Today there are more credentials, letters and designations than you can shake a stick at. Employees you hire and train in-person or in an online training software have skills and designations you should be aware of. The expansion of credentials of all shapes and sizes means that some people now have more letters after their name than they have in it. To shed a little light and clarity on the situation, here is a list of some common and not so common letter arrangements you might find on the end of applicants names.
PhD – This is an easy one, it means that this person has completed a doctorate in a particular field of study and has successfully defended their thesis. If they are in the process of completing their course of study you may see PhD. (Candidate) or PhD. (ABD) both of which mean the individual has completed all requirements, save the thesis.
P.Eng – Though we commonly call those who have completed a Bachelor of Engineering degree (B.Eng.) an engineer, this is actually not the case. In order to become a fully licensed engineer you must complete you P.Eng exam after a certain number of years working and practicing under the direction of a licensed P.Eng. As it turns out, that little iron ring is just the first step.
J.D. or LL.B. – These designations effectively mean the same thing. They mean the individual has completed a law education program. In Britain, they use the LL.B. designation. In the U.S. They have opted for the more prestigious sounding Juris doctorate or J.D. In Canada, we use both depending on the law school, however, many Canadian schools are switching over to the J.D. designation.
F.R.S.C. – This designation means that the individual in question has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. This is generally regarded as the highest academic honour in Canada achieved after a lifetime of research excellence in ones field. There are also societies in other academic fields that offer similar designations for their fellows.
N.D. – Like its more well-established distant cousin, the M.D., N.D. denotes a medical professional. In this instance it is a naturopathic doctor. Though only recognized in B.C. and Ontario as well as some states in the U.S., naturopathy is a growing profession.
OCT – Ontario Certified Teacher is a designation that identifies a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers. This means they are licensed to teach in the Province of Ontario.
CHRP – This stands for Certified Human Resource Professional and is given to those who pass a standardized exam after demonstrating a certