A Deep Dive Into Certification Training Growth Challenges for Associations
Amidst the obstacles that associations have encountered in recent years, their focus remains on surmounting significant growth challenges. Many organizations have witnessed a decline in membership and renewals, presenting hurdles that need to be addressed. However, there is optimism for the future. According to the Membership Marketing Benchmark Report, in 2022, only 33% of associations reported a decrease in membership, while 38% experienced growth, indicating a positive trend.
While this is undoubtedly promising news, associations still have work to do. Whether you're a professional association leader, certification training program admin, or exam director, you know the challenge: effectively communicating the value of membership and increasing visibility to attract and engage members long-term.
To help you tackle these issues, this blog will explore various challenges that associations face in certification training growth and offer insights into how a learning management system (LMS) can help you harness the power of digital transformation to overcome them.
Challenge 1: Content Optimization
Although you might have an extensive library of educational content, ensuring that it's engaging, meaningful, and relevant to your candidates remains a significant challenge. It involves creating knowledge-based continuing education offers that are interactive and cater to the needs of your candidates while taking into account the constantly changing landscape of your professional field. And as if this weren't difficult enough, your content must be optimized for various modalities and, ideally, be accessible across multiple devices – online and offline.
Improve Educational Content Quality and Efficiency
So, how can an LMS like BenchPrep help you address the challenge of optimizing your educational content to meet your candidates’ diverse needs?
By allowing you to do the following:
- Course Objectives & Business Alignment: Identify and align course objectives with your association's goals to create a meaningful learning experience.
- Personalized Learning: Utilize advanced analytics to customize content based on individual learning preferences and confidence levels.
- Repurpose Training Content: Transform existing instructor-led material into practice exams, quizzes, and interactive elements to reinforce knowledge and boost engagement.
- Unbundle Content & Microlearning: Break down your content into bite-sized lessons, and offer unbundled assets to support new and loyal candidates.
- Virtual Instructor-Led Training: Employ strategies to engage candidates, establish learning environment rules, and incorporate interactive lessons for an immersive learning experience.
Challenge 2: Membership Analytics
Effectively leveraging membership data is crucial for associations to gain insights into member behavior, preferences, and needs. However, 60 to 73% of data within an enterprise goes unused, leaving valuable information untapped and unexplored. Addressing this challenge is essential to unlocking the potential of your continuing professional development (CPD) offers.
Use Psychometric Data to Understand Member Needs
The right LMS not only provides a platform for delivering educational content but also offers valuable analytics that can revolutionize the way associations approach their certification training programs.
With real-time data presented in easy-to-digest reports and dashboards, associations can identify problem areas and optimize content to ensure it resonates with their members. By understanding member needs and preferences through data analysis, associations can personalize learning experiences, tailoring them to meet the evolving demands of their members.
Data-driven decisions empower associations to continually improve their educational offerings, enhancing the overall experience for members and fostering long-term engagement. By leveraging analytics, associations can make informed choices on which courses to develop, what learning methods to employ, and how to continually adapt their programs to meet the needs of their members.
The insights gained from analytics also allow associations to stay ahead of the curve by identifying emerging trends and opportunities. By understanding member behavior and preferences, associations can anticipate their needs and provide relevant and timely educational content. This proactive approach not only enhances the value of membership but also positions associations as leaders in their respective fields.
Challenge 3: Learning Experience
Creating captivating, interactive learning experiences is a demanding task that requires understanding your candidates’ preferences and needs. Keeping up with evolving technology and learning trends, like gamification, can be demanding. By overcoming these obstacles and embracing modern approaches, you ensure your certification training programs resonate with candidates and deliver meaningful experiences.
Create High-Value Interactive Learning Experiences
To address the challenge of providing captivating learning experiences, an LMS can offer the following benefits to associations:
- Utilize gamification: Employ game mechanics to make learning fun, engaging, and rewarding.
