Current Press Releases and News
- (3/1/2011) GISCI to Consider Public Comment-Update
(1/28/2011) GISCI Invites Comment on Proposed Examination Requirement
(10/12/2010) GIS Analysts are in the Top 10 Low Stress Jobs and Top 100 Best Jobs in America, according to Money Magazine and Payscale.com, as seen at CNN.com
- (4/30/08) California Endorses GISCI Certification
- (3/27/08) ESRI Renews Offer to Donate Training and Materials to First 3,000 Certified GIS Professionals (GISP)
- (2/5/08) Ohio Endorses GISCI Certification
The GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) Grandfathering Provision Ends December 31, 2008
- (1/8/08) GISCI Announces Mentoring Program for Students, Non-Traditional Students, and Young Professionals
- (9/26/07) New Jersey Endorses GISCI Certification
- (8/13/07) The National Association of Counties Formally Recognizes GIS Certification Institute’s Professional Certification Program
- (8/12/07) New York Times profiles GISCI and Michelle Boivin, GISP and Shoreh Elhami, GISP.
- (7/28/07) Pamela Colby, GISP interviewed by the San Antonio Express-News regarding GISCI and the GIS profession.
- (6/15/07) Geography, GIS, and Mapping Communities Support Court Ruling in MAPPS Lawsuit
- (5/17/07) The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Certifies Over 1,500 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) and Welcomes Largest Monthly Cohort Ever.
- (3/22/07) Public Comment Period Opens for GISCI Core Competency-based Certification Model for GISPs
- (1/25/07) GISCI, AAG, GITA, UCGIS, and URISA file Friend of the Court Brief
in MAPPS et al., v. United States Suit
- (1/25/07) GISCI Makes Changes to the Recertification Requirements, Adds Appeals Process, and Sets Recertification Fee
- (10/31/06)The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Unveils New Rules of Conduct for GIS Professionals
- (10/27/06) William "Bill" Enslin, GISP (1944-2006)
- (6/14/06) The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Formally Recognizes Volunteer Contributions
- (2/18/06) Former Board Member William Huxhold, GISP and Executive Director Scott Grams are interviewed in Directions Magazine.
- (2/6/06) The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Certifies Over 1,000 GIS Professionals (GISPs)
- (11/29/05)The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) joins the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) as a Member Organization.
- (8/19/05) The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) adds Testimonials to Web Site and Certifies its 800th GIS Professional (GISP)
- (4/20/05) The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) unveils The GISC-Eye Online Newsletter
- (3/16/05)The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Names Scott Grams First Executive Director
- (1/19/05)State of Oregon Formally Endorses the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) Professional Certification Program
- (12/15/04) North Carolina Becomes First State to Endorse GIS Certification Program
- (12/06/04) The Association of American Geographers (AAG) joins the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Board of Governors
- (11/24/04)National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) joins the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Board of Governors
- (1/20/04)ESRI Donates Training and Materials to First 1,000 GISCI Certified GIS Professionals
- (1/7/04)Roger Tomlinson Awarded GISP Certification for Lifetime GIS Achievement
- (12/10/03)GIS Certification Institute Certification Program Roll-out
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Welcomes New Board Members and Officers
Des Plaines, IL – During its Annual Meeting on April 28, 2009, the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) welcomed new Board members, elected new officers, and recognized the contributions of those who had completed their leadership terms.
Each of GISCI’s five member organizations have appointed new representatives or reappointed existing representatives to serve on the Board of Directors:
Association of American Geographers (AAG) David DiBiase, GISP, Penn State University; Doug Richardson, GISP, Association of American Geographers
National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) Ed Arabas, GISP, State of Oregon; Michael Vanhook, State of Alabama Geospatial Office
University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Rakesh Malhotra, GISP, North Carolina Central University; Steven Prager, GISP, University of Wyoming
Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) David Hansen, GISP, USGS; Kim McDonough, GISP, Tennessee Department of Transportation
Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) Robert Austin, GISP, City of Tampa; Ian Fitzgerald, GISP, Truckee Donner Public Utility District
Officers were also elected by the Board to lead GISCI for the next year:
President – David DiBiase, GISP, Penn State University
Vice President – Ed Arabas, GISP, State of Oregon
Secretary – Michael Vanhook, State of Alabama Geospatial Office
Treasurer – Kim McDonough, GISP, Tennessee Department of Transportation
The following Board members concluded their terms on the Board and GISCI recognizes their great contributions to the organization:
Association of American Geographers (AAG) Matthew Koeppe, Association of American Geographers
University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Francis Harvey, University of Minnesota
Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Bruce Joffe, GISP, GIS Consultants (Vice President)
The number of GISPs has grown during the past twelve months, with 4,648 individuals earning the credential since the program’s inception. For more information about GISCI, visit www.gisci.org.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Press Information: Sheila Wilson, GISCI, (847) 824-7768, firstname.lastname@example.org
GITA Becomes a Member of GISCI
Aurora, Colo., April 26, 2010—The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) is very pleased to announced its official membership in the GIS Certification Institute. The two organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding and will begin working together to certify more geospatial professionals.
Details on using GITA programming to earn GISP points are outlined on GITA’s Web site at http://www.gita.org/membership/gisp_cert.asp. A GISP is a certified geographic information systems (GIS) professional who has met the minimum standards for ethical conduct and professional practice as established by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI). For a full explanation of the program visit the GISCI page.
“We are excited to have GITA involved. GITA’s support of and involvement in GISCI is a clear indication of the need for GISPs in the utilities and infrastructure-oriented industry,” said Sheila Wilson, GISCI Executive Director. “The strength of multiple GIS organizations working together towards this common goal will enhance the GIS profession and strengthen the role of GIS through all sectors of our economy.”
”GISCI provides clear direction for a successful geospatial career path, and GITA is committed to supporting that direction with our educational programs,” said Robert M. Samborski, GITA Executive Director. “This is an important development for our members and constituents who are interested in obtaining certification as a geospatial professional, as well as for the geospatial industry as a whole. We look forward to contributing to the continued evolution of the GISP program through the increased involvement of GITA members in utilities and infrastructure-oriented organizations.”
The minimum number of points needed to become a GISP as detailed in the three point schedules given below, is 150 points. The minimum points in each category are:
• Education: at least 30 Points
• Experience: at least 60 Points
• Contributions: at least 8 Points
As a nonprofit association for the geospatial industry, a GITA membership provides several ways to earn necessary points in the Contributions area to become a GISP. GITA’s geospatial industry network also connects individuals to companies, organizations, and educational institutions that provide the education and experience points needed. In addition, GITA conference attendance counts toward points in the education component, and GITA half-day seminars offer continuing education units (CEUs), which can be used toward fulfilling your education points to become a GISP.
