One of the major efforts I have been part of this past six months is developing a certification exam for alliance professionals for the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals. Consumed, may be a better description of the time and effort that has gone into this initiative. The alliance with AMA and the promotional activities such as the \”Eight Secrets\” webcasts are all part of raising visibility around the emergence of partner management as a management discipline with defined and codified skills and expertise.I am leading the Standards Advisory Board.

We are chartered with identifying the competencies an alliance manager should have, writing the questions for the certification exam and of course the answers! We have chosen to work with a firm called Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). AMP has a strong track record in creating certification programs that are legally defensible meaning that they can demonstrate that the exams are accurate measures of professional competency. Can you say psychometrics? I\’ve been practicing.

It has been an amazing journey and I am quite pleased that we chose AMP to guide us. The rigor and methodology that they have put us through has been a lot of hard work. My role as chief cat-herder of over 30 volunteers has also been a lot of work over and above the intellectual process of creating the exam. The level of commitment and enthusiasm from the volunteers has been heartening.

We have had more than a few 6-hour marathon conference calls to finalize the exam before we open it for Beta testing, initially to the 30 volunteers to become the first wave of credentialed alliance managers. Unbelievable, all that work and for reward – you get to take a test!

If you are interested in the ASAP certification, check out the website: We expect the exam to be open to the general membership in September. Or tune into the webcast: Advance your Career through Alliance Management Certification on September 13

I would be interested to hear from folks in the profession. Do you believe Certification will benefit you personally? Do you think certification will give you an edge in career development? Do you think it will elevate the role of alliance/partner management? Sock-it-to-me!