Xplor President/CEO Interview with Cheryl Simerson, EDP, 2016 EDP Commission Chair
June 16, 2016
Most everyone in the industry is familiar with continuing education and professional certifications. However, many may not be aware of the Electronic Document Professional (EDP) certification that is available to all professionals in the electronic document and customer communications industry.
The EDP Program: Launched in 1989 as the Electronic Document Printing Professional (EDPP) program was created to recognize those in the industry as subject matter experts in the area of digital print. Regulated by the EDPP Commission, the first class in 1990 consisted of eleven individuals receiving their EDPP certification. As the industry evolved and new technologies became part of the landscape the EDPP commission dropped the reference to ‘Printing’ in 1997 to accommodate other digital communication technologies.
The EDP program is sponsored and maintained by Xplor International which oversees the EDP Commission, however you do not need to be a member of Xplor International for certification or re-certification
I had the chance to speak with Cheryl Simerson, EDP, our new 2016 EDP Commission Chair to discuss her thoughts on EDP certification, as well as, where she would like to take the EDP Program over the next year.
Skip: Cheryl, thank you for taking the time to meet with me and share your views regarding the EDP Program.
Cheryl: No problem! It is my pleasure.
Skip: So give me your elevator pitch. What or who is an EDP?
Cheryl: An EDP is someone who has a considerable depth of knowledge and experience in the digital document and customer communications industry and actively working in the industry for a minimum of five years.
Skip: When did you get your EDP and what drove you to strive for it?
Cheryl: I received my EDP certification in 1995 and have gone on to recertify every 5 years over the past 20 years.
I originally set the goal for myself to obtain my certification due to not having a college degree and wanted to prove to myself and my peers that although I did not have a degree, I was an expert in the digital printing industry. At that time, a lot of us obtained our knowledge through hands on experience and never took the time out of our work schedules to go back to school to obtain a degree but instead, attended individual vendor educational courses and conferences.
Skip: What does it mean to you personally to be an EDP?
Cheryl: To be one of a very elite group of electronic document professionals is very special to me and I look forward to our yearly onsite networking event with my peers who have also achieved this certification level during the Xplor International global conference.
Skip: Has the certification helped you professionally throughout your career?
Cheryl: When I first started working on my EDP portfolio and work examples, as I mentioned above, I did it as an accomplishment for myself in order to achieve this personal goal. At that time, I had already been with my company for many years so I didn’t benefit immediately from obtaining my certification. When I finally went out seeking another job opportunity, I discovered my certification brought attention to being a Subject Matter Expert (SME) which proved to bring in a higher salary.
Skip: Who do you think should attain their certification?
Cheryl: Anyone interested in expanding their career in the industry should apply! The EDP Certification Handbook can be found on the EDP site.
Skip: As the new EDP Commission Chair, do you have any goals you’d like to help the EDP Program achieve?
Cheryl: One of my goals as this year’s Commissioner is to educate individuals in our industry regarding the program. I want to reach out beyond Xplor International members but to the industry as a whole. The first step is a series of interviews talking about the impact EDP certification in E-Document News.
Another area is to reach out to our colleges and universities regarding certification and I look forward to working with Xplor International and the board of directors to market the program. Not only do I want to promote the EDP Certification Program but also our other two designations, Electronic Document Associate (EDA) and Master Electronic Document Professional (M-EDP).
Skip: Thank you again Cheryl for taking the time.
Until Next interview! Take care.
Skip Henk, EDP