An interview about PeopleCert’s New Commercial Policy with Jacobus Groot, CEO of QRP International
Jacobus Groot heads up one of Europe’s leading best practice training and consultancy organisations. We asked him to reflect on the commercial changes PeopleCert recently introduced.
PeopleCert: Do you think our new commercial policy reflects the reality of delivering professional training and exams today?
Jacobus Groot: I welcome the move from PeopleCert. It’s a modern, innovative approach and forward thinking.
As our organisation has gone online with almost everything since Covid – and will probably continue to work this way – it’s good to have online proctored (OLP) exams with the availability that’s possible.
Having the mandatory course book purchase with the exam makes sense, though the digital version needs to provide the same experience as the paper version. Going digital is good for the environment and fairer. Now, we will give the book to candidates at Foundation level as well as Practitioner level and it’s good to create a level playing field among learners. Participants have been asking for a digital book for a while, though it will be a change for people used to having hard copy.
In Europe where we operate – in France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg – it’s good that we can focus on the training rather than the exams; our trainers don’t need to be involved in organising the exams anymore. So, everyone does what they’re good at – and we’re good at training rather than organising exams!
However, not everywhere in the world is ready for that, so there might need to be adaption to local situations. With localisation of course books and exams, I have a lot of confidence that PeopleCert will move faster. In a digital world and with the right systems, translation is not an issue anymore. And this will definitely help growth in the markets where there is fresh demand.
PC: What response have you had from candidates/corporate clients to the changes?
JG: Most individuals prefer that the exam process is now unified, and most organisations are onboard with the changes. Our work with some data-sensitive organisations might present some challenges, but I think it’s manageable.
In terms of pricing, we’ve always been pragmatic about this and it’s not as dramatic as it seems. However, with increased prices we must be sure that the products reflect the value of a professional exam. If you deliver high quality, then the pricing difference is justified.
PC: How much do you think it will affect your business and your relationship with trainee candidates/corporates?
JG: I don’t think it will affect the business dramatically. We will have a more standardised and simplified approach that should create a fairer structure in the market, with everyone taking the exam in the same way and less risk of bad practices either from candidate or competitors.
Having PeopleCert as the new owner of the best practice methods including PRINCE2 and ITIL will definitely help, especially as the company understands better than any other what the training ecosystem is about. I appreciate how PeopleCert works with us and sees the importance of what we do.