Grant Writing has become a bonafide profession, and as such, many people have questions about becoming certified. It's especially asked when aspiring grant writers register for grant writing courses. They tend to want to know if the certificate they receive upon the course completion will legitimize them as a grant professional.
The short answer is no. Let me explain. There is a difference between receiving a certificate of completion and obtaining credentials as a Grant Professional.
Though participating in a grant writing workshop for a few hours or even a few days will likely improve your level of knowledge about grant writing in general, that alone will not certify you as a Grant Professional. Becoming a certified professional in this industry comes from years of actual experience writing grants, and doing so successfully.
Essentially, a certificate of attendance or completion states than an individual has completed a class or course and achieved a certain level of success in understanding the principles taught in the course. A professional certification or credential is an objective measure of a person's level of experience and expertise in the profession - as defined independently by the profession as a whole. *
Regardless of what institution you may obtain a certificate of completion, including some very prestigious colleges and universities across the country, there is only one entity authorized to grant credentials to grant professionals.
The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is the first organization focused solely on the advancement of grantsmanship as a profession and the support of its practitioners. Its mission is to build and support a community of grant professionals committed to serving the greater public good.
Since its inception in 1998, GPA has grown rapidly. With over 2,800 current members internationally, the opportunities and benefits of membership continue to attract people from all over the globe.
For the long term, GPA continues to lead the efforts to establish a formal credentialing process. Grant Professional Certification Institute (GPCI) was formed as an affiliate organization to GPA for the purpose of overseeing the development of critical standards within an ethical framework that will help define the future of grantsmanship.
The GPA code of ethics guides the behavior of Grant Professionals and it's the standard by which Greater Vision Consulting governs itself. In fact, our grant writing courses are developed based on the GPCI nine competencies and skills required to be an effective grant professional.
If you have worked in the grant writing industry, with a proven and verifiable track record of success for a minimum of three years, please visit the GPCI website for more information about taking the credentialing exam.
If you are an aspiring or new grant writer and are looking for access to training, industry conferences, and professional mentors, please check out the GPA website for membership information.
* As cited in the "Prepare for the GPC Exam: Earn Your Grant Professional Certified Credential" manual.