The Geospatial Information & Technology Association, or GITA, is the professional association and leading advocate for anyone using computerized mapping for the extraction of data to own, operate, maintain, and protect the infrastructure. GITA is the source for professional best practices, education, and employment.
The GIS Certification Institute, or GISCI, provides the geographic information systems (GIS) community with a complete certification program. GISCI offers participants from the first early years on the job until retirement a positive method of developing value for professionals and employers in the GIS profession.
Harvey Mapstone Named a GIS Professional (GISP)
(Des Plaines, IL) December 22, 2009 - The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) has announced that Harvey Mapstone has been named as a GIS Professional (GISP). Sources within GISCI indicate that Harvey Mapstone is Santa’s lead mapping elf. Mr. Mapstone reportedly manages the GIS team at the North Pole in coordination with NORAD (www.noradsanta.org). Wendy Nelson, GISCI Interim Executive Director for 2009, was unavailable for comment because she was on vacation. Sheila Wilson, GISP and new Executive Director of GISCI, confirmed that Mr. Mapstone was a certified GISP but stated that she could not confirm or deny his employment. An internet search of Mr. Mapstone’s accomplishments showed the following journal articles:
- Christmas Maps Around the World
- Database Design: Integrating Population Data with Regional Toy Preferences
- Using Real-Time Christmas Eve Data from NORAD and NOAA
- Geolocation and Mistletoe
Ed Arabas, GISP and President of GISCI, stated that he was unable to confirm or deny the GISP status of North Pole personnel but believes they have a large staff with many elves who qualify for certification through GISP.
About GISCI: The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization that provides the geographic information systems (GIS) community with a complete professional certification program. Those who complete the certification program are GIS Professionals (GISP). GISCI offers participants from the first early years on the job until retirement a positive method of developing value for professionals and employers in the GIS profession. (www.gisci.org)
California Endorses GISCI Certification
Park Ridge, IL - The California GIS Council (CGC), the primary geographic information systems coordinating council for the state, has formally endorsed the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) certification program for GIS professionals. California has joined New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon and North Carolina as the five states to offer endorsements of the program.
"The California GIS Council recognizes and endorses concepts embodied in the certification program of the GIS Certification Institute," wrote CGC council member Michael Byrne, GISP. "The certification program of GISCI provides a firm basis for identifying requirements for those practicing the profession. The certification program and related programs provide a cadre of GIS professionals to develop and apply geospatial data to meet the needs of California."
Bruce Joffe, GISCI President, added, "We welcome California's endorsement. As geodata usage and GIS services become more mainstream in government and industry, the identification of GIS professionals who are GISCI-certified becomes more valuable to both service receivers and employers, as well as to service providers."
The CGC is made up of representatives from local, regional, state and federal government agencies and the private sector. It was formed to coordinate the planning, implementation and maintenance of a California GIS infrastructure. This includes strategic planning for systems, organizational structures. services, policy, standards, procedures, and other factors that affect the ability of member organizations to jointly develop or acquire, share and maintain spatial data adequate to their needs.
Currently, 122 certified GIS professionals (GISPs®) reside in the state of California. There are 2,125 GISPs® as of March 25, 2008. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
Ohio Endorses GISCI Certification
The GISCI certification program was recently endorsed by the Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program (OGRIP) for the GISCI program. OGRIP serves as the de facto state GI council for Ohio.
(OGRIP) endorses the GIS Certification Program and believes it represents a significant step forward in recognizing the contribution of GIS professionals to their organizations, their communities, and the profession. The OGRIP Council strongly believes in the concept of professional certification for the GIS community and specifically GIS practitioners.
Stuart R. Davis, Chair
Ohio Office of Information Technology
The complete endorsement letter is available [here]
The GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) Grandfathering Provision Ends December 31, 2008
Park Ridge, IL – On December 31, 2008, the Grandfathering Provision of the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) certification program expires. A typical applicant for Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP®) certification must claim and document achievement in three distinct categories:
- Educational Achievement (formal and informal courses and conferences related to geospatial and GIS technology).
- Professional Experience (professional positions involving GIS).
- Contributions to the Profession (professional and personal activities designed to elevate and promote the GIS profession to others).
Points are awarded for achievement in each of these three areas. Minimum points, as well as an overall point minimum, are necessary for certification. The problem with seasoned professionals is that many lack the GIS-specific education and contributions necessary for certification. However, all have solid experience and professional track records that speak for themselves. The Grandfathering Provision was GISCI’s equitable solution to this dilemma.
Grandfathering provisions are typical of new certification programs. The GISCI Grandfathering Provision is for experienced practitioners. A practitioner’s experience is allowed to compensate for deficiencies in the other two achievement categories. If a minimum number of years and experience points are met, then the individual may obtain certification.
Due to the lack of widespread GIS-related educational and professional activities in years past, the Grandfathering Provision makes those areas optional for seasoned practitioners. If an applicant claims at least 200 Professional Experience points, the education and contributions sections of the application are noncompulsory. 200 points is three times the amount of professional experience that a traditional applicant must claim. Grandfathering is not a fast track to certification. Instead, it attempts to mirror the career trajectories of dedicated visionaries.
The Grandfathering Provision period was set at five years to provide a temporary window to these established practitioners. After December 31, 2008, all applicants must submit under the regular guidelines. GISCI advises all candidates eligible for the Grandfathering Provision to submit this year for consideration.
GISCI Announces Mentoring Program for Students, Non-Traditional Students, and Young Professionals
Park Ridge, IL – The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) has created a mentoring program to link students and young professionals up with certified GIS professionals (GISPs). The program is the first of its kind certified identified GIS professionals up with future practitioners. GISCI continues its mission of promoting the GIS profession as a viable career path for aspiring geospatial technology professionals.
Students and young professionals enter the GIS field with questions. These can range from "what skills are necessary to become a GIS professional" to "what will my typical work week be like" to "how should I prepare for an interview or internship." GISPs have the answers.
The mentored individual must be a student (undergraduate or above), non-traditional student (student attending school later in life) or young professional (1-2 years in the field). The mentoring relationship is meant to last for a minimum of six months. After that, the GISP will be eligible for one contribution point towards his or her recertification. The mentored will be better equipped to confront the challenges of the workplace. Additionally, both the student and mentor will have made a professional contact that can be relied upon for years to come.
