The Basics of Achieving Professional Certification

Enhancing Your Credentials


Professional certification has become a very popular topic and a significant number of individuals are making it a priority. Some people are torn on whether or not to obtain a certification to bolster their career. Others see the advantage of diversifying their professional portfolio and pursuing popular certifications in the areas of Project Management, Information Technology, Quality, or Human Resources. The Basics of Achieving Professional Certification: Enhancing Your Credentials provides clear-cut guidance on how to select a certification that is right for you and how you can continue to build your credentials in support of personal and professional goals.

This easy-to-use guide can help anyone looking to achieve professional certification make informed decisions about the many options available. It can also help avoid the pitfalls of making the wrong choice as a result of being incorrectly informed. Examining the range of professional certifications offered by associations and organizations, it explains how to select the right professional certification and outlines best practices for completing the certification process.

The book includes a CD that represents more than a year of development between resources in the U.S. and Europe. Packed with tools, it supplies permanent access to a suite of helpful training and development software, including:

  • Library management system to track training material, books, and related items (created in MS Access)
  • Learning management system to ensure training compliance (created in MS Access)
  • A number of project management resources, including a comprehensive exam preparation program
  • Royalty free multimedia resources to add pizzazz to your e-learning programs
  • Forms, templates, and checklists to support training administration
  • Tools to help evaluate training programs
  • Software to make training and certification more interactive and enjoyable

Winner of a Cleland Publication Award, Willis H. Thomas, PhD, PMP, CPT, not only outlines the requirements for obtaining professional certification, but also provides a framework for training and development that supports the range of professional certifications. The book includes helpful test-taking tips for oral and written exams and also describes how to find supporting resources for study group participation.

Filled with illustrative examples, the text includes testimonials from professional associations on how professional certification has benefited their members—making it helpful to professional associations as a means to encourage association membership and participation.

  • CRC Press; November 2013
  • ISBN 9781466554634
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: The Basics of Achieving Professional Certification
  • Author: Willis H. Thomas
  • Imprint: Productivity Press

About The Author

Willis H. Thomas, PhD, PMP, CPT is a certified project manager and performance technologist who has been involved in training and organizational development across the pharmaceutical, telecommunications and information technology industries. His career focus has been in the areas of quality assurance, human resources, and operations.

Dr. Thomas is a recognized author. His book entitled "The Basics of Project Evaluation and Lessons Learned" received the Project Management Institute's 2012 Cleland Award. The Cleland award recognizes and honors the best project management literature published during the previous calendar year. It recognizes the author for significant contributions and for advancing the project management knowledge, practices, procedures, concepts, or other advanced techniques that demonstrate the value of using project management. He has also published in professional journals and is represented on training, project management and evaluation professional association websites. He was a featured speaker at the International Project Management Day on November 15, 2012 and has delivered global presentations on project management, training, and evaluation for a number of organizations.

Dr. Thomas has 10 years of pharmaceutical experience. He worked for Pfizer in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the largest manufacturing site for drug products and active pharmaceutical ingredients. After the Wyeth-Pfizer merger, he worked five years in research and development in Pearl River, New York. Dr. Thomas’ work has been instrumental in maintaining regulatory compliance (i.e., with the FDA) and supporting process improvement (i.e., through assessing and developing global training programs). In addition to a deep and broad experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Thomas was in the telecommunications and information technology industries for 15 years where he supported quality initiatives and regulatory compliance. He worked seven years for Ameritech, a Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC); three years for Brinks, an international home security provider; and five years for Presentation Partners as a consultant.

In the area of project management training, Dr. Thomas has delivered courses on a virtual basis for the International Institute for Learning. He has also invested time to assist a number of professional associations with learning technologies, project management and evaluation. He has done this through creating e-learning, delivering webinars, in-person speaking engagements and publishing content.

He holds a PhD in Evaluation from Western Michigan University. The title of his dissertation while working at Pfizer was "A Metaevaluation of Lessons Learned Repositories: Evaluative Knowledge Management Practices in Project Management." In line with his extensive research, he has developed a comprehensive website on project management that focuses specifically on lessons learned at Dr. Thomas studied directly under Dr. Michael Scriven. His Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management is from National Louis University. The title of his Master’s thesis was "The Impacts of Sales Integration on Interpersonal Communication Affecting Sales Representatives' Job Satisfaction." This was completed while at Xerox.

Dr. Thomas’ Bachelor of Arts degree is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While there, he served as the editor for Datelines Student Newspaper and editor for West African Monsoons from Geocentric Satellites (Space Science and Engineering Department).

Personal Interests: Family, travel, visiting national parks, gourmet cooking, and publishing. Professional Interests: Evaluation, Measurement, Research, Certification Programs, Learning Technologies, Pharmaceutical Science, Project Management, Supply Chain Management, Records Management, Information Technology, Information Management, and Knowledge Management Professional Association Board of Directors Served on: ASTD, APICS, PMI, and ISM Current Professional Memberships: AEA, APICS, ASTD, ISPI, and PMI.