The diversity of the network that PHAP has developed – the diversity of the members who all gravitate towards the same idea – is something quite unique. Interacting and networking with other humanitarian professionals who are engaged in work across a variety of different fields is an important priority for me. With members from the sector as a whole, we have a great opportunity – in terms of understanding other peoples operations and in terms of becoming better in our own operations.

- PHAP member (since 2011)

Over 500 humanitarian practitioners contribute to development of new certification assessments

29 Jan 2017

The development of the PHAP Credentialing Program, which will be launched this spring, has passed a major milestone with the successful “beta testing” of its certification assessments by a large number of practitioners from across the humanitarian sector. The results from this process have further validated the program’s foundation in humanitarian field practice and helped ensure that the assessments provide a rigorous measure of competence in accordance with the certification standards.

Over the course of November and December 2016, more than 500 beta tests were carried out in Amman, Brussels (at AidEx), Jerusalem, Nairobi, Geneva, Berlin, Birmingham, and London, involving practitioners at all levels, from Humanitarian Coordinators and Country Directors to staff and volunteers who had recently joined the sector.

The assessments currently in development are for certifications in the following three areas: Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem, International Legal Frameworks for Humanitarian Action, and Applying Humanitarian Principles in Practice.

In order not to compromise the security of the assessments, all tests were carried out in person under invigilation. In addition to gathering important data on the test questions themselves, this process also gave PHAP staff and member volunteers an opportunity to speak in person with hundreds of practitioners about their views on the new Credentialing Program in general. In these conversations numerous beta testers expressed appreciation for the relevance and appropriate level of the tests, as well as the rigor with which they were developed.

We would like to thank all members of the association and practitioners in PHAP’s wider network who have contributed to the beta testing for their invaluable support and look forward to the launch of the program later this spring.


The PHAP Credentialing Program
Responding to long-standing concerns about capacity issues across the humanitarian sector, PHAP is launching a new program in the area of individual standards and recognition of competency. The PHAP Credentialing Program combines the established and rigorous international standard for professional credentials – the ISO/IEC 17024:2012 standard for personnel certification – with solutions that meet the specific needs of the humanitarian sector, structuring the program around a number of narrower certifications in specific areas of knowledge and skills. The three certifications currently under development, to be launched in 2017, will provide a robust yet inexpensive means for humanitarian practitioners to demonstrate competencies and for employers to know whether staff members or job candidates possess specific knowledge or skills, while reinforcing high standards of commitment and competence at the individual level.

Learn more about the PHAP Credentialing Program and the development process at