Recognizing competency and high performance is vital to the American economy establishing benchmarks, defining competence, and setting performance standards. Trade associations and professional societies take a lead role in developing effective credentialing programs. A well-developed certification or accreditation program is one of the most important services a membership organization can provide for the public and other key stakeholders. Never have the public, employers, and government agencies relied as much on certification and accreditation organizations. But venturing into either of these fields requires a careful analysis and evaluation of a range of complex issues. Michael Hamm & Associates has years of experience helping associations and certification and accreditation organizations in every phase of this process.