Revisiting My 2007 Book: performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification Systems


Written with Ray Svenson, my business partner 1982-1997. Based on consulting work in Prudhoe Bay 1987, the Alaska Pipeline 1994, and several other client projects.

The goals and objectives for the readers of this book are:

  • To enable you to orient yourself to a performance-based qualification/certification system at both a macro and micro level of detail
  • To enable you to adopt and/or adapt the plans, tools, and templates for your own undertaking
  • To enable you to design your own system systemically and implement it systematically-
  • o enable you to develop Performance Tests both during and after the initial system implementation.

Reviewer Quotes:

Anita Augustine
I like the questions approach used at the beginning and end of each chapter. I very much
like the preface. It “sets” the book well regarding expectations. Emphasis on project plan
criticality is GOOD! For some reason, establishing a strong agenda, for meetings, seems
to be very difficult for most; these samples should be most helpful! The case studies are
strong and I’m glad you incorporated those; most helpful. I really liked the work overall;
it is thorough and well done.

Mark Graham Brown
Thanks for sending me the book! You guys have done an amazing amount of work to
document all this stuff and present it using beautiful pages. It looks very professional.
If the goal is to give someone step-by-step directions on how to design, develop, and
maintain such a system, there is a lot of great detail here. Chapter 1 is interesting reading,
addresses key questions a reader should have, and is clearly written. The book is clearly
based on some valuable real-world experience. The Alaska examples are good case
studies. The book is a great documentation of the process and lessons learned on these
two projects.

Joe Durzo
This whole book is like a road map to unexplored territory. Some practitioners have
been there before but left no maps to guide those who follow. You have mapped out a
complex territory that has had little systematic attention but which is very important.
This book is a very useful contribution to the practice of performance development and
improvement. Most of the professional literature focuses on elements of the system—
test development, feedback, etc., and NOT on the design and management of a whole-company
approach to qualification and certification. Most of the really difficult issues are
not in the individual blades of grass, but are in the overall landscape which you describe
so well.

This book should be required reading for anyone who is venturing out for the first time
to create a qualification/assessment/certification system.

Louise Leone
In my opinion, the first few chapters are written in a way that does interest people like
myself. I think you guys have done a nice job in grabbing the audience early.

Jim Russell
I like the 9 part cover diagram! Clear, simply written, easy to follow. The book format
and layout look good – eye appeal! Excellent introductory chapters. Chapters 3-6 provide
a good overview of the system. Chapters 7-10 provide more detail about the system.
Excellent lists and tables. You’ve hit the target and are on the mark!

John Swinney
This is a manual for building a bullet-proof, performance-based qualification and
certification system. As complex as a project of this magnitude could be, this book
provides the fundamental “how to.”

Very well done! I like the conversational style. You’ve taken a relatively complex and
detailed process but have handled describing it with plain business language. The one
thing I really like about all the work you guys have done together is that you are always
aware of the needs of the business at every point of the process.
The project plan for the TMC Stores case study is worth the price of admission. It
provides a very good picture of how it all comes together. Nice addition! If I was charged
with that responsibility, this book is where I’d start! Given the book as the operating
guide, I think I could take the project plan and begin to do it!

Darlene Van Tiem
Svenson and Wallace provide a definitive guidebook complete with sound advice and a
wealth of examples, covering everything you need to establish and sustain a successful
qualification/certification system!


This book is available as a Kindle and as a Paperback.

See all of Guy’s books on his Amazon Authors Page:


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