- Foster collaboration: Use social elements to stimulate discussion, knowledge sharing, and a sense of community.
- Personalize content: Adapt learning materials to individual strengths, weaknesses, and interests, ensuring relevance and effectiveness.
- Provide instant gratification: Reward candidates with achievements and unlockable content, boosting motivation and satisfaction.
- Incorporate mobile learning: Offer a user-friendly mobile experience for learning on the go, ensuring accessibility and convenience.
Another way an LMS assists associations is by providing the capability to promote online study courses that can drive membership growth. By offering interactive learning experiences, candidates can efficiently search, discover, and enroll in courses that increase their engagement and add up to the overall value of their membership.
Challenge 4: Community Engagement
Why is community engagement such a challenge? Think of it this way: cultivating community engagement is similar to tending a flourishing garden – it requires constant care, attention, and the right tools to foster growth and connection among your members. In the digital age, this means providing flexible, accessible, and engaging learning experiences that accommodate the varied needs of adult candidates.
Encourage Member Engagement and Community Building
So, how can you encourage members to engage with each other? Creating a thriving community within your association is all about offering members the right opportunities to interact and learn, such as:Additionally, promoting social learning through cohorts, group projects, and specialized discussion groups will foster deeper connections among members, ensuring a sense of belonging and a strong community within your organization.
Challenge 5: Exam Preparedness
Helping your candidates achieve the best exam experience possible is another vital challenge to address in the certification training industry. As a professional association, ensuring that your candidates, especially time-strapped professionals, are well-prepared for certification exams is crucial. Not only does it support their career advancement, but it also reinforces the credibility of your educational offerings by providing tangible results in a time-efficient manner.
Increase Candidate Confidence and Exam Readiness
An LMS like BenchPrep is uniquely positioned to elevate candidate confidence and exam readiness by offering a comprehensive, data-driven approach to exam preparation that caters to the specific needs of each candidate. This includes:
- Realistic Practice Exams: Present practice exams that simulate the actual exam in terms of question types, timing, and structure, familiarizing candidates with the format and reducing anxiety.
- Targeted Feedback: Provide real-time, personalized feedback on practice exam performance to help candidates focus on improvement in specific areas.
- Customizable Study Plans: Enable candidates to select standard or adaptive study plans tailored to their needs and learning pace, boosting their confidence in the material.
- Omnichannel Accessibility: Allow access to materials on any device for convenient, on-the-go studying, without compromising user experience.
- Deep-Level Progress Tracking: Utilize confidence-based learning, incorporating multiple cycles of diagnostics, personalized learning plans, and study sessions.
Read our comprehensive guide, 3 Keys to a High-Performing Certification Exam Prep Training Program, to discover more strategies for optimizing your association's training offerings.
Challenge 6: Membership Growth
And finally, with 56% of associations reporting difficulties engaging members across different age groups, it is essential for your association's success to address the diverse needs and expectations of individuals with varying levels of experience and backgrounds. This challenge involves balancing traditional approaches and innovative strategies to create compelling membership experiences that appeal to all generations of professionals.
Attract and Retain Members Through Exceptional CPD Offers
For any association that recognizes the significance of continuous professional development, providing high-quality certification practice experiences tailored to the unique needs of its members is vital. By offering just-in-time learning opportunities to support your candidates’ career growth at different stages of their lives, you can boost member satisfaction and attract a new generation of lifelong learners.
In addition, customizable certification training bundles and continuing education courses provide immense value to your members. Creating these offerings helps promote membership growth and generates non-dues revenue streams that support organizational sustainability.
We’ve covered 6 challenges and how an LMS like BenchPrep can help you overcome them. Now it’s time to take your certification training program to the next level.
Download our eBook, 4 LMS Superpowers Every Association Needs, and discover how BenchPrep's LMS can be your ultimate superhero ally. With these superpowers at your disposal, you'll overcome every growth challenge and transform your program today.