Evaluators are only as good as their training and experience. A well-trained evaluator will not only be able to spot fraudulent documents, but also be able to evaluate quickly and accurately. To enhance detection and evaluation skills of your staff, consider investing time and money in the following:
Provide in-house new hire training
If you are lucky enough to have more than one evaluator, we recommend making sure any new hire can benefit from existing knowledge. Create a document or training kit for new hires. Include a list of resources to help get the new hire started.
If you are a department of one, it might still be worth creating such a document or training kit in case your department expands. Or if you leave, the next person will still benefit from your knowledge.
Also, consider the buddy method. In addition to providing ten months of training, we pair our new evaluators with a mentor. This is an experienced evaluator that they know they can go to with any questions.
If you need help with any new hire or on-going training, we do provide custom training to fit your needs.
Become a member of professional networks
Organizations like TAICEP, NAFSA, EAIE, and AACRAO all provide ways to network with others in the field. Joining these networks will link you to other credential evaluation professionals. Becoming a member may also give you access to webinars, resources, and discounted rates for conferences.
Local, national, and international conferences are great for networking. Once you’ve met with someone face-to-face and established a personal connection, it’s much easier to ask for help. This can be incredibly beneficial when it comes time to verify a document or ask for information about a particular program. Even if your contact doesn’t work directly for the institution you have questions about, knowing someone who knows the language or customs can help you get the answer. Or possibly they know someone who can get you the answer.
While it can be expensive to attend conferences, especially the international ones, we’ve found the ROI in information alone is worth it. Of course, be sure to share the information with your co-workers who maybe weren’t so lucky to attend!
Join online communities
If you aren’t able to attend as many conferences as you would like, be sure to get involved in online communities. Our ECE® Connection Message Board and other online forums allow you to connect with people in the field all over the world. If you are new it’s a great way to learn and get help. If you are experienced you should share your knowledge to not only help a colleague but also the students they serve. Never has it been easier to ask questions or provide assistance in understanding foreign education systems.
Attend workshops (in-person and online)
Attending workshops in-person will give you the maximum amount of hands-on training. In our ECE® Essentials workshop we make sure to include original documents so that you can see and feel what they look like. We also train you on how to use forensic tools to spot forgeries.
However, if in-person workshops are simply not in the budget (or you're in the midst of a global pandemic), there are plenty of online workshops. Check with professional organizations like TAICEP and EAIE for any current webinars or workshops. In response to the coronavirus, ECE® recently made our e-Learning webinars available as recorded sessions (check out our live streaming sessions in the future). These online sessions provide in-depth training on a particular topic. If you are able to attend the live session, you also have the chance to ask the trainer questions.
We hope you and your staff are already feeling supported and ready to tackle the task of credential evaluation. If not, we hope you now have the tools and resources to get trained!