The Certification Levels of the OLN

All courses of learning from the Open Leadership Network have the same certification levels and structure. There are 6 specific levels of expertise and achievement. These 6 levels (numbered 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) are summarized below.

OLN Level 0: The Member Level. This is the entry point. You must attend a learning event from a Certified OLN Trainer or attend an Open Leadership Symposium event to achieve Member status. This learning event may be held online, or at a conference or symposium. Your membership in the Open Leadership Network is valid for one year; membership entitles you to discounts of as much as $600 per year that only OLN Members are qualified to receive.

OLN Level 1 : The Associate Level. This is a certificate of completion. This is an entry-level to a domain subject area, and is achieved by investing the time, money and attention needed to participate in an OLN Level 1 certification class. The instruction must come from a Certified Trainer of the OLN. Some Level 1 courses may require that you pass a small exam after the class before achieving this level of certification.

OLN Level 2: The Practitioner Level. Achieving Level 2 means you have real domain knowledge and have proven you can apply it. Those who have previously achieved Level 1 certification are eligible for applying for Level 2. This level confirms your know-how and expertise, and is achieved by actually applying and practicing the Open pattern or practice you have previously learned at Level 1. Each course of instruction publishes the guidelines and minimum experience and practice levels before applying. Applying for Level 2 certification involves filling out a questionnaire, submitting an Experience Report explaining your professional practice, and paying a non-refundable application fee. Not everyone who applies for Level 2 achieves it on the first try. Level 2 certificate holders are expected to invite Level 1 members into some of their work to help them to gain enough experience to achieve Level 2.

OLN Level 3: The Expert Level. Some courses of study in Open Leadership and Open Business Agility have a Level 3 certification. This higher level of credentialing confirms your expertise as a deeply experienced practitioner in the domain area. To achieve Level 3 you must apply, get your application approved, and then undergo a rigorous mentoring and vetting process with a set of then-current Level 3 Experts. You are assigned a mentor from the Level 3 ranks with whom you can optionally engage, to get counsel and guidance as you move through the process. Reaching OLN Level 3 in a domain area of study is a significant achievement.

OLN Level 4: The Trainer Level. Achieving Level 4 means you have real experience and can also convey that know-how to others effectively as a teacher, explainer and mentor. For most Open courses of the OLN, those who have achieved Level 2 can apply to become a Certified Trainer, but only if the target program is currently receiving Level 4 applications. Achieving Level 4 in a certified Open method involves a rigorous train-the-trainer process and approval from the Level 5 formulator of that Open course (the description of Level 5 is listed below.) Level 4 certification in an Open method authorizes you to teach that specific course and award your students the Level 1 credential. Level 4 certificate holders are expected to be very active Open community members, participating as speakers and prsenters in user group meetings and conferences; writing articles and essays, and assisting others in advancing the growth of the Open movement.

OLN Level 5: The Composer/Formulator Level. Level 5 certificate holders write the Learning Objectives for the Certified Course of the Open Leadership Network. These Learning Objectives set the minimum standard for what Level 4 Certified Trainers are required to teach in their Certified Courses. Level 5 certification verifies and confirms that you are either a designer and composer of a specific Open Social Technology, or that you have written a book on the subject, or both. It also means that you have experience successfully teaching this material to a professional audience. There is always one and only one Level 5 certificate holder in any one specific Open pattern, practice or method. Doug Kirkpatrick, for example, holds the one and only Level 5 certificate in No Limits Organizational Self Management.

The Benefits of Membership

Anyone who earns an OLN certificate or attends a Symposium event becomes a Member of the OLN.

The primary reason to become a Member is to join our community of practice, one that is dedicated to spreading the use of Open patterns and practices. We know for sure that lasting change is not really possible without the active emgagement and support of the workforce. Open patterns encourage workforce engagement, through the use of Engagement Models and the practice of Inviting Leadership, and Invitation-Based Change.

When you become a Member of the Open Leadership Network, you also immediately enjoy the following benefits:

  • Discounts of fifteen percent (15%) on all courses of the Open Leadership Network. Members pay far less for continuing education than non-members via this substantial Member discount.
  • A Professional Listing as a Member in the Member and Certificants listings of the Open Leadership Network.
  • A very large discount on attending the Open Leadership Symposium conference event. Members get the best price available for each and every Open Leadership Symposium event.

In addition, if you hold a Certificate from the Open Leadership Leadership Network, you also gain these additional direct benefits:

  • A Qualified Professional Standing, and Industry Recognition: OLN certificate holders are professionals who apply Open principles in service to achieving lasting Business Agility for their employers and the clients they serve as consultants and coaches. OLN certificate holders qualify as professionals in the domains of Open Leadership, Open Business Agility™ and Invitation-Based Change™.
  • A Professional and Searchable Listing in the the list of OLN Certificants . The list of certificants is searchable, and allows potential employers and potential clients to quickly find you: by name, certifications, and city in the list of OLN Certificants.
  • Professional Profile page with Badge and Certificate Management. OLN certificants can download and print digital badges and certificates from the web site and also conveniently send badges and certificates to colleagues, potential clients, and potential employers.

Joining the OLN is simple: attend one of our courses, or come to one of our conferences.

See you there !