[OSGeo-Discuss] Training and certification

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Fri Jun 10 06:00:18 PDT 2011

On 6/9/2011 3:38 PM, Tyler Mitchell wrote:
> In the recent OSGeo survey (http://bit.ly/surveyresultsraw) several ideas for diversifying OSGeo income were presented. The one that received the highest number of votes (62% 104/167 votes) was:
> "Set up a professional training and certification program".
> Yes, it was a question short on details, but it was chosen a full 15% above all other items.  Now's the time to figure out what we all meant ;-)
> There are at least three approaches that might be considered here:
> 1. To lead training courses that may also come with a certificate or be part of a larger program. (e.g. for users, developers, integrators to gain personal knowledge and show it off, maybe in a GISP style?)
> 2. To give an organisation a stamp of approval, that their skills or staff meet some standard
> 3. To technically certify a product or application -  (e.g. as a sort of endorsement that the technology meets some OSGeo standard)
> I've got a few more ideas kicking around in my head, but was curious on your thoughts.  Keep in mind the context of the survey question was for helping raise funds - that would primarily be through either course fees, or through certification fees - a company would pay to be assessed and to be able to use the endorsement on an annual basis (or something similar).  Or some other way maybe?
> Anyone else thinking about this or want to weigh-in on what their thoughts were?


You might want to consider a franchise model for training and 
certification. This would work something along these lines:

1. OSGeo along with a specific product develop
    a. End-User course material
    b. A train the trainer/certification course
    c. A trainer refresher/recert course
    d. An end-user refresher/recert course

2. OSGeo then licenses the certification course(s) and training materials.
    a. people get trained as trainers
    b. trainers have to be re-certified at some interval
    c. trainers work with course developers to update courses as needed

3. Trainers use the OSGeo materials to train end-users
    a. Trainers report back on people trained and certified and date of 
training and who was the trainer

This needs to be built up as a business model because there are cost to 
developer the training materials. There are cost of marketing the 
program so that we sell the features and benefits of getting the 
training and maybe branding the marketing materials so all organization 
use the same sales and marketing materials. There are reproduction and 
distribution costs of the training materials which might include 
franchise use fees. The franchisee needs to make money doing the 
training and the final end-user cost can not be prohibitive high or it 
will squash the demand for the training.


-Steve W

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