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UPA Board of Directors Position Statement on Certification for Usability Professionals

JULY 7, 2002, Orlando, Florida

During the past 9 months, UPA has investigated the need for a certification program for usability professionals. Based on feedback from members and other professionals, the UPA Board of Directors has decided that it is premature for UPA to lead an effort to develop a certification program at this time.

However, this work also produced a strong consensus on related initiatives that would provide immediate value for the profession. Among these is developing a body of knowledge to help usability practitioners grow professionally and help others understand usability better. A body of knowledge might include:

  • A list of skills
  • Prerequisite knowledge
  • Framework of usability life-cycle practices

This body of knowledge could then be used as the basis for a professional development plan, curriculum and self-assessment tools. The UPA is planning to move these initiatives forward.

This work could also provide input to any future efforts to create a certification program. The UPA remains open to participating with other non-profit organizations in such an effort.

Information about the project to investigate certification can be found in the Projects section of this web site. These pages include various position papers, a report on the survey and reports from the public presentations on this topic.


The Usability Professionals' Association is an international, non-profit, professional association with more than 1700 members in the US and 35 other countries. Members are specialists in evaluating and designing products that are easy to learn and use. Many usability professionals hold advanced degrees or training in psychology and related fields. The organization provides its members with a wide variety of professional services. Through outreach the UPA:

  • Communicates and shares information about skills and skill development, methodology used and/or proposed in the profession, tools, technology, and organizational issues.
  • Presents the viewpoints of the profession to the public and other interested parties.
  • Educates the general public about the profession.

For more information, contact:

The Usability Professionals' Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Rd.
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
630/980-4997 voice
630/351-8490 fax
email: office@upassoc.org
web: www.upassoc.org

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