Professions Certification Facility
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-25
The Professions Certification Facility is a set of integrated Lotus Notes databases that support the creation, review, approval, and disposition of professional certification cases. Each case is created and completed by prospective candidates for certification and then sent to the candidate's management and the certification Board via integrated workflow.
Professions Certification Facility
The problem solved by the invention is that requests for internal professional certification had to be processed through an error-prone, paper-based, complex and costly manual process. Individual practitioners would have to download a word processor-based certification application template with no help function available, complete it, mail to their manager for a manual signature, then the manager would send it through the mail to an Executive for a second manual signature. If there were questions or changes it would be a manual process to change, re-print, mail, and review again. There were no known solutions to this problem. Due to the overwhelming volume of professionals being certified, recertified, and confirmed a new automated solution needed to be developed or the certification program would be in jeopardy. History now shows approximately 10,000 certification cases have been processed in the internal professions since 1998.
We could not find any similar application available that would both create the body of the certification case and support the entire workflow around the processing and disposition of that case. This mixture of function provides a unique combination of capability not found in the field. The core idea of the invention was to create a software application that would automate the creation, review, submission, and final disposition of internal Information Technology and Services professional certifications, confirmations, accreditations, and recertifications (collectively referred to as cases). The advantages of using the invention include providing a common worldwide template for all professional validation cases, much quicker review of cases, automated routing of cases to managers, executives, and the certification Boards and an on-line repository of all cases. The invention also provides real-time status of all submitted cases which allows administrative staff to forecast and balance workload to handle the case load.
The Lotus Notes Certification Facility is a series of Lotus Notes databases that are used to control the entry, workflow approval, and evaluation of profession cases. The initial database accessed is the Professions Main Navigator which, based on the profession selected by the practitioner and the type of case being built, will provide access to and create the initial case template for the practitioner. Each case is a multi-page form that provides predetermined selections and edit fields for practitioners to enter information. Case and topic sensitive HELP instructions are also provided. Once the initial case is created the practitioner completes the unique template for the case type. The practitioner can send a pre-submission copy electronically via e-mail to anyone for informal review and feedback. Once the practitioner is satisfied with their case they submit the case to the specified review Board. Prior to processing the form the Certification Faci...