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The Professional Technical Trainer (PTT) Certification

By  Dec 18, 2008

Topics: Other IT Certifications

The Professional Technical Trainer (PTT) certification is a vendor-neutral credential offered by the International Assocation of Information Technology Trainers (ITrain). ITrain is a non-profit association of almost 8,000 IT professionals in 178 countries that is dedicated to fostering IT training, trainer development, and and IT resource management programs.

Whereas the majority of IT trainer credentials are vendor-specific (take, for instance, the Microsoft Certified Trainer and Certified Cisco Systems Instructor titles), the PTT represents a truly vendor-agnostic method for qualifying your expertise as an IT instructor.

The relevant questions on the tip of your tongue, of course, are:

  • How do I attain the PTT certification?
  • What are the benefits of attaining this credential?

Let us consider each of these questions in turn.

Achieving the PTT

To become a Professional Technical Trainer by using ITrain's individual membership option, you must complete the following tasks:

  • Submit an application (annual dues: $149 USD)
  • Submit a 30-minute, non-professional DVD or videotape of yourself teaching a class
  • Submit ten (10) references from current or former students
  • Submit ten (10) post-class evaluation forms from former students
  • Complete their "Train the Trainer" seminar (four days ILT, $1,990 USD)

As you can see, qualifying as a PTT involves some considerable hassle, time, and expense. Therefore, the big issue (at least from my perspective as a technical trainer and IT professional) is "what kind of return on investment can I expect from making this investment in the PTT?"

Benefits Derived from Earning the PTT

According to the ITrain Web site, the PTT credential conveys many benefits, including the following [reference]:

  • Earn recognition as an expert in the training profession (see ITrain's list of corporations that hire ITrain certified trainers)
  • Locate training suppliers through ITrain's membership and vendors directory
  • Build your organization's effectiveness by using ideas and strategies you'll learn from ITrain books, courses, and forums
  • Keep your edge by staying on top of current industry trends and instructional techniques

With regard to recertification, the ITrain Web site copy is spotty, to say the least. Here is the only information I could find [reference]:

Professional Technical Trainer (PTT) for a period of three years. Members may apply for recertification. The PTT certification is valid only for full members in good standing.

Of course, my question is, "Does recertification require anything beyond the $150 annual fee?

As far as I am personally concerned, I have known only one individual in my career thus far who was PTT certified (he was a former student of mine...yeah, training trainers is pretty darned fun...I'm serious!). This man spoke in exceedingly glowing terms concerning his involvement with ITrain; in point of fact, he worked for them part-time giving Train-the-Trainer seminars himself.

I hope that you found this essay informative. Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments portion of this post.