What is the IDF Certification of UX Proficiency?
IDF Certification of UX Proficiency is a global recognition that is granted to UX practitioners upon a thorough assessment of their level of expertise by the IDF Certification Board. The IDF certification ascertains what you actually know and can do, rather than how well you can answer an automated multiple-choice quiz. When reviewing your application, members of the IDF Certification Board apply a balanced mix of subjective and objective criteria. Based on the assessment result, they may reward you with one of five levels of recognition: Foundation, Practitioner, Specialist, Master, or Expert.
What benefits will I get from IDF certification?
Going through the challenge of IDF Certification will amplify your professional skills and simplify marketing them. It ascertains your fit for particular job roles. It makes your life easier by eliminating many unnecessary questions during job interviews and contract negotiations. It adds confidence to your voice when speaking to your prospective customers and employers. Additionally, acquiring recognition supported by top experts in the field, will earn you the respect of your professional community.
As a professional, you get tangible evidence of your professional skills, which you can show to customers, managers, employers, and colleagues. IDF Certification proves your professional competencies, and allows you to systematize, refine, and amplify them. It is a challenging endeavor and you will have many good reasons to celebrate when you complete it. Of course, certification itself does not work miracles, but it will give you the confidence so that you can work miracles yourself. It will expand your range of career choices and streamline how you pitch your services. With any level of IDF Certification, you can negotiate better terms or employment contracts, easily and quickly.
As a manager, you can safely rely on IDF Certification results - whether you are hiring employees, developing their skills, or choosing a contractor. Completing IDF Certification ensures depth and consistency of the specialist's knowledge and skills. It tremendously simplifies your decision making process. The level of certification corresponds to the level of responsibility that you can assign to the IDF Certified professional. It helps you to avoid two major pitfalls: You won’t be putting excessive responsibility on someone who isn’t ready and you won’t limit their potential by failing to provide sufficient challenges, influence and freedom.
What is special about IDF Certification of UX Proficiency?
IDF certification assesses your actual professional skills rather than just the knowledge of UX concepts and practices. We have defined five levels of professional maturity based on five stages of the Dreyfus’ Model of Skill Acquisition and the revised Bloom’s taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain. Depending on your level of expertise, you can choose the right certification: Foundation, Practitioner, Specialist, Master, or Expert.
We believe we have the most credible certification process in the design industry:
1. Multi-level certification as opposed to “one size fits all”
The IDF offers multi-level certification that provides fair, independent assessments of professional competencies from novice through to expert level. We have defined those levels based on our experience, study of other professional certification paths (such as enterprise architects, business analysts and Six Sigma) and through discussions with the broader UX community. When you apply for IDF Certification, you can choose to target any level that you feel is the best match with your current skills and ambitions.
2. A carefully balanced mix of subjective and objective measurements
Our certification criteria involve both objective and subjective measurements. IDF certification ascertains what you actually know and can do, rather than how well you can answer an automated multiple-choice quiz. The certification process offers a balanced mix of subjective and objective factors.
Industry-recognized experts will attest your skills following a rigorous review of your answers to open-ended questions, your portfolio, and other work results. Their subjective judgment relies on a uniform set of criteria and checklists that ensure objectivity and consistency of assessment results.
Examples of how we increase the objectivity of the process:
- If you have only little experience in a particular area, we may recommend you to take corresponding IDF Courses. Passing each course involves answering many open-ended and multiple-choice questions that allow us to accurately measure your knowledge. The questions used in a course, wherever possible, are based on industry standards such as the ISO 9241-series and have been tested and critically examined by thousands of industry professionals.
- Two members of the IDF Certification Board will independently review your application for certification without knowing the other board member’s identity and without being able to observe the other board member’s decision and scoring. If the two board members have contradictory opinions about your skills; a third expert steps in to make the final decision. Independent and blind decision-making by multiple reviewers is more objective than using a single reviewer.
- All members of the IDF Certification board use a uniform set of criteria and check lists to assess your work.
