NAED launching new certification program


The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) is currently developing a new certification program for distributors, manufacturers and others in the channel: the Certified Electrical Professional (CEP) . The first tests for both inside and outside sales will be offered in June 2009. Applicant bulletins will be sent in March 2009 and actual applications will be available in April 2009.
The NAED Education and Research Foundation Board of Directors unanimously approved the Education and Development Council's (EDC) recommendation to develop an industry certification program that would validate the training, baseline knowledge and skills required for key positions in the industry. Initial certification offerings will be for inside sales and outside sales, and NAED plans to offer certification for additional positions in the future. The Certified Electrical Professional credential is available to both distributor and manufacturing professionals.
Many industries already offer certification such as engineering, accounting, and safety. Now, the electrical distribution industry will recognize the education, training, experience and professionalism needed to be successful in today's channel.
Certification gives the holder credibility in their industry and increases the professionalism of the industry as a whole. By standardizing and validating the baseline knowledge in such areas as product knowledge, customer service, sales skills and soft skills, it ensures that employees have the skills necessary to succeed in the positions they hold.
"This program will raise the bar for professionalism across the electrical industry," said Michelle McNamara, NAED vice president and executive director of the NAED Education and Research Foundation. "The CEP credential will provide a way for companies that invest in training and employees who develop their skills to stand out from their competition."
"Certification requires experience and education," McNamara continued. "So even though the exams will be scheduled in 2009, it's not too early to prepare."
Employers who send their employees through certification programs will realize an immediate benefit as their employees learn or improve upon valuable skills, gain more knowledge about their jobs and the industry, and earn more credibility in the eyes of their customers. Further, it gives employers a tool, other than sales numbers, for measuring employee success.
Certification gives outside salespeople an added measure of credibility to take into business meetings with prospective customers. For inside salespeople, it validates their work, acknowledges their achievements, and recognizes their work position as a critical component of the company's success.
Suggested courses to help individuals prepare for the exam can be found at, but are not required. There will be a fee to take the exam and applicants must meet some basic requirements to sit for the exam.
The requirements to sit for the inside sales test are:
•18 months' experience in an inside sales position in electrical distribution
•High school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) credential
The requirements to sit for the outside sales test are:
•A two-year degree combined with five years' experience in the electrical distribution industry and two years' outside sales experience in the electrical distribution industry, or
•Three years' outside sales experience with five years' experience in the electrical distribution industry (with no degree)
All those who receive inside or outside sales certification must be recertified after three years, which requires 30 credit hours of coursework that has been verified, transcripted or otherwise "officially" recorded. In addition, certification is specific to the person taking the exam. While companies may provide the training and testing to have employees certified, the employee "owns" the certification.
Information about the certification program
For more information about the NAED Education and Research Foundation, the EDC, or current training programs offered, visit the NAED website .
You may also contact John Kiso , educational program manager for the NAED Education and Research Foundation at 314-991-9000, or toll-free at 888-791-2512.

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