What a Rampaging River Reminded Me About Credentialing Programs

My plan last month to gallop a horse back and forth across the Rio Grande River and get totally soaked in the process seemed like the ultimate Labor-Day-Fun moment.

But the fourth longest river in the United States had other plans.

The mighty Rio Grande flows 1,900 miles from south central Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, draining 335,000 square miles of mostly arid land along the way.

In central New Mexico, where I was supposed to take my river ride, the Rio Grande is normally just a foot or two deep at the end of summer. It meanders around the broad sandbars that guide its unhurried flow.  

It’s perfect for riding a horse.


But the deepest snowpack in more than 20 years, aided by a “bomb cyclone” in spring, unleashed a rampaging Rio Grande in June that washed out bridges, overflowed banks and swallowed whole stands of cottonwood trees along its banks.

Even in late summer, it was just too dangerous to cross.

Our guide tried earlier in the week. Her horse sank up to its knees in the mucky shoreline that’s now 100’ farther west than it was last year.

She made it to a sandbar in the river, but the swirling, coffee-colored water eroded the edges of her safe place as she watched.  

Leaving the sandbar to get back to terra firma, her horse sank into a hidden pot hole. She suddenly found herself in deep, cold water up to the saddle horn.  

A river is a living, protean force buffeted by storms, snowmelt, rain, wind and drought.

Your credentialing program is similar in some ways.

True, it’s not subject to the violent forces of nature, but market forces can be just as damaging.

Your program can quickly change based on events beyond your control like adverse legislation, court decisions, technology, economic downturns and competition.

That last one can be especially problematic.

Chapter 4 of How To Market Your Certification Program—which you can download below—talks about your competitors seen and unseen like community colleges, universities, corporations and professional/trade associations.

Add to that the confusion and blurred lines between certifications, certificates, micro-credentials and badges and the competition feels all the more unsettling.  

Dynamic external forces can challenge even the most established credentialing programs.

Let us help

For more than 20 years, Kryterion has excelled at helping clients take control of and grow their credentialing programs using Webassessor, our state-of-the-art, test-development and test-delivery platform.

The hands-on, self-serve nature of Webassessor provides clients with an unprecedented level of control and independence in managing their credentialing programs.

Still, help is always close by. Clients have access to skilled credentialing program managers who assist, guide and advise.

Test candidates enjoy the flexibility of scheduling their exams in any one of 1,100+ testing centers around the world or in the convenience of their own homes via secure, online proctoring on a 24/7 basis.

Have questions about your first, next or current credentialing program?

We’d love to answer any questions you might have. No obligation. We’re just talking.

Visit our web site’s request-info page right here.

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