Core Competency-based Certification Program Model
UPDATE: In July 2007, the GISCI Oversight Committee developed a GISP-Only survey examining GISP's familiarity with the core knowledge areas of the Body of Knowledge. Over 550 (over 33%) GISPs responded. Al Butler, GISP analyzed the data and presented his findings at the URISA 2007 Annual Conference in Washington DC. His presentation slides are available [here]
Survey results presented in narrative form [here]
The GISP certification program was founded on the principle that real-world work experience combined with education and professional association activities could serve as a proxy for a comprehensive exam on the basics of geographic information science and technology (GIS&T). This was because, when the GISCI program was created, there was no established guide for the content of such a test.
GISCI has now had a couple of years of experience reviewing applications and compiling data on applicant qualifications. For most applicants, their education and work experience has conformed to the expected pattern and produced well-rounded career professionals who are competent in a broad area of GIS practice. However, submitted applications are not required to have experience in all the knowledge areas of GIS.
In order to define the full breadth of expected knowledge for a certified GISP, GISCI proposes to adopt the core competency areas listed in the recently completed Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge, 2006, developed by the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), as defining the scope of geospatial information science and technology (GIS&T).
The Body of Knowledge is structured around 10 knowledge areas embracing 114 competency units that should be covered by a comprehensive college education program for GIS&T. The Body of Knowledge identifies 24 of the competency units as representing the minimal content for any qualifying program. GISCI plans to modify its standard GISP application to include a requirement for the applicant to certify that he or she has the range of knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in those 24 core competency units through some combination of education and experience. Eventually, we could develop a GISP certification test based on these standards.
|24 Core Competency Units:
|AM3 – Geometric measures
||DA4 – Database design
||GD4 – Datums
|AM4 – Basic analytical operations
||DM2 – Database management systems
||GD5 – Map projections
|AM5 – Basic analytical methods
||DM3 – Tessellation data models
||GD6 – Data quality
|CF3 – Domains of geographic information
||DM4 – Vector and object data models
||GD10 – Aerial imaging and photogrammetry
|CF4 – Elements of geographic information
||DN1 – Representation transformation
||GD12 – Metadata, standards, and infrastructures
|CV2 – Data considerations
||DN2 – Generalization and aggregation
||GS6 – Ethical aspects
|CV3 – Principles of map design
||GD1 – Earth geometry
||OI5 – Institutional and inter-institutional aspects
|CV6 – Map use and evaluation
||GD3 – Georeferencing systems
||OI6 – Coordinating organizations
New Professional Experience Worksheet
Public Comment on Competency-based Certification
A change to the new approach based on the Body of Knowledge would not occur until the concept is endorsed by the GISCI Board of Directors. A vote by the Board will be held following a public review and comment period, which is presently underway.