Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) is a designation that industry pros carry with pride, even wearing it on lapel pins and adding the title to their email signatures.
Behind the scenes, the International Association of Business Communicators accreditation program—which is being overhauled this year—has been bleeding cash and troubled by high dropout and failure rates.
“IABC’s accreditation program is in crisis, and must change, or cease operations,” a review panel concluded in 2011. IABC reported this in a February report (pdf).
Although IABC leadership now backs away from the term “crisis,” its paid and volunteer leadership agree that a program that lost $75,000 in 2012 was unsustainable and needs to change. Amid intense industry discussion, IABC plans to re-launch its accreditation this fall.
Details are still being worked out, but IABC will create a new exam and is looking at requiring additional work over four years to maintain the designation, says Gloria Walker, volunteer chair of the IABC’s Accreditation Committee. There will also be new global standards, along with a plan to adapt the ABC program to the era of social media.