Ideally, both the mentor and mentee will reside in the same geographic area but this is not a requirement. The information that GISPs will be able to offer, be it technical, ethical, or professional will be invaluable to aspiring professionals as they move forward in their careers.
Students or young professionals interested in the program should visit the GISCI website for further details on selecting a mentor. The program is open to all current GISPs. Incoming GISPs are eligible to participate only after certification has been granted.
New Jersey Endorses GISCI Certification
The New Jersey Geospatial Forum (NJGF), the primary geographic information council for the state, has formally endorsed the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) certification program for GIS professionals. New Jersey has joined Oregon and North Carolina as the three states to offer endorsements of the program.
"The NJGF recognizes and endorses the effort of the GIS Certification Institute has taken to establish the formal recognition of the GIS professional, through its certification processed," wrote Vice Chairman of the NJGF David N. Kunz, GISP. "Today's geospatial community contains diverse individuals utilizing geospatial technology in an ethical and professional manner. GISCI certification, through its certification process and Code of Ethics, provides recognition to our community."
The New Jersey Geospatial Forum (NJGF) is an open organization, encouraging the participation of any individual interested in New Jersey's geospatial industry. It represents a group of individuals from many different sectors sharing a common interest in geospatial technologies. The NJGF is a restructuring of two entities, the New Jersey Geographic Information Council (NJGIC) and the State Mapping Advisory Committee (SMAC). Currently, 25 certified GIS professionals reside in the state of New Jersey.
The National Association of Counties Formally Recognizes GIS Certification Institute’s Professional Certification Program
Park Ridge, IL - The National Association of Counties' (NACo) GIS Committee recently issued a letter of support for the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) certification program for Geographic Information Systems Professionals (GISPs). The letter was read and recorded by the NACo Board of Directors at their meeting held in conjunction with the July 2007 NACo Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia.
"The GIS Committee of the National Association of Counties supports the work of GISCI for promoting good business practice," said the Honorable Randy Johnson, Chair of the NACo GIS Committee. "We believe that [GISCI's] work strengthens the various professions within the GIS industry by promoting a strict adherence to a sensible code of ethics, defining minimal cognitive standards for GIS professionals, and encouraging long term professional development."
NACo is the national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential leadership services to the nation's counties. NACo's membership works in more than 2,000 of the nation's 3,066 counties. These counties represent over 80 percent of the nation’s population.
"This is a major development," said GISCI President Bruce Joffe, GISP. "NACo's recognition of GISCI's professional certification program indicates that our GIS industry is maturing into a profession. People with GISP certification have been experiencing a competitive advantage in the workplace, as significant employers, and now professional associations, are recognizing the benefit that GISP certification brings to their organizations."
Earlier this year, GISCI was invited to present the certification program and its benefits to the NACo GIS Committee during NACo’s March Legislative Conference in Washington DC. The theme of the presentation was how the professional and ethical standards proposed by GISCI can be helpful to county managers, GIS departments and employees. Currently, county employees comprise over 20% of the total number of GISPs.
GISCI is an independent, non-profit organization providing the GIS community with a complete and voluntary certification program. There are 1,664 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of July 25, 2007. For more information regarding the GISCI certification program, please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
Geography, GIS, and Mapping Communities Support Court Ruling in MAPPS Lawsuit
Joint Press Release Issued By:
- Association of American Geographers (AAG),
- GIS Certification Institute (GISCI),
- Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA),
- University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS),
- Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
MAPPS v. US – MAPPS Loses Lawsuit
Washington—The U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, last week ruled against special interest groups seeking to strictly limit government contracting for mapping and GIS activities. In the matter of MAPPS, et al., v. United States of America, Judge T.S. Ellis III issued a summary judgment in favor of the government based on the MAPPS plaintiffs’ failure to “establish that an injury in fact was suffered by the individual surveyors or their firms.”
Several geographic and GIS organizations, including AAG, GISCI, GITA, UCGIS, and URISA joined together to support the government and oppose the MAPPS litigation through educational outreach and the development of an Amicus Brief to the Court on the case. The AAG has also established a Mapping and GIS Community Defense Fund to help defray the cost of legal fees and educational activities related to these issues (see www.aag.org).
The “Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors” (MAPPS) filed the lawsuit earlier this year seeking to limit competition for federal mapping contracts of nearly every type, including GIS services, to firms of licensed architects, engineers and surveyors.
“The federal court’s rejection of the MAPPS lawsuit in this ruling will help ensure that all qualified professionals in the mapping and GIS communities can fairly compete for government contracts,” said Douglas Richardson, executive director of the AAG.
A ruling in favor of the MAPPS plaintiffs would have had far reaching negative impacts on cartographers, geographers, computer scientists, planners, foresters, GIS specialists, governmental agencies, GIS service companies, and many others who have long been creative, innovative, and productive forces in the mapping and GIS fields.
A copy of the judge’s decision and additional background information on the case is available at the following websites: www.aag.org, www.gisci.org, www.gita.org, www.ucgis.org, and www.urisa.org, or by contacting David Coronado at 202-234-1450.
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Certifies Over 1,500 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) and Welcomes Largest Monthly Cohort Ever.
Park Ridge, IL - With the April 2007 cohort of Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) surpassed the 1,500 GIS professional milestone. The first group of GISPs was certified in October of 2003 as a result of the pilot program used to test the rigor of the process. The Institute formally opened its doors on January 1, 2004. There are now 1,540 GISPs as of April 25, 2007.
”Increasing numbers of GIS professionals are realizing the value of professional certification in dealing with other professionals,” said GISCI President Bruce Joffe, GISP. “Increasing numbers of non-GIS managers, and human resources professionals, are relying on ‘GISP’ to indicate a GIS professional's experience and education.”
April was additionally historic as GISCI welcomed its largest cohort of GISPs on record. 61 GISPs were certified in April putting it slightly ahead of the largest previous cohort of 58 GISPs certified in March 2004.
GISCI expected the growth of applications to remain steady in 2007 but numbers appear to be swelling. Already the number of GISPs has surpassed initial estimates for the first quarter. GISCI attributes the growth to better recognition of the credential by the industry, GISP-to-colleague networking, and the importance of properly defining GIS as a profession.
