Credentialing Services

SeaCrest strategically partners with credentialing organizations to manage projects, lead programs, conduct feasibility studies, provide governance and organizational restructuring consultation, evaluate program performance, and plan strategically for the future.

Nadine Schwab, MPH, BSN, RN, NCSN, FNASN | Executive Director, NBCSN

“The deliverables produced by SeaCrest in the strategic planning process were far more comprehensive than those experienced in the past when NBCSN has contracted with an outside consultant to facilitate a strategic planning session. We contracted with SeaCrest four different times in the past 18 months to help us make key decisions including how to develop from a management to a strategic type of board. NBCSN attributes a considerable portion of its success in making the hard decisions and taking the risks necessary to develop as an organization, and maintain and enhance its relevance to stakeholders and the profession to SeaCrest.”

Project Management

SeaCrest consultants manage both short- and long-term projects to support credentialing programs. Project management expands organizational capacity to take on new projects or complete existing projects, while keeping staff teams focused on their primary responsibilities SeaCrest consultants keep tasks on track and in line with best practices while coordinating the organization’s staff, managing volunteer committees, and facilitating consultant and vendor activities.

Examples of project management provided by our team include, but are not limited to: evaluation of eligibility or recertification requirements; organizational restructuring; transitioning to live remote proctored test administration; developing new credentialing exams in coordination with the organization’s psychometrician; developing policy manuals; launching a quality management system; and creating candidate information (e.g. handbook and web site content.)

Designed for programs interested in taking on new projects or keeping up with existing projects without expanding the existing staff team.

Program Leadership

Successful credentialing programs require experienced leadership and management. SeaCrest consultants have the knowledge and skill to serve as the staff lead to fill a vacancy or deliver outsourced leadership for new or existing programs. Available services include board and volunteer management, accreditation compliance monitoring, exam development project management and facilitation in conjunction with the organization’s psychometrician, strategic planning, marketing project management, and more.

Designed for small programs that need executive director or certification director level experience without hiring a new staff member, program teams with limited credentialing experience, organizations that need additional management to implement certification/education firewalls, and/or organizations with staff vacancies.

Feasibility Studies

SeaCrest partners with organizations to research the feasibility of new credentialing products or gather data to inform decisions for existing programs. Through discussions facilitated by our team, the organization defines research goals. SeaCrest consultants work collaboratively with the organization to design a study that gathers information necessary to inform decision making. Feasibility studies generally follow three phases:

    • Information gathering – study goals, target audience(s), market analysis, etc.
    • Survey development – survey tool, pilot testing, survey administration
    • Additional data collection – focus groups or one-on-one interviews as needed
    • Analysis – results, findings, and recommendations

Feasibility studies provide information to inform decisions including:

    • Starting new credentialing programs
    • Re-aligning existing programs to target audience and/or stakeholder needs
    • Retiring existing programs

Designed for organizations seeking data to inform strategic decision making related to new or existing programs.


SeaCrest gathers evidence to support organizational decision making. Customized research includes surveys, focus groups, and/or one on one interviews to collect data needed to inform strategic decisions and policy changes.

Previous SeaCrest research topics include:

    • Translation practices
    • Continued competency benchmarking
    • Alternative item types
    • Policy benchmarking
    • Governance practices
    • Marketing practices

Designed for organizations seeking data to inform strategic decisions.

Governance and Organizational Structure

Governance and organizational structure evolves as credentialing programs grow. The right structure supports efficiency and effectiveness while a poor fit impedes strategy and results in poor communication causing ripple effects throughout the organization. SeaCrest experience includes designing governance and structures for new programs and organizations, evaluating and updating existing governance for improved performance, and advising on re-organizing certification program governance and/or staffing structures. Governance and structure consulting considers scalable solutions to promote organizational sustainability and growth, provides consistency with best practices and accreditation compliance, positions volunteer leaders to focus on strategy setting, and enables staff to manage more efficient operations.

Designed for organizations seeking accreditation, adding new programs, and/or updating existing programs.

Program Evaluation

All certification programs, accredited or not, benefit from a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation process that informs the strategic planning process. Conduct an evaluation to:

    • Avoid liability and develop a risk management plan
    • Rescue or re-launch a struggling program
    • Prepare for an accreditation application (initial or renewal)
    • Respond to an adverse situation
    • Evaluate options related to retiring a program
    • Plan for transitioning an existing program to/from a certificate/certification program

SeaCrest uses a systematic approach to evaluate all areas of a professional certification program including governance, policies and procedures, candidate materials, examination process and documentation, marketing programs, recertification process and more.

Our detailed analysis informs staff and volunteer leaders on the best practices in the industry and identifies areas for improvement to maintain a legally defensible, quality program that is valuable to your stakeholders.

Designed for programs seeking to improve operations and quality across several evaluation areas.

Strategic Planning

Effective planning, both short and long term, serves as the foundation of a successful credentialing program. Quality strategic plans help credentialing agencies accomplish their mission, increase their impact, and address priorities with intention and focus. SeaCrest leads the organization through an interactive process to evaluate the current environment, discuss trends, and set strategic goals.  Using our wealth of experience with accreditation standards and “best practices” specific to the credentialing industry, we work with you to identify essential areas so you can take action and improve your program.

SeaCrest’s process includes the following general phases:

    • Information Gathering – using one-on-one interviews, surveys, and other tools, SeaCrest gathers information to understand the organization, various stakeholder perspectives, and the industry in which they credential.
    • Planning Facilitation – SeaCrest typically utilizes a two-person team to lead volunteer leadership through a face-to-face, strategic planning workshop, which includes detailed discussions and exercises to pinpoint goals and brainstorm strategies.  Our team also provides tools to inform and guide the Board’s decision making process.
    • Strategic Plan Framework – building on the outcomes of the strategic planning workshop, our team builds the framework for the plan and provides a detailed report outlining the process and the rationale for the leadership’s decisions.

Designed for organizations seeking strategic planning assistance from consultants experienced with the design, development, and operation of certification programs.



From Concept to Concrete: Envisioning a New Framework for Continued Competency, a case study featuring the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI).


Exploring New Directions: Conducting a Feasibility Study for a Potential New Credential, a case study of the feasibility study conducted for an organization considering an advanced-level credential.


ICE White Paper – Governing for Success: Establishing a Governance Structure to Support Certification Program Operations


Adding Remote Proctoring for Exam Administration: Key Questions for Accredited Programs to Make a Quick and Careful Decision