- If a negative assessment is made by a board member that assessment must be substantiated with an explanation of the rationale behind the decision. This enables the rationale to be examined by others and heightens the objectivity of the process. Board members are more likely to make responsible decisions when those decisions must be justified.
Examples of how we leverage the power of subjective measurement:
- The certification process requires you to prepare your application in collaboration with your IDF Design League Coach. The coach can also make a preliminary screening of whether you have the skills that match the level of certification you are aiming for before your application goes forward to the certification board.
- The IDF – or your IDF Design League Coach - may recommend you to take IDF Courses which include answering open-ended questions. The course instructor will score your answers based on his/her judgment on the accuracy and completeness of those answers. You may include these scores – as well as your answers to the open-ended questions – as part of the supporting material of your
- All levels of IDF Certification involve the expert judgment of the IDF Certification Board members who will assess your skills based upon the evidence that you provide.
The goal, of a balanced mix between subjective and objective measures, is to enable the IDF Certification process to strike the right balance between “rigor and relevance”. The balance of rigor and relevance is often debated in science. It embodies the dilemma that a process can become so rigorous and “objective” that it loses its real-world relevance. If we would base our certification process fully on “objective” multiple-choice questions – e.g. based on the ISO 9241-series – a graduate student without any practical experience would be able to pass it with top marks.
Would you want to hire that person to design the cockpit controls of a commercial airplane? Or the mission-critical checkout-process of an e-commerce website? Or the interface for life-or-death medical equipment? Probably not. That’s why we used the blended measurement approach.
3. A challenging certification process
IDF Certification is challenging, but it is also fair and compassionate. For example, your certification efforts cannot fail. Even if you do not meet the certification criteria upon assessment by the Certification Board, your application will never be completely rejected. Instead, it will be deferred until you build a stronger case by acquiring any missing knowledge or skills. You will do that in collaboration with your IDF Design League Coach. You can always return and proceed with the deferred application once you feel ready for it.
As a member of the IDF Design League, you can always get help from your coach to make the right choices. You will never be in a position where you are holding a slip with “rejected” on it and with no feedback to improve.
4. A ”free” certification process independent of financial interests
IDF Certification is not influenced by any financial interests. That makes your certification credible and authoritative. The IDF believes a certification body like the IDF must be, as much as possible, completely independent from financial interests.
To ensure this is true for IDF Certification, we have taken several initiatives.
For example, certification is “free” as it is already covered by your membership fee of the IDF Design League (and certification is only one of many benefits of that membership).
“Free” is in quotation marks because you have already paid for your membership so you are indirectly paying for certification. That indirectness is a deliberate choice, made to ensure that there is no direct financial gain from an individual certification and thus there is no financial incentive to lower our assessment standards. The IDF does not and will not accept direct payment for certification.
All of our Certification Board members are unpaid and are only motivated by furthering and improving design as a profession. They are successful UX experts, elected through a formalized voting process. The majority of them are (or have been) hiring managers, which means they have first-hand experience of the risk and potential pain – both mental and financial – that can be involved in hiring a UX professional. They believe that an authoritative and financially independent certification model can be a big help in hiring processes.
5. Strict process for selection of Certification Board Members
The IDF has taken significant measures to handle the infinite loop of “who certifies the certifier?” and to establish credibility around the IDF Certification Board.
For example, to mitigate against subjective bias, favoritism, cronyism and nepotism, the Certification Board cannot add new board members to itself. Instead, it is the job of the IDF Executive Board to elect candidates for the IDF Certification Board and it is not possible to serve on both the Executive Board and the Certification Board at the same time.
Furthermore, the vote to adopt a new member onto the IDF Certification Board has to be unanimous so the slightest doubt about a candidate’s knowledge, skills and experience will lead to a rejection of the candidate for the IDF Certification Board.
We rely on three pillars to support the selection process against a subjective bias:
- The authority of the IDF Executive Board
- The base requirements for eligibility for election to the IDF Certification Board
- The IDF Executive Board’s process for electing members to the IDF Certification Board
1) The first “line of defense” is the IDF Executive Board, which consists of a mix of people from academia and industry. Each board member has had an extraordinary career path with exceptional and internationally recognized results.