Applications are processed individually and then verified as part of a monthly group. This makes it impossible to determine the identity of the 1,500th GISP. All members of the April 2007 cohort can take pride in knowing it was their application that helped GISCI attain this important achievement. Credit also goes to the 1,479 GISPs who preceded them.
Public Comment Period Opens for GISCI Core Competency-based Certification Model for GISPs
Park Ridge, IL - The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is considering a fundamental change to the way it certifies GIS professionals (GISPs). This change may lead to the development of a GISP examination down the road. Currently, GISCI is seeking public comment from the GIS community and GISPs on these proposed changes.
The GISP certification program was founded on the principle that real-world work experience combined with education and professional association activities can serve as a proxy for a comprehensive examination 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, identifying a wider and more defined range of expertise has been the goal of GISCI from the start.
In order to define the full breadth of expected knowledge for a certified GISP, GISCI proposes to consider 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). 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 is considering modifying its standard GISP application to include a requirement for the applicant to certify 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, GISCI could develop a GISP certification examination based on these standards.
Before any of that occurs, GISCI is seeking comments from both the GIS community and current GISPs on the proposal. Comments from the GIS community are vital to putting the core competencies to a practical test. If the core competencies are not reflective of GIS professionals, a certification program or examination based on them would be prohibitive. If professionals want to make their opinions known, use our guestbook for public comment. Please pay close attention to the listed core competencies and leave comments on the new proposal. A "Frequently Asked Questions" document is available for further explanation. The public review period lasts from 3/22/07 – 4/30/07.
To view the Core Competency-based Certification Model visit:
GISCI Makes Changes to the Recertification Requirements, Adds Appeals Process, and Sets Recertification Fee
Introduction and Background
In 2008, the first cohort of 29 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) will celebrate their 5-year anniversary. Along with this occasion comes the need for recertification. Recertification is compulsory every five years for individuals to maintain GISP credential. The requirements for recertification were set in 2001 along with the requirements for initial certification. Hours upon hours of discussion were spent determining the point values for the initial certification process. At the time, the thought on recertification was to divide the total in half, adjust the category minimums, and require a total of 75 points.
This early decision, not based on actual data for working professionals caused many GISPs to grumble. The 2001 point minimums were not consistent with the actual training and professional activities for most GISPs.
When compared with other professional certification programs in related fields, maintaining GISP status was far and away the most difficult. In fact, based upon education requirements alone, GISP recertification is the most rigorous requiring 160 hours of continuing education over the five-year period. That’s 32 hours per year. In relation:
Rank of leading certification programs based on the maximum education hours necessary per year:
- GISCI Certified GIS Professional = 32 hours
- ASPRS GIS/LIS Technician (***Maximum) = 27 hours
- NENA Emergency Number Professional (***Maximum) = 25 hours
- APA/AICP Certified Planner = 20 hours
- ASPRS GIS/LIS Mapping Scientist (***Maximum) = 16 hours
- IAAO Cadastral Mapping Specialist = 8 hours
- ASPRS GIS/LIS Mapping Scientist (Minimum) = 0 hours
- ASPRS GIS/LIS Technician (Minimum) = 0 hours
- NENA Emergency Number Professional (Minimum) = 0 hours
*** = Applicants do not need to take continuing education courses or workshops. They can supplement continuing education with various other activities
(Source: Analysis of GISCI, ASPRS, NENA, APA, and IAAO websites)
Oversight Committee Action
Numerous GISPs emailed or called with concerns. GISCI sent those concerns to the Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee makes structural program change recommendations to the Board. Over the past 6 months, the rigor of recertification was a topic of much debate amongst members of the Oversight committee (a group of 20 volunteers from around the US who are themselves GISPs). The primary concern was not to find some way to make it easier to recertify, but rather to evaluate the recertification process to make certain it correlates to how GISPs are currently earning points. The goal was to strike a balance between extremely active professionals and those who are unable to earn copious recertification points. On one hand professional certification needs to be rigorous enough to ensure certification is meaningful. On the other hand, if requirements are set too high, GISPs would need to spend much of their time accumulating recertification points instead of focusing their time and attentions upon their profession. This would make recertification prohibitive and thus makes initial certification irrelevant.
When the discussion and debate among committee members reached a general consensus, input was sought from other GISPs through a web survey. The results corroborated the concerns of the Oversight Committee that the minimum points required in each of the three point categories (education, experience, and contributions to the profession) might be set too high. Of the 151 respondents to the survey, over 40% felt they would not be able to achieve the minimum education points. Over 30% felt they would be unable to reach the contribution point minimum. If these numbers were representative, almost half of all GISPs would be unable to hold onto the credential. This was viewed as a critical problem.
With this in mind, the Oversight Committee drafted a proposal to 1) Decrease the point minimums for each category by 25% without lowering the overall point minimum and 2) Establish an Appeals Committee for GISPs unable to meet the recertification requirements. This proposal was then reviewed by the GISCI Board of Directors and approved on January 3rd, 2007.
The changes are as follows:
Previous recertification requirements:
4 EDU points
50 EXP points
10 CON points
11 flex points in any of the three categories
= 75 points
Compare that to the NEW recertification requirements:
3 EDU points
37 EXP points
7 CON points
28 flex points in any of the three categories
= 75 points
This allows for greater portability of points between EDU, EXP, and CON without penalizing those who could not make the minimum in one category but far surpass the minimums in another. GISCI doesn't want to create a scenario where we cheapen the requirements for recertification. By allowing for greater portability between the categories we enforce the principle that all three areas are essential for recertification but allow for greater flexibility between them. Additionally, the change does not penalize GISPs operating under the previous guidelines since excess points may be used as flex points.
Many GISPs will often find themselves in one of two scenarios. One situation is when an employer does not support continuing education and contributions. The other is where the applicant is doing less hands-on GIS work but still wants to remain recognized as being part of the profession.
The Appeals Process
The other change made on January 3rd, is the establishment of an appeals committee for GISPs who are unable to meet the recertification requirements. The appeal process requires that a GISP earn a minimum of 56.25 (75%) points to have an appeal heard. If this criterion has been met, the GISP can complete an appeals form and detail the reason why he/she was not able to earn the requisite points within the 5-year time period. An Appeals Committee (comprised of Review Committee members) will read the appeal and render a decision. The GISP will either remain certified or lose his or her credential.
Recertification Fee and Application Availability
The fee for recertification has been set at $115. This will cover an additional 5 years of affiliation. That works out to $23 per year or $2 per month. The fee was kept as low as possible without sacrificing the level of maintenance needed for recertifying GISPs. A draft of the application is now available. The application is a helpful tool for existing GISPs to track their points over the 5-year interim period.
