eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Training Valued More Than eDiscovery Certification – eDiscovery Trends

According to a survey conducted by eDJ Group and reported on by Barry Murphy within eDiscovery Journal (eDiscovery Education? Yes! eDiscovery Certification? Maybe…), almost all respondents believe that eDiscovery and education and training are important and three fourths of them believe that good eDiscovery education and training programs exist today.  However, when it comes to the importance of eDiscovery certification programs and whether good programs exist today, slightly more than half of respondents responded favorably to eDiscovery certification programs.

In the story by Murphy, eDiscovery Journal displays graphs representing the results of each of the four questions, as follows:

  • In general, do you believe that good eDiscovery education and training are necessary for the betterment of the industry?: 98.3% of the respondents said yes, 1.7% of the respondents said no.
  • In general, do you believe that good eDiscovery education and training programs exist? : 74.9% of the respondents said yes, 25.1% of the respondents said no.
  • In general, do you believe that good eDiscovery certifications are necessary for the betterment of the industry? : 58.1% of the respondents said yes, 41.9% of the respondents said no.
  • In general, do you believe that good eDiscovery certification programs exist? : 54.8% of the respondents said yes, 45.3% of the respondents said no.

Based on the small footer in each of the graphs, it appears that there were 179 respondents to the four question survey.

Murphy’s eDiscovery Journal also notes several of the organizations that provide eDiscovery education, training and/or certification programs – two of which, the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists® (ACEDS™) and The Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP) have had programs featured on this blog.  In addition to the ones that Murphy mentioned, Magellan’s Law Corporation offers Discovery Project Management classes, conducted by our own Jane Gennarelli.

eDiscovery Certifications Compared to Other Industries

With nearly everybody saying that eDiscovery education and training is important, but less than 60% saying that eDiscovery certification is important, that’s quite a disparity, especially since many training programs offer some sort of recognition for completing the training and passing a test (either a written test or practical exercise, or both) to “certify” knowledge of the material.  In his article, Murphy notes that “eDiscovery is a process made up of many tasks, most of which are performed by various team members.  What I hear from eDiscovery professionals when it comes to certification is that there is simply not enough definition as to what it means to be a certified eDiscovery professional.”

When you look at other industries; however, the certifications are more specialized.  For example, in IT, Microsoft has certification programs for IT Professional (MCITP), Professional Developer (MCPD) and Technology Specialist (MCTS) – in each case, the “MC” stands for “Microsoft Certified”.  From a Project Management standpoint, there is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), among others.  These certification programs all appear to be widely accepted.  Maybe specialization is the key to creating eDiscovery certification programs that are widely accepted, with each certification based on the expertise that each team member should possess?

So, what do you think?  Will eDiscovery certification programs ever become widely accepted?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.