For example, the IDF Executive Board membership includes those who have hired more UX designers in Silicon Valley than anyone else.
2) The Executive Board members review each candidate for the Certification Board to make sure that the candidate meets the base requirements for the role. The requirements include
- At least 15 years of experience in the UX field
- At least 5 years of experience as a “foot soldier” in UX research and design
- Over 5 years of experience in hiring and managing UX designers
- Deep involvement in many real-life projects
- Substantial experience in teaching or coaching UX designers
- Internationally recognized contributions to the profession in the form of accepted concepts, models, patterns, or cited publications.
- Meeting the criteria of Expert level according to the IDF Certification of UX Proficiency
3) A candidate receives approval to serve on the IDF Certification Board through a voting process and is only appointed through a unanimous vote of the IDF Executive Board.
6. IDF certification process is a learning process and not a bureaucratic process or a “certification shop”
An IDF certification process is not a bureaucratic “application process” – nor is it about “shopping around” for a certification. Instead, it is a learning process.
The process includes collaboration with your IDF Design League coach, possibly taking one or more instructor-led courses, and finally an in-depth application process, which culminates in feedback from Certification Board members. The main goal of certification is not acquiring a piece of paper, but achieving growth as a professional. Our process is designed to help you and to ensure the credibility and international recognition of your IDF Certification.
7. The decision is based on a fair assessment process
When your application for certification reaches the Certification Board members, they will take time to assess it carefully. This part of the certification process, just like all other parts of the process, is thorough and credible. If it was not, then your certification would not have any valuable impact for your career.
To ensure the fairness of the review process we have implemented the following:
- The review process is blind, but not double-blind. This means that the members of the IDF Certification Board know your identity, but you do not know which board members will be processing and voting on your application. This way, an applicant cannot influence or persuade a certification board member to approve his/her application.
- The review process uses a uniform set of pre-defined evaluation criteria that every IDF Certification Board member must follow.
- The IDF Certification Board Member relies on their professional expertise to assess your skills against the formal evaluation criteria. If a board member wishes to defer your application they must provide their rationale for this decision. This rationale will be reviewed if there is a disagreement among board members.
- More than one IDF Certification Board Member must review your application so that individual, subjective factors (that might be attributed to one particular Certification Board Member) are “factored out” by the other Certification Board Members participating in the review. Certification will only be approved when the majority of reviewers agree on it.
What are the levels of certification by IDF?
IDF Certification ascertains five levels of UX Proficiency based on Dreyfus' Model of Skill Acquisition and a revised version of Bloom’s taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain. The IDF Certification Levels are:
Each level of certification corresponds to the level of proficiency that the bearer has demonstrated in assessment. This gives an employer, or manager, an idea of what level of responsibility may be assigned to the holder.
The first two levels ensure that the holders can be productive when working under appropriate supervision. The Specialist level certifies their ability to be fully responsible for their own work. The Master and Expert levels indicate that they can supervise others and take responsibility for collective results.
The complete definitions of the IDF Certification Levels are as follows:
The Foundation level confirms awareness and essential knowledge in the field of UX. It demonstrates that you understand core concepts and terminology, as well as the key roles and activities of a UX professional. It includes awareness of the types of professional tools that are in use and their intended use. It also certifies that the certificate holder knows what kind of decisions are made in the process of UX design and how those decisions influence outcomes.
The Practitioner level proves the ability to perform essential tasks effectively and reliably. It ensures that someone at this level can execute core design tasks using given templates, techniques and tools. This includes the ability to create and describe core elements and building blocks of a design and conduct simple testing activities. This level demonstrates that someone, who is certified, can be steadily productive under guidance and close supervision of a more experienced designer.
The Specialist level proves the ability to take personal responsibility for producing typical deliverables using standard practices and procedures. It ensures understanding of both commonly expected results and the sequence of steps involved in creating them. The steps include analyzing requirements and creating design artifacts, as well as communicating and verifying them with stakeholders. This level demonstrates that the certificate holder can conduct professional activities effectively and efficiently, which makes him or her sufficiently self-reliant to act independently in performing a variety of standard design tasks.