The Oversight Committee and Board of Directors feel the new changes are both fair and equitable. These recommendations will improve the number of GISPs able to recertify without damaging the reputation of the credential. While still a rigorous recertification process, we hope that professional certification will be enhanced and find continued support within the GIS community.
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Unveils New Rules of Conduct for GIS Professionals
Park Ridge, IL – The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) has recently unveiled a supplement to its Code of Ethics entitled Rules of Conduct. The GISCI Code of Ethics presents a set of principles toward which professionals must continually strive. The Rules of Conduct is a set of implementing laws of professional practice that seek to express the primary examples of ethical behavior consistent with the Code of Ethics. Both the Code and the Rules govern ethical professional practice standards, and violations of each may be brought before the GISCI Ethics Committee for punitive action. The Rules of Conduct are available on the GISCI website at: http://www.gisci.org/rules_of_conduct.htm.
“The adoption of the Rules of Conduct represents a major step forward in enhancing the view of GIS as a respected profession,” said Geney Terry, GISP Chair of the GISCI Ethics Committee. “The development of the certification program and the Code of Ethics were significant achievements in their own right. However, I see the Rules of Conduct as a notice to the public that GISPs have high standards by which we will perform our duties and that we can be counted on to provide ethical and professional service.
She continued, “If a GISP violates the Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct, that person not only affects their own professional standing, but potentially affects the profession as a whole. I like to think of all GISPs as banded together with the common goal of promoting and protecting our profession. The Rules are our roadmap to achieve that goal.”
GISCI is committed to making ethics more than a professional buzzword. Therefore, GISCI holds its Certified Geographic Information Systems Professionals (GISPs) to higher ethical standards through the Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct. These documents represent a way of living a professional life, beyond simple guidelines for behaving at work. Achieving the GISP certification is an initial milestone on the path to being recognized as a professional. Living the ethical life of a professional is a daily test that will present numerous challenges for which the Code and Rules offer a guide to decision making.
GISCI wants to enforce the principle that GISPs put their credential at risk with each professional exchange. Earning professional GIS certification means GISPs acknowledge and welcome this risk. They voluntarily agree to operate under ethical principles designed to guide their professional interactions and career development. GISPs found guilty of ethical violations may be faced with a range of penalties from private admonishment to public censure to removal of the GISP credential. These penalties are designed to educate the GISP in regards to their unethical behavior and to prevent similar situations from recurring.
There are 1,289 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of September 25, 2006. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program, please visit www.gicsi.org or call (847) 824-7768.
William "Bill" Enslin, GISP (1944-2006)
Taken from IMAGIN press release
On behalf of the IMAGIN Board of Directors, I am sad to share the news of the passing of William "Bill" Enslin on Tuesday, October 17, 2006. Bill was a co-founder and past president of IMAGIN. Bill's passing is a great loss to the Michigan GIS community, he was an innovator, mentor, and friend. His enthusiasm was irrepressible and infectious, and he brought that enthusiasm to every aspect of his life. Bill constantly shared that enthusiasm with others.
Over more than three decades at Michigan State University, Bill trained countless students and coworkers, most of whom went on to other geospatial careers in Michigan. Bill always believed that better information, in particular better geospatial information, leads to better decision making, and that the key was to empower others with the tools and training to understand and solve problems geographically. Through C-MAP, LandScan, and the Michigan Map Image Viewer, Bill helped make geospatial information accessible to local and county governments across Michigan. Bill also contributed his energy to IMAGIN and LIAA, two organizations that are committed to goal of making geographic information available to the people of Michigan.
In Bill's memory, IMAGIN has initiated the IMAGIN Founders' Fund for GIS education in Michigan. Although the details are still to be worked out, the intent is that the funds may be used for a variety of educational purposes such as scholarships, workshops and travel. Also, it is thought the funds would be available to both students and professionals to promote the continued development of GIS in Michigan.
Steve Aichele, IMAGIN President
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Formally Recognizes Volunteer Contributions
Park Ridge, IL - The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Board of Directors voted unanimously to create a separate contribution point category for volunteer efforts. The category was added in light of groundbreaking work being done by GISCorps and the encouraging realization that GIS volunteer efforts are becoming more widespread.
"This is a marvelous step towards recognition of our volunteers' noble acts of service," said GISCorps Core Committee Chairperson Shoreh Elhami, GISP. "I commend GISCI for formally acknowledging the value of volunteerism."
The new category within the Contributions to the Profession section of the application ensures that applicants have a clear understanding of how stewardship activities translate to points. Volunteer work has always been worth credit towards professional certification but the program lacked a defined methodology for awarding it. Volunteer work consists of providing any form of uncompensated GIS-related work performed in agreement with a service-oriented organization such as GISCorps, clubs, organizations, schools, or other entities. Documentation must be provided from the entity that lists the nature and duration of the volunteer effort.
Volunteer credit will be awarded in two categories:
- Volunteer Missions: Providing 72 or more consecutive hours of time, including time for food and rest, in active volunteer status.
- Volunteer Work: Providing periodic or sporadic volunteer work with a duration of less than 72 consecutive hours in active volunteer status.
Volunteer work is an excellent way for certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) and prospective GISPs to earn points towards initial certification or recertification. Engaging in volunteer outreach is inexpensive and rewarding. It offers GIS practitioners a chance to use their skills to improve the quality of life for communities, interest groups, educational institutions, and the disenfranchised.
There are 1,167 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of May 25, 2006. The full manifest of certified GIS professionals is on the website. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Certifies Over 1,000 GIS Professionals (GISPs)
Park Ridge, IL - With the January cohort of certified GIS professionals (GISPs) the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) surpassed the 1,000 GIS professional milestone. There are now 1,016 GISPs as of January 25, 2006. The first group of GISPs was certified in October of 2003 as a result of the pilot program used to test the rigor of the process. The Institute formally opened its doors on January 1, 2004. In two years, GISCI has reviewed and certified the applications of over 1,000 professionals.
"The 1,000 mark is significant as it indicates that we continue to build the broad community necessary to actively guide the GIS profession", said GISCI President Lynda Wayne, GISP. "I encourage these GISPs to become involved in GISCI mentoring and ethics initiatives, volunteering, and, most importantly, local opportunities to contribute their skills and coordinate with allied geospatial data professionals."
