Most of the colleagues I worked with in the past agreed on the merits of providing completion certificates to participants in training courses. Merits such as employees feeling valued and possibly recognized during a townhall meeting for attending training courses (motivational), other employees seeing such actions may be motivated to be more mindful of their own learning and attendance of training courses (striving for similar recognition). Concerns typically included whether or not we could sincerely state that someone has actually learned something from attending the class and whether the certificate may be misinterpreted in this way; some people (or certain cultures) may be bashful and therefore not comfortable with having a certificate which may put them “above” or “separated from” the rest of the employees.
Using technology currently available to us it is more possible to avoid cutting down trees by creating, signing and distributing certificates electronically. Even the receiver may choose not to print it, but instead display it on a desktop. However, I do still see many employees actually printing the certificates and either laminating or framing them to be displayed somewhere near their desks.
Whatever you may choose to do with regards to training certificates, I will share a basic template with you.
- When you customize or change elements, beware of creating something that is overly colorful and “busy” with competing elements – graphic and text. You want your certificates to look credible and not resemble an advertisement for a sale.
- When you insert digital signatures be very careful about who has access to those. It is a very sensitive graphic to have and can easily be abused if it falls into the wrong hands.