The Master level confirms the ability to define a sure path to delivering quality results. This includes identifying optimal set of target deliverables based on understanding stakeholder needs and organizational context. In addition, it involves selecting procedures, techniques, and tools most appropriate for the problem on hand, as well as tailoring them to fit the context in the best possible way. This, in turn, assumes a broad awareness of existing practices and tools, an ability to articulate clearly their strong and weak sides, and an ability to argument their appropriateness for a particular situation. Master level of certification demonstrates that the certificate holder can take full end-to-end responsibility for his or her own work and the work of others to produce desired results reliably and optimally.
The Expert level confirms the ability of the professional to handle uncertainty and complexity effectively and creatively. It represents possession of a skill set that enables finding a holistic solution based on deep understanding of a given design problem. This includes ability to create new tools, procedures and practices as necessary. Expert level certification proves the ability to manage complexity of a design problem via clear conceptual thinking and collaboration, as well as the ability to identify, locate and eliminate uncertainty. It also proves that the certificate holder is capable of developing and clearly presenting solid and convincing arguments. Achieving this level assumes deep involvement and valuable contributions to the global community of UX professionals. Expert level demonstrates that the certificate holder is capable of taking full responsibility for defining meaningful results and finding a sure path to produce them in novel, highly complex and/or uncertain situations.
Example references for the IDF Certification Levels
- Dreyfus, S. (2004). The Five-Stage Model of Adult Skills Acquisition. Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, 24(3), 177-179.
- Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman
- Mead, J. & Gray, S. A Cognitive approach to identifying measureable milestones for programming skill acquisition http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~mead/ITiCSE-2006/WG-proposal.pdf accessed December 1, 2011.
Which level of certification should I target?
Choose to target the level of IDF
Certification corresponding to the level of responsibility that you
currently hold or that you feel you are ready to take on. If you feel you need
guidance in your work, the Foundation
or Practitioner levels might be right
for you. If prefer regular, mostly self-dependent tasks, you may choose the Specialist
level. If you are keen on tackling substantial challenges, exceptional value
delivery, and success, you should target Master or Expert level –
if you are ready for it.
If you have a good
understanding of UX, but little or no hands-on experience in the field, the Foundation
level of certification will serve as proof that you are interested in the
profession, committed to it, and are capable of learning. Don't be discouraged
by the term "Foundation" - it actually denotes a rather high level of
knowledge that corresponds in full to certifications from many other
organizations in the UX field. You can acquire it by completing corresponding
IDF training courses. Depending on the amount of time that you can devote to
study, completing the courses may take from 2 to 12 weeks.
Each course includes
plenty of open-ended questions. Your course instructor(s) will thoroughly
review your answers and reward them with a number of points earned upon their
accuracy and completeness. The courses also include multiple-choice questions
that are graded automatically.
If you have at least one
year of hands-on experience with essential UX tools and techniques, and feel
confident about applying them, the Practitioner level of certification
may be the right choice for you. You should talk to your IDF Design League
Coach to assess your readiness for this certification level. Your coach will
evaluate your skills based on your past work results, and may ask you to complete
some small typical design tasks. Based on the results of that evaluation, your coach
may suggest additional self-study materials or a training course.
Acquiring the Specialist
certification level assumes that you have at least two years of field
experience. This is not a strict requirement, but it is unlikely that you can
achieve sufficient fluency with standard design practices and procedures in a
shorter time frame. At this level, you will need to provide multiple samples of
your work products from different projects. Your IDF Design League Coach will
review the work samples that you provide. He or she may ask you questions about
your past work and suggest performing some design activities to strengthen your
portfolio. The certification process may take from 2 to 4 months and achievement
depends on the strength of your initial portfolio and the intensity of your
commitment to the process.