Initial GISCI estimates had the Institute having between 600-700 GISPs at the start of 2006. The windfall can be attributed to the active network of GISPs who continue to promote the program and themselves through sound and ethical practice.
ESRI has renewed its generous offer to donate training and materials to the next 1,000 GISPs. These materials are an added bonus for successful applicants and demonstrate industry support for the program.
Applications are processed individually but receive certification as part of a monthly group. This makes it impossible to determine the identity of the 1,000th GISP. All members of the January 2006 cohort can take pride in knowing it was their application that helped GISCI attain this important achievement. Credit also goes to the hundreds of GISPs who preceded them.
The full manifest of certified GIS professionals is on the website. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) joins the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) as a Member Organization.
Park Ridge, Illinois - The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) recently accepted the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) invitation to join GISCI as a Member Organization. The UCGIS is a non-profit organization of universities and professional organizations dedicated to advancing multidisciplinary research and education in geographic information science and technology. This partnership helps fulfill the goals of both organizations. The academic integrity of UCGIS gives further credibility to the GISP credential and ensures the program's educational requirements will be properly maintained. This news follows the National States Geographic Information Council's (NSGIC) and the Association of American Geographers (AAG) decision to join the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) as GISCI Member Organizations. UCGIS’s participation increases the diversity of GIS professionals represented within GISCI and strengthens its ability to continue the development of the profession.
"We are very pleased to accept the invitation to join the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) as a Member Organization,” announced UCGIS President Nina Lam. “We look forward to working with GISCI to help advance the GIS profession in every way."
“The UCGIS educational perspective will greatly support GISCI efforts to more fully define the educational foundation of the GIS professional and to identify opportunities for the continuing education of existing professionals,” said Lynda Wayne, President of GISCI.
GISCI Member Organizations are geographic information science and technology organizations that select representatives to serve on the GISCI Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is then comprised of individuals, appointed by the Member Organizations, that serve as the governing body of GISCI. UCGIS, joins NSGIC, AAG, and URISA as Member Organizations.
There are 907 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of October 25, 2005. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) adds Testimonials to Web Site and Certifies its 800th GIS Professional (GISP)
Park Ridge, IL - GISCI has added a new testimonial and recognition section to its website www.gisci.org. These pages will provide testimonials from certified GIS professionals (GISP) detailing the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of the credential. Many have inquired as to what the GISP means and how it is gaining acceptance and visibility. Although this is not hard data, it will provide a snapshot as to how GISP is being recognized across the community. All GISPs are invited to email similar testimonials and a picture of themselves. These will help provide a name, face, and experience to the credential.
The recognition section of the website will allow GISPs to share how their organization went above and beyond to showcase a GISPs accomplishment. This site will offer press releases, article, citations, etc. that brought further attention to the credential. A sample press release is available for organizations who would like to recognize their GISPs in a similar fashion.
July also marked a historic event for GISCI as its cohort yielded the 800th GISP. There are 802 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of July 25, 2005. This is an astounding achievement for a program that went live in January 2004.
To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847)824-7768.
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) unveils The GISC-Eye Online Newsletter
Park Ridge, IL - The inaugural issue of the online newsletter, The GISC-Eye, has been released by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI). This semiannual newsletter was prepared by the GISCI Outreach Committee. This is a committee of Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) tasked with increasing the exposure and effectiveness of GISCI and to enhance the Institute's support of its GISPs. The newsletter is for GISPs and non-GISPs alike. The purpose of the GISC-Eye will be to highlight contributions and activities that involve or directly effect certified GIS professionals and the geospatial community. To read The GISC-Eye, please visit www.gisci.org
The first issue contains:
- An article entitled "Ethics for the GIS Profession."
- Articles from the GISCI President, Executive Director, and GISC-Eye Editor.
Profiles of current GISPs.
- Graphs and maps regarding the flow of applications and geographic distribution of GISPs.
The GISC-Eye Editor-in-Chief is Robine Lewis, GISP. She will be looking for articles and topics to explore with the next issue due out in Fall '05. Email GISCI (email@example.com) with suggestions and we will try to include them with the next issue.
There are 675 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of March 25, 2005. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847)824-7768.
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Names Scott Grams First Executive Director
Park Ridge, IL - Scott Grams was recently named the first Executive Director of the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI). The Institute has been in operation since January 1, 2004 where Mr. Grams has been serving as the Certification Program Director. Thanks in great part to Scott’s commitment and talents, the GISCI has grown quickly this first year and is now in need of a dedicated Executive Director.
Scott was hired by URISA in 2000 to manage its educational programs and special initiatives. One of these initiatives was to investigate the value of developing a certification program for GIS professionals. When the rough outline of today's GISCI program was proposed in 2001 Scott took over the full committee oversight and the development of the certification program. He worked with the committee, URISA and GISCI leadership to develop all aspects of the Institute. He coordinated the original Pilot Program that ensured the program would be ready for its January 2004 unveiling. He also oversaw the establishment of GISCI as a separate entity to greater support the certification program.
As the first Executive Director, Scott is tasked with supporting the efforts of the Board of Directors as well as the Outreach and Review Committees. He speaks on GISCI's behalf at professional meetings, workshops and industry events. He will continue to work to support GISCI's positive growth and strengthen the voice of GIS professionals in the profession and society. Under his direction GISCI exceeded its application projections and accomplished its goal of establishing itself as the primary certification mechanism for GIS professionals.
"I look forward to increasing my duties within GISCI and continuing to work with the Institute to increase the visibility of GIS professionals around the globe," Grams said. "By adhering to the mission of GISCI we have positioned professionals to speak with greater credibility on GIS-related issues and further increase their value as users of geospatial technology. 2005 will be an exciting and challenging year for the Institute."
Scott graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in 1999. He earned his Master's Degree from Northwestern University in 2004. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Northwestern MSC Networking Group. He lives in Chicago, IL.
There are 634 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of February 25, 2005. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847)824-7768.
State of Oregon Formally Endorses the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) Professional Certification Program
Park Ridge, IL - The State of Oregon has formally endorsed the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) certification program for GIS professionals. Oregon has joined North Carolina as the two states to offer endorsements of the program. During the early months of the GIS certification, Oregon kept close tabs on its development and was the first to consider the GISCI program and its value to GIS practitioners within the state. Even before the program went live, the state analyzed the GISP requirements to ensure it provided the necessary rigor and assessment they desired from a GIS certification program. Finding that to be the case, the Council adopted the GISCI certification as part of its GIS professional certification strategy.
