Certification builds credibility among consumers for jewelry store managers and sales associates. It also can give your career a boost
Adjusting to todays evolving marketplace is perhaps the greatest challenge jewelry store managers and sales associates face. To say we live in an environment of constant change is an understatement. Only through continuing education and training can you acquire the tools vital to your growth and continuing prosperity. In response to this need, Professional Jeweler helps jewelry professionals achieve the specific goal of JA® Professional Certification. Articles that address specific skill set requirements in the JA Management Professional and Sales Professional Certification Programs are identified on the first page of the Managing and For Your Staff departments of each issue (pp. 147 and 159 this month). The Archives of professionaljeweler.com also provide a list of all published articles grouped by JA certification skill sets.
Why Is Professionalism Important?
Professionalism carries serious implications. Its really about taking personal responsibility, being accountable for your work performance and holding yourself to the highest possible standards within your chosen field. High standards are important in any profession, but particularly so in retail jewelry. The rapidly changing nature of the industry and the required levels of customer trust demand that every member of our industry strive to meet the highest standards of professionalism.
What Is Professional Certification?
Professional certification is a way to recognize the qualifications and expertise of members of the retail jewelry industry. Achieving certification is the most effective way to demonstrate to employers, clients and colleagues you have the knowledge and skills required to be a leader.
Perhaps the strongest argument for professional certification relates to building and maintaining customer trust. Todays customers look for tangible and recognizable proof of a stores commitment to ethics and professionalism. JA Professional Certification, for example, demonstrates to customers JA holds itself up to the highest standards and values in the course of all its business interactions. As the informed consumer seeks out credible jewelers, this is an advantage.
What Are the Benefits?
Professional certification contributes directly to an individuals image, profile and credibility. Lets look at some of the direct benefits of certification:
- Its a practical means of assessing your skills and accumulated experience.
- It helps in your career advancement and compensation.
- It provides the satisfaction of measuring yourself against the highest industry standards
- It promotes continued professional development.
- It represents inclusion in a distinctive peer group.
- It provides a path for building professional careers.
Benefits of Certification
Ultimately, certification imparts an atmosphere of professionalism that can be clearly communicated to, and observed by, consumers. A unified standard effectively demonstrates the integrity and ethics of the jewelry profession to customers.
- The certified individual commits to a comprehensive code of conduct and ethics.
- Certification forces professionals to keep abreast of changes in the jewelry industry.
- Certification helps identify and build a more competent work force.
- Certification acts as a benchmark to train, hire and promote employees.
- Certification motivates professionals to be more involved in their profession and puts them on a path of continuous study and improvement.
What Does Certification Involve?
The process is simple! Call JA at (800) 223-0673 and request a Management or Sales Professional Certification Program Guide and Skill Set. You can start to prepare for certification as early as you want, but to receive your certification you must be employed for at least one year in a JA member store and pass the appropriate exam. The Program Guide and Skill Set will provide all the information you need to begin studying for the certification exam. Once you are ready, take the exam at a designated test site or at your own location using an approved proctor. It couldnt be
Resources at Your Fingertips
Research shows jewelry professionals demand education that is convenient and relevant. It must be easy to access and available on demand. Because of this need, JA and Professional Jeweler work together to bring you information and articles that address the particular Skill Sets in the Management and Sales Professional Certification Programs.
This partnership, coupled with the convenience of at-home testing and self-paced study, provides you with the right tools to facilitate your professional growth.
Id like to invite you to reflect a moment on where youve been and what youve already achieved professionally. Then set your sights squarely on the future by investing in yourself and our industry through JA certification.
by David Peters, Director of Education, Jewelers of America