The Master level may
be appropriate if you have substantial versatile experience (typically over 5
years) and feel perfectly comfortable with taking full responsibility for end-to-end
delivery of quality results in nearly any design project. When applying for
this level of certification, you should substantiate your self-assessment with
descriptions of your past projects and samples of work products. If you cannot
provide sufficient evidence of your mastery, you can meet the requirements of this
level by working actively with your IDF Design League Coach for 3-6 months
before submitting your application. He or she may ask you to assist in coaching
other members of the IDF Design League, or to take leadership in design
activities that they conduct.
Targeting the Expert
level assumes that you are a mature professional (typically with over 10 years
of experience) and that you actively contribute to the professional community.
Such contribution may include valuable input to professional discussions,
authoring UX-related articles or books, or giving talks at internationally recognized
professional conferences. If you don't have such evidence of your expertise
yet, the best path for you would be to become a member of the IDF Design League
and work actively with your coach for 6-12 months before applying for
certification. Your IDF Design League Coach will guide you in performing
appropriate activities to ensure that your application makes a strong case for Expert
Do I need to pass all of the lower levels of certification to achieve a higher one?
No. You don't have to. We fully respect the effort that you have already spent to achieve your level of proficiency in UX. Our purpose is to assist you in getting the level of recognition that you deserve. This means that you may choose to target any level of certification based on your honest self-assessment. Our responsibility, however, is to ensure that you don't leave any gaps in your essential knowledge and skills. Thus, during the course of certification, you may be asked to conduct additional studies or to perform some practical work.
What is the process for IDF Certification like?
The certification process consists of two essential parts:
- Preparing the application for certification
- Reviewing your application by the Certification Board
Preparation requires you to compose a cover letter and relevant supporting material(s) that demonstrate your professional knowledge and skills. Then at least two members of the IDF Certification Board will independently review your application. They will provide their assessment and comment on how well you meet the certification requirements for the level that you are targeting.
First of all, you should work with your IDF Design League Coach to prepare your application and to substantiate it with appropriate supporting materials. The materials serve as the evidence of your knowledge and skills. They may include descriptions of training courses that you have completed, presentations of your work results, explanations of your role in projects, reports on your past and current professional activities, reference letters, testimonials, and publications.
Once you and your IDF Design League Coach are certain that your case is ready, you can submit your application for certification.
Upon submission of your application for certification, you get a confirmation e-mail. Then the appointed Certification Board members will start reviewing it. The review process may take from six to ten weeks depending on the level of certification that you are targeting, the amount of supporting materials to be reviewed, and the number of applicants in the queue in front of you. You will get a better idea of how long the review will take from the Estimated Completion Date, which will be automatically calculated when you submit your application.
You can track the progress of your application by observing the results of reviews that appear on your application’s page. You will be notified of any new or updated reviews via e-mail.
Two members of the Certification Board will independently review your application and provide their conclusions. Each of them can either approve or defer your certification. If both reviewers agree to approve your application, you immediately earn your certification. Similarly, if both suggest deferring your application, it means that your given evidence is not yet convincing enough. In this case, the reviewers will provide comments to explain their rationale for such a decision. These comments will pinpoint weak sides in your application and guide your further work to improve the application for future certification attempts.
If two reviewers provide conflicting opinions on your application, a third reviewer will step in, and the final decision will be made depending on the third reviewer’s assessment.
In either case, you will get an e-mail that will notify you of the result and recommend any further actions that you should take.
How do I apply for certification?
First, you need to be a member of the IDF Design League for, at least, as long as it takes to go through the certification process. After signing up for the IDF Design League membership, you will be able to choose a personal coach. Then you can perform the following steps.
The typical waiting time for feedback from Certification Board is 8 weeks. It, however, may depend on the amount of supporting materials that you have provided and the number of applicants in front of you in the queue to be assessed. You will have a better idea of how long you will have to wait from the Expected Completion Date that is calculated and reported to you upon submission of your application.
- Collaborate with your coach to prepare your cover letter and supporting materials.
- Go to the IDF Design League Control Panel, click “Get Certified in UX Proficiency” and then, in the subsequent popup window, click "Save as My Activity”. The system will add certification to the list of your activities and display the application form.
- On the application form, specify the target level for your certification.
- Fill-in the text of your cover letter by typing or copy/pasting it.
- Attach your supporting materials.