Cy Smith, Statewide GIS Coordinator and member of the GISCI Board of Directors says, "GISCI has done an excellent job of developing a high quality certification program. OGIC adopted the GISCI certification as a means of recognizing the professional credentials of GIS practitioners in Oregon, but also as part an ongoing process of defining the boundaries between the GIS, surveying, and photogrammetry professions. Our next step will be to fully incorporate the GISP as an important component of GIS-related position descriptions in state and local government within Oregon."
In 2002 Oregon conducted a lengthy review of the program and plan for adoption as part of its GIS certification strategy. By crafting this preemptory action plan, Oregon proved that foresight is a valuable skill for both policymakers and GIS professionals. When the program kicked into a high gear in 2004, the Oregon Geographic Information Council (OGIC) offered its official endorsement.
The Oregon Geographic Information Council (OGIC) is the governing body for GIS activities across the enterprise of state government in Oregon. The Council debates and approves resources and standards for development of shared information and tools that prevent duplication of data and save millions of tax dollars every year. OGIC provides leadership for the GIS Community in Oregon. Currently, 25 certified GIS professionals hail from the state of Oregon.
There are 553 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of December 25, 2004. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
North Carolina Becomes First State to Endorse GIS Certification Program
Park Ridge, Illinois – The North Carolina Geographic Information Coordinating Council (NCGICC) became the first state to endorse the GIS Certification Institute’s (GISCI) certification program. This unsolicited endorsement was the result of months of Council review and discussion regarding the program.
The NCGICC fosters cooperation among government agencies, universities and the private sector. It creates policy and resolves technical issues related to North Carolina geographic information and GIS systems. They felt that the GISCI certification program adhered to their mission to “improve the quality, access, cost-effectiveness and utility of North Carolina's geographic information and promote geographic information as a strategic resource for the State.”
The NCGICC also made recommendations for how the program could be improved. They advocated the use of a privacy statement, which GISCI is currently working on, and urged GISCI to keep the application fee reasonable. The GISCI Board of Directors was impressed that North Carolina went to these lengths to ensure that the program is meeting the needs of the thousands of GIS professionals who do business for or with the state. Currently, 49 certified GIS professionals hail from the state of North Carolina.
“The NCGICC would like to take this opportunity to commend GISCI for establishing the GIS Certification Program,” says Dempsey Benton, Chair of the Geographic Information Coordinating Council. “The GICC endorses this program and believes that it represents a significant step forward in recognizing the contributions of GIS professionals to their organizations, their committees, and the profession.”
“The NCGICC efforts to promote and support the program are greatly appreciated and we look forward to working with North Carolina and their constituents in promoting the GIS profession,” says Lynda Wayne President of GISCI. “Once again, North Carolina leads the nation in promoting GIS standards and professional practice.”
In 2005, GISCI will take a more active role in pursuing state endorsements. It is important that GISCI listens to jurisdictional issues in order to make the program more accessible for all GIS professionals.
There are 512 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of November 25, 2004. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
The Association of American Geographers (AAG) joins the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Board of Governors
Park Ridge, Illinois – The Association of American Geographers (AAG) recently accepted the GIS Certification Institute’s (GISCI) invitation to join the GISCI Board of Governors. This partnership helps to fulfill the goals of both organizations. This news follows the National States Geographic Information Council’s (NSGIC) decision to join the GISCI Board of Governors earlier this month. This further expands the scope of GISCI and continues with its mission to make GISCI more inclusive in order to better meet the needs of the multidisciplinary GIS profession.
AAG has appointed Douglas Richardson, Executive Director of AAG to serve as their interim representative on the Board of Directors. “AAG accepts with pleasure the invitation to join the GISCI Board of Governors,” announced Douglas Richardson. “(We) look forward to working together with GISCI and with the other organizations involved to help develop and sustain a strong and meaningful certification program.”
"We are extremely pleased to have AAG’s involvement on the GISCI Board of Governors," says Lynda Wayne, President of GISCI. "AAG and Doug’s participation in GISCI will help establish a centralized voice for the GIS Professional community, promote the program and our shared commitment to a code of ethics."
The GISCI Board of Governors is comprised of geographic science and technology organizations that select representatives to serve on the GISCI Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is then comprised of individuals, elected by the Board of Governors, that serve as the governing body of GISCI. AAG, joins NSGIC and URISA on the Board of Governors.
There are 512 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of November 25, 2004. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) joins the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Board of Governors
Park Ridge, Illinois – The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) recently accepted the GIS Certification Institute’s (GISCI) invitation to join the GISCI Board of Governors. This partnership helps to fulfill the goals of both organizations. It was the intention to make the Institute more inclusive in order to better meet the needs of the multidisciplinary GIS profession.
NSGIC has appointed Cy Smith, State GIS Coordinator for the State of Oregon to serve as their representative on the Board of Directors. "We felt it was a unique opportunity for NSGIC to become involved with other groups to further coordination among GIS professionals," says Zsolt Nagy, NSGIC President. "NSGIC greatly appreciates the invitation to become involved in this influential organization."
"We are extremely pleased to have NSGIC's involvement on the GISCI Board of Governors," says Lynda Wayne, President of GISCI. "NSGIC and Cy's participation in GISCI will help establish a centralized voice for the GIS Professional community, promote the program and our shared commitment to a code of ethics."
The GISCI Board of Governors is comprised of spatial technology organizations that select representatives to serve on the GISCI Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is then comprised of individuals, elected by the Board of Governors, that serve as the governing body of GISCI. NSGIC joins URISA on the Board of Governors.
There are 475 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of October 25, 2004. To download application materials or for more information regarding the GISCI certification program please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
Two Certified GIS Professionals Author Book Together
Eric Fowler, GISP, left, GIS project manager for R.A. Smith & Associates, Inc., Brookfield, Wis., and William Huxhold, GISP, professor in the Department of Urban Planning of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, sign “ArcGIS and the Digital City” at the Lakefront Brewery Thursday, August 26, 2004. The newly released book with CD from ESRI Press provides a hands-on experience to demonstrate how data organized in a geographic information system (GIS) database can be used for local government operations, management and policy-making.
For Immediate Release (January 20, 2004)
Tel.: 909-793-2853, ext. 1-2194
ESRI Donates Training and Materials to First 1,000 GISCI Certified GIS Professionals
Redlands, California—Graduates from the Geographic Information System (GIS) Certification Institutes (GISCI) new GIS Professional Certification Program will receive free materials and training from ESRI. The first 1,000 professionals to obtain certification will receive core professional GIS training and educational materials worth $335,000. These resources will enable the professionals to continue developing their skills and support their contributions in their respected fields.
