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Keeping up to date: the changing nature of qualifications and accreditation

by on November 9, 2012

A couple of items in the news this week raise the issue of keeping up to date in industries with changing requirements for qualifications and accreditations. Both items consider whether such requirements can amount to age discrimination – either formally under the legislation or simply as a de facto way of deterring older workers.

In this blog post the author raises an interesting issue relating to the way in which the person specifications for a job are worded and whether this can amount to a form of age discrimination.

The particular example relates to a requirement to be CIPD accredited (for an HR role). The author makes the point that careers can develop in unexpected ways and that obtaining (often expensive) accreditation mid-career may not be a possible or desirable option.

In this article, it is reported that an Independent Financial Advisor is raising the issue of potential age discrimination over the introduction of new exams by the FSA for all advisors including those with substantial experience in the industry.

These cases also however raise questions about expectations around training and qualifications both on the part of individuals and of organizations. Research shows that older workers are generally less likely to be offered training by their employers than their younger counterparts. It may also be that, once in post, many of us don’t pay much attention to changes in qualifications and accreditations that are taking place in our chosen field until we are in the jobs market again.

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