quarter of 2015
    • GISP will be a combination of passing the exam and completion of the existing points portfolio requirement
why an exam
Why an Exam?
  • Evolution of the certification process
  • Standing with other professions
  • Strengthens the value of a GISP
  • Advances the GIS profession
how will the exam be constructed
How will the Exam be Constructed
  • The exam is based on the Geospatial Technical Competency Model (GTCM) tier 4, Geospatial Core Technical Competencies
  • Because the GTCM more of an illustration of what skills are required, in order to develop the detail needed as a foundation for an exam, GISCI is basing its exam development on job analysis
exam development process
Exam Development Process
  • Job Analysis – finished

Core technical tasks and knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) for GIS professionals are identified through focus groups of GIS Professional Subject Matter Experts (SME’s or job incumbents). SME’s are from a full range of GIS jobs and sectors. The process also includes consideration of the Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge. SME’s rate the tasks and KSA’s. The tasks and KSA’s are linked together.

  • Exam Blueprint Development - finished

The exam blueprint will be derived from the Job Analysis results and will lay out the content of the exam. It will indicate the task-related knowledges that will be included on the exam and the extent to which they will be covered.


Item Writing - underway

A team of SME’s will be trained in item writing by professional test developers and will write the exam questions in a workshop setting. Each question goes through several iterations of review and rewriting before becoming part of the item bank.

  • Exam Construction

The specific exam(s) will be constructed for the item bank, according to the blueprint

  • Pilot Exam

A large group of SME’s will take the exam

  • Standard Setting

Standard setting or “pass score” determination will be developed by a group of senior SME’s working as a team. They will follow procedures standard to the professional certification and exam development industry

exam particulars
Exam Particulars
  • Will certification via the exam carry more weight and prestige than the current portfolio method?
    • No – A GISP is a GISP no matter how earned
  • Can I still get my GISP the current portfolio method?
    • Yes – if you don’t like taking exams and have the points to earn your GISP now, why not? After the exam starts, need to do both.
  • When will costs, exam preparation materials, exam locations, etc. be announced?
    • August 2014

I am currently a GISP. Can I take the exam to prove I have the skills?

    • No
  • Can non-GISP’s take the exam any time without respect to the submittal of your portfolio?
    • Yes – recent graduates or students might find this beneficial.
  • Will passing the exam without submitting your portfolio confer any certification designation or status?
    • No. At this time, the only certification is a full GISP