The Benefits and Drawbacks of ADKAR Certification

An ADKAR certification, or a Prosci change management certification, is an ideal way to gain practical skills in change management.

Yet the ADKAR model is only one among many change management certification programs available today.

When choosing a certification program, it is important to be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each program before making the investment – after all, certifications are commitments that require time and money.

Below, we’ll look at the positives and negatives of obtaining a Prosci change management certification.

ADKAR Certification: What Students Learn

One of the most important points to note about the ADKAR certification is that it covers more than just the ADKAR model (see below for more on ADKAR).

A certification from Prosci focuses not only on the ADKAR method, but also on:

  • How change management impacts the organization. Organizational changes, such as organizational restructuring or business process changes, can have sweeping effects on a business. Changes to business processes, for instance, can significantly affect the workforce, morale, engagement, productivity, and more. Understanding these changes is the first step to mitigating their negative side effects.
  • The fundamentals of organizational change and change management. ADKAR is a specific method that focuses on one aspect of change management: the human element. Prosci’s certification, however, extends further and explains fundamental concepts such as what organizational change is, why it matters, and how it is implemented in business.
  • How to make a business case for change. Executive sponsorship makes an enormous difference in the outcomes of a change project. And if often falls on the shoulders of change managers to advocate for a change program. Prosci understands this and offers instruction on how to earn that sponsorship by making a case for the business value of change programs.
  • Prosci’s 3-phase organizational change model. Prosci’s ADKAR model is complemented by a 3-stage model for change at the organizational level. In the Prosci certification program, students learn to apply both of these models simultaneously. According to Prosci, there are many change models that focus only on the human side of change – but having a dual approach to change management sets them apart.

Upon completion of the certification program, students will gain a complete skill set in change management that they can immediately apply in the workplace.

The Pros and Cons of ADKAR Certification

There are several advantages to choosing the Prosci certification over other change management certifications.

Benefits of ADKAR Certification

The benefits of this certification include:

  • The Prosci certification is widely known and accepted. Prosci is one of the most well-known and respected change management consultancies in the world. Having a certification from their agency demonstrates a dedication to and knowledge of change management best practices.
  • Prosci’s method has a strong record of success. Prosci’s methodology, which is taught in their certification programs, has been applied in many different organizations. Knowing the Prosci method, in short, gives students increased confidence that their future organizational changes can be implemented successfully.
  • Training is available online or offline. Students can learn online or offline, which is yet another benefit for today’s busy professional. This is especially true in the wake of COVID-19, which has forced many to work from home.
  • Students receive extensive training, learning materials, and support. Not all training providers have the same level of infrastructure. Prosci, however, is one that offers a great deal of support for its students. They have a number of teachers and trainers, an engaging learning environment, plenty of course materials, a one-year subscription to online change management tools, and more.
  • The program is both affordable and accessible to any experience level. Some training programs, such as the CCMP program, are only available to change management professionals with a certain amount of experience. Prosci, however, recognizes that anyone within an organization may be tasked with managing change. They have therefore made efforts to offer their training to a wide spectrum of professionals, regardless of their prior experience in change management.

However, as with any other certification program, it is important to note that the Prosci certification does have its drawbacks.

Drawbacks of ADKAR Certification

For instance:

  • The Prosci certification is biased towards Prosci’s methodology. As mentioned, Prosci naturally focuses on their own methodology. The same can be said for any other change management certification program – each training provider is biased towards their own method. Before studying Prosci, therefore, it p ays to examine a few other to ensure that it aligns with one’s own preferences and aims.
  • Some employers prefer other methodologies. In some instances, an employer or a change management department may prefer a specific methodology. Naturally, in that case, it would be best to focus on other approaches to change management.
  • Prosci is not an accredited institution. Accredited graduate schools also offer change management certifications, which may matter to certain individuals or organizations. In some cases, it is also possible to acquire degrees in change management. While those distinctions may be important for certain individuals, many professionals only care about results – in that event, accreditation would not be relevant.

In short, prospective trainees should ensure that Prosci’s certification aligns with their own training needs, their career goals, and their employer’s needs.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.