Each graduate will receive the Planning for a GIS Virtual Campus class by Roger Tomlinson, Ph.D. and certified GIS professional, and the books Thinking About GIS: Geographic Information Systems Planning for Managers by Tomlinson, Beyond Maps: GIS and Decision Making in Local Government by John O’Looney, and GIS in Public Policy by R.W. Greene.
GIS certification is career recognition through the evaluation and approval of individuals engaged in a specific occupation or profession, and it is offered by national membership associations representing numerous other career paths. The GISCI program gives recognition to professionals who demonstrate competence and integrity in the field and establish and maintain professional practices and ethical conduct.
“The GIS Professional Certification Program, especially its recertification requirement, calls for GIS professionals to maintain currency in their field on a continual basis,” says Bill Huxhold, chairman of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) GIS Certification Committee, which developed the program. “This donation by ESRI is a very important contribution to that goal, and it acknowledges the value of improving the skills of GIS professionals as they progress in their careers.”
The GIS professional certification process was developed under the guidance of URISA, a nonprofit association of professionals using GIS and other information technologies to solve challenges in state and local government agencies and departments. GISCI is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization that provides the GIS community with a complete certification program and does not require membership in URISA or any other professional organization.
“The GIS Professional Certification Program furthers GIS technology by recognizing the experience, education, and contributions of professionals from numerous disciplines to the continued professional use of this important technology,” says Jack Dangermond, ESRI president. “The program’s code of ethics will help guide the GIS professional community to make appropriate ethical choices and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation.”
Application materials are available online at www.gisci.org. For more information on the program, please call GISCI headquarters at 847-824-7768 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more than 30 years, ESRI has been the leading developer of GIS software with more than 300,000 clients worldwide. ESRI software is used in all 200 of the largest cities in the United States and in more than 60 percent of counties and municipalities nationwide. Headquartered in California, ESRI has regional offices throughout the United States, international distributors in more than 90 countries, and more than 1,500 business partners. ESRI’s goal is to develop comprehensive tools that enable users to efficiently manage, use, and serve geographic information to make a difference in the world around them. ESRI also provides consulting, implementation, and technical support services. ESRI can be found on the Web at www.esri.com.
Roger Tomlinson Awarded GISP Certification for Lifetime GIS Achievement
Park Ridge, IL (January 7, 2004) - In recognition of his numerous achievements in the industry, the GIS Certification Institute has awarded Roger Tomlinson the GISP Certificate for Lifetime GIS Achievement. In addition to the Certificate, the URISA Board awarded a lifetime membership in the association.
William Huxhold, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Chair of URISA's Certification Committee which developed the program, commented, "Without Roger's dedication to GIS, it is doubtful that there would even be a professional GIS Certification. His contributions to the industry have been, and continue to be, exemplary." Commonly known as the "Father of GIS", Roger Tomlinson, GISP is the principal of Tomlinson Associates, a firm of consulting geographers. He has advised clients such as the World Bank and the United States and Canadian Forest Services. He holds a Ph.D. from University College, London and lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
To keep in the spirit of GISCI Certification, Mr. Tomlinson completed the certification process and signed the GIS Code of Ethics, a requirement of all those awarded the GISP designation. Mr. Tomlinson noted, "First let me thank you and the URISA Board for this singular honour. It was quite unexpected, in fact only recently I was talking to Jack Dangermond and hearing of his admiration for the graduates of the program, and wondering if I would qualify. I will have no difficulty in signing an ethics statement, my companies and all our people have lived with a rigorous ethics standard since GIS began, it will be a pleasure. Again let me thank you for this generous award and wish success to the GISP program."
The GIS Certification Program went "live" on January 1, 2004. Professionals interested in pursuing certification can download application materials at www.gisci.org and begin preparations for submitting their qualifications for recognition as Certified GIS Professionals and earn the designation, "GISP". For more information about GISCI Certification, visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
GIS Certification Institute Certification Program Roll-out
Park Ridge, IL (December 10, 2003) - The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI, www.gisci.org) is pleased to announce that the GIS Certification Program will “go live” on January 1, 2004. At that time, professionals will be able to download application materials and begin preparations for submitting their qualifications for recognition as Certified GIS Professionals and earn the designation, “GISP”.
URISA’s Certification Committee was formed in 1999 and following several years of discussion and thousands of hours of work, including a comprehensive Pilot Program, the Committee members finalized its portfolio-based certification program in the summer of 2003. Along with a GIS Code of Ethics, the program was adopted by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) and is the basis for GIS Professional Certification. GISCI is the certifying body that was created to manage the program.
The portfolio-based program requires minimum levels of achievement in three areas:
- Educational Achievement
- Professional Experience
- Contributions to the Profession
An examination is NOT part of the program.
Note that during the first five years of the program, applicants may be “grandfathered” into the program by meeting specific requirements in the Professional Experience category only.
Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the program and begin collecting necessary documentation for their portfolios. Visit www.gisci.org for information about documentation and other requirements. A “how-to” slideshow will soon be available on the website to assist potential applicants with the submission process. Complete applications and portfolios must be submitted to GISCI, along with payment of $250, to be reviewed. An administrative staff and the GISCI Review Team will review portfolios and substantiate claims made. Upon notification of a successful application, an applicant will be required to sign the GIS Code of Ethics to complete the certification process and earn the “GISP” credential.
The first individuals to meet the minimum standards for ethical conduct and professional practice as established by the GIS Certification Institute for recognition as Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) were presented during URISA’s 2003 Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Twenty-nine individuals, who took part in the Pilot Program, were recognized by GISCI as Certified GIS Professionals. During the ceremony in Atlanta, each GISP publicly signed the Code of Ethics, thus completing the certification process. Art Kalinski, GIS Manager at the Atlanta Regional Commission, was part of this group. About the importance of GIS Certification, he says, “For many of us, the certification is not needed to get a job. What the certification does, is underscore our experience and permit us to speak with greater credibility regarding GIS issues.”
As continuing education and professional development are key to the GISCI Certification Program, GISPs must submit new portfolios every five years that specify the additional work experience gained during the five-year period, along with education obtained and contributions made to the profession. Minimum levels of achievement in all three areas must be met to achieve re-certification.
For more information about GISCI Certification, visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.
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