Discussion Response

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1 – 2 page response explain how a policy or practice that they presented might impact function within the music label industry…

The purpose of this discussion assignment is for you to identify and explain any industry (or regulating body) policies or practices that might affect organizational function.

Use any relevant sources (industry or other) to identify specific policies and/or practices in your industry that might impact organizational function.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) contains a division that designs, develops, administers, and maintains professional personnel certification programs. Examples of these certifications include; Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS), Certified Fire Inspector (CFI), and several more fire, life, and electrical safety programs. By definition, the NFPA is the certifying body for these professional certification programs. Many certifying bodies design and develop similar certification programs, some of which are approved by accrediting agencies such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), and others (Miller, 2012). The NFPA chose to use ANSI as the accrediting agency for the CFPS certification program. ANSI, like other accrediting agencies, maintains a very strict set of policies and practices that the NFPA must abide by in order to remain accredited. The set of ANSI policies and practices is known as the ISO/ANSI 17024 general requirements for bodies operating certification of persons (ANSI, 2020).

There are many reasons why certifying authorities seek out accreditation for their certification programs, most aimed at creating benefits for the people wishing to become certified. Accreditation is important to certification candidates because, at a minimum, it indicates that a program is managed properly, is granted by a credible organization, contains exams that are fair and valid, provides a competitive advantage for certificants seeking jobs within the field of practice, and shows the program meets a standardized set of practices (Increasing Value in Your Certification, 2012). The ISO/ANSI 17024 standard’s policies and practices have a direct impact on the NFPA’s organizational function. Three of the ISO/ANSI 17024 policies are listed below, along with the impact each has on organizational functions (Editorial Note: As the ANSI standard is a copyright-protected document, viewable only to ANSI clients, the actual ANSI standard cannot be shared as an attachment. Abridged language within the three policies is shown below):

17024 – Section 5.2 – Structure of the Certification Body in Relation to Training. ANSI is concerned that the NFPA’s certification team might share exam content with the training team, constituting a threat to impartiality (NFPA cannot require certification candidates to complete NFPA offered training in order to become certified). This impacts HR and team managers as they must ensure department structure and information policies keep the people who develop certification exams separated from the training developers, both physically and by content area. This particular requirement is seen as having a negative impact on organizational function for several reasons: 1) It requires the creation and management of two distinct teams (negative structural design and higher HR expenses), 2) It creates frustration for certification preparatory training developers (tougher to develop certification training if they do not know what is on the final examination), and 3) It causes frustration with consumers of NFPA training and the associated certifications (they expect that if they complete NFPA training, then they will pass the certification exam). The only viable alternative to this policy is for management to understand exactly what is permissible and when. For example, ANSI now allows the certification team to share the examination blueprint (a document containing a list of the domains or sections within the exam, the topics covered within each domain, and the number of exam questions for each domain) with the training team. This alternative was approved by ANSI auditors, resulting in less frustration for certification and training developers. The hope is that the courses will become more closely aligned to the exams and customers who purchase NFPA training will be more prepared to pass certification exams.

17024 – Section 9 – Certification Process Requirements. ANSI has very specific policies involving how the certification process is managed. This part of the 17024 standard describes how candidates apply for the program, how applicant information is collected and secured, the process by which the candidate is approved to sit for the examination, the examination process, the score reporting, and the ongoing recertification requirements. This set of policies impact NFPA organizational function in a positive manner for several reasons: 1) They provide a clear road map for handling customer information, as well as for systems planning and development for the certification and Information Systems (IS) teams, 2) They prescribe how third-party testing vendors implement testing and manage their testing centers, and 3) They provide the certification team with tools to handle appeals and complaints.

17024 – Section 10 – Management System Requirements. ANSI enforces strict rules involving documenting all policies and procedures related to the management of NFPA certifications. This section describes exactly what is to be documented and how. Policies specific to the development and management of the certifying board (in NFPA’s case, the Certification Advisory Groups – CAGs) is very important and has a positive impact on NFPA organizational function for several reasons: 1) They dictate who is responsible for every task in the design, development, and administration of the certification programs (for NFPA as well as members of the CAG), 2) Determine the role of NFPA legal counsel in all matters (CAG NDA agreements, contract negotiations, CAG and consumer complaints and other issues), 3) Determine how related policies and procedures are documented, stored, and updated over time, and 4) Dictate program audit process and reporting functions.

In summary, the ISO/ANSI 17024 standard provides a robust set of policies and procedures that must be followed to maintain NFPA accreditation. The NFPA management team believes that the few negatives associated with this standard are outweighed by the numerous positive impacts on organizational function, internal team collaboration, and customer satisfaction. Adhering to an accreditation standard is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of work and takes many hours each year to ensure that the standards are met and audits are completed successfully. In the end, meeting customer demands for high quality, fair, and valid programs along with the honor of placing the ANSI 17024 seal on program certificates, makes it all worthwhile (Bunch, Bohan, & Senn, 2017).

References:

ANSI 17024:2012 Standard (2020). Retrieved from https://www.ansica.org/

Bunch, A. W., Bohan, T., & Senn, D. (2017). Accreditation of Forensic Specialty Certification

Bodies. Forensic Science Policy & Management, 8(1/2), 22–25. Retrieved from https://doi-org.jwupvdz.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/19409…

INCREASING VALUE in Your Certification! (2012). Annals of Psychotherapy & Integrative

Health, 15(2), 62–63. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.jwupvdz.idm.oclc.org/…

=85782526&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Miller, K. (2012). From the Certification Board Nurse Life Care Planning: Licensure, Specialty

Designation, Certification, and Accreditation. Journal of Nurse Life Care Planning, 12(4), 735–737. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.jwupvdz.idm.oclc.org/

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Reference Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrkrvAUbU9Y&feature=youtu.be

Readings & Resources

Bolman, L.G., & Deal, T.E. (2017). Reframing Organizations. (6th ed.) San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 6: People and Organizations
  • Chapter 7: Improving Human Resource Management
  • Chapter 8: Interpersonal and Group Dynamics
  • Chapter 17: Reframing Leadership

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