- Use the “Submit” button to submit your application. Note: if your application is not ready for submission yet, you can save it as a draft and return to it later.
- Check the “confirmation of acceptance of your application” in your e-mail.
- Wait for feedback on your application from the Certification Board.
What should I write in my Cover Letter?
Your cover letter shall consist of three major parts:
- The first is the self-assessment of your competence in eight UX specialties. This will help members of the IDF Certification Board to focus their attention and to avoid assessing skills that you do not claim to possess.
- The second is the outline of your experience – how long have you been in the field, where and how you studied, which projects you have completed and what role you played in them.
- The third part of your cover letter should provide a description of the supporting materials that you have attached to your application. For each item supplied, the description shall explain what the material is and how it supports the evidence of your expertise. Make sure that you describe every document or link that you refer to and that each description is sufficient for the reviewers to understand the material’s purpose and content.
To provide your self-assessment, fill in the following table:
To measure your competence in each specialty, use the following checklist, based on a 10-point scale:
- I’m not familiar with this specialty
- I have a general understanding of core concepts in this specialty
- I have no hands-on experience with it
- I am well aware of concepts, terminology, key tasks and methods in this specialty
- I watched others performing corresponding activities and collaborated with them
- Periodically I have to deal with this specialty in the course of my work
- I can perform some simple tasks related to this specialty
- In the course of my work, I regularly perform some typical tasks related to this specialty
- I can fluently use corresponding tools and techniques
- I have a decent practical understanding of the subject
- I can complete a majority of typical tasks
- I know all the standard deliverables and can produce most of them on my own from start to finish
- I rarely or never have to decide which deliverables need to be produced – usually I’m instructed by someone else
- I have a strong knowledge and extensive experience in the specialty
- I usually decide myself which deliverables should be produced and how they will be produced
- Sometimes I consult about solutions with my colleagues or look up professional forums
- I know this specialty extremely well
- I can solve nearly any problem in any situation
- Usually, I am responsible for defining which deliverables and how should be produced
- I often help others and naturally take leadership in getting things done
- I actively follow community discussions and participate in them
- I know this specialty perfectly and have vast experience with it
- I constantly read professional publications and follow new developments in the field
- I am responsible for hiring and managing professionals, as well as for ensuring their productivity
- I am a recognized expert in this specialty
- I actively contribute to the community through my publications and speaking
- Other professionals cite my writing and reuse my work results
- Others fully trust my professional judgment and seek my advice
Which supporting materials should I supply with my application?
In support of your application, you may refer to any materials that demonstrate or confirm your professional skills according to your target level of certification. These may include evidence of completed training courses, samples of your work products, reports on professional activities, publications, and reference letters or testimonials. You can attach them to the application as documents or as links to documents and resources on the Web. One of the attached documents could be a recommendation letter from your IDF Design League Coach.
Who will assess my skills and how will they do it?
Your application will be
meticulously reviewed and assessed by at least two members of the IDF
Certification Board. All of them are internationally recognized experts with a minimum of 15 years of continuous hands-on experience in the field of UX. Many of them are widely known in the community for their books, articles, companies, or professional blogs.
When assessing your
application they do not solely rely on their opinion. Instead, we have very
specific guidelines to ensure consistency and objectivity of their
judgment. Each reviewer will provide an unbiased judgment without seeing the
opinions of previous reviewers. If the opinions of the two initial reviewers conflict,
a third independent reviewer will be involved to resolve the conflict. See
"What is special about the IDF Certification of UX Proficiency?" for
What criteria will be used to assess my application?
To assess your application Certification Board members use the same criteria that you use for self-assessment of your skills. They will apply the same 10-point scale to evaluate your competence in eight specialties of UX. Following that they will check their evaluation results against the requirements for each level.
The eight specialties are Interaction Design, Visual Design, Information Design, Web Design, Mobile Design, UX Research, Usability engineering, and Information Visualization.
The checklist for the 10-point scale is as follows:
0 – you have no experience in the subject and nearly no knowledge of it
1 – You have a general understanding of purpose and core concepts of the subject, but no hands-on experience with it
2 – You are well aware of concepts, terminology, key tasks and methods in the subject area. You might have seen others performing corresponding activities and collaborated with them, but have never done this work yourself.
3 – Periodically, you deal with the subject in the course of your work and can perform some simple tasks in the area.
4 – In the course of your work, you regularly perform typical tasks related to the subject area. You have fluency with tools and techniques related to this work.
5 – You have a decent practical understanding of the subject and can conduct a majority of standard tasks. Some of them still may take time to figure out how to do.
6 – You know all the standard deliverables and can confidently produce them on your own in typical situations. When it comes to doing something more complicated, you might prefer to seek an advice from someone more experienced.
7 – You have strong knowledge and extensive experience in the specialty. Sometimes you consult on solutions with your colleagues or look up professional forums to solve particularly complex issues.
8 – You know the subject very well. You can solve nearly any problem in any situation. You often help others and take full responsibility for defining and producing all kinds of deliverable effectively and efficiently. You actively follow community discussions and participate in them.
9 – You know the subject perfectly and have vast experience with it. You constantly read professional publications and follow new developments in the field.
10 – You are a recognized expert and active contributor in the field. Other professionals cite your writing and reuse your work results. They fully trust your judgment and often seek your advice.
- To receive the Foundation level of recognition, you must demonstrate level 2 of proficiency in all eight subject areas.
- To receive the Practitioner level of recognition, besides the Foundation level, you have to demonstrate level 4 of skills in at least two specialties.
- The Specialist level is awarded if, besides achieving Foundation level, you achieve at least level 4 in one specialty and level 6 in two or more other UX specialties.
- The Master level certification minimally requires having level 8 in two or more specialties, level 6 in at least one specialty, and level 4 in all other specialties.
- The Expert level certification minimally requires Master level with, additionally, level 10 in at least one specialty.
The following infographics illustrates these requirements.
How long will it take?
The certification process from the moment of submission of your application until the final decision normally takes about two and a half months. Before this, you will probably have to spend some time to prepare your application for submission.
The length of preparation period completely depends on the readiness of your supporting evidence and the amount of time you can devote to it. For example, if you already, have appropriate education and experience, preparation for Foundation or Practitioner certification may take one or two weeks. Preparation for Specialist level usually takes up to one month. The time to prepare for Master or Expert level certifications may vary wildly from one month to one year.
How much time I will have to dedicate to Certification?
As with any other activity, the outcomes depend on the time you invest in it. Certification is only one of the results that you can achieve within the IDF Design League. You will be in a very good shape if you will devote to it about 10 hours per week during the preparation period. After submitting your application, you do not have to do anything about it – just wait. At this time, you can switch to other Design League activities, such as exploring career opportunities or marketing your service.
Can I withdraw my application after submitting it?
You can make changes to your application only when it is in the draft state. In some situations, you may want to withdraw your application, e.g. to make changes and re-submit it.
You can withdraw your application using the "Withdraw" command on the application's page - until the point where your application for certification has been fully reviewed.
Once you withdraw it, your application will revert to a "draft" state.
There are a few situations where you might want to withdraw your application:
- If you hit the "Submit" button by mistake and want to continue working on the draft.
- If you change your mind and want to target another level of certification or alter your cover letter.
- If the Certification Board has processed your application and decided to defer it, you can withdraw it to strengthen your case and then submit it again.
Please note that if you withdraw and then re-submit your application, all previous reviews and comments related to it are removed, and the certification process starts again from scratch. You should only use this option when you are completely sure that this is exactly what you want to achieve. Otherwise, if you have any doubts, please ask your coach or contact the IDF support team.
Can I make an appeal if I do not agree with my certification results?
We intentionally do not have a procedure for a formal appeal, because our certification procedure makes it unnecessary. If you don't meet certification criteria upon assessment by the Certification Board, your application is never completely rejected. Instead, it is deferred until you build a stronger case by acquiring missing knowledge or skills. You do that in collaboration with your IDF Design League Coach and you can always return and proceed with your deferred application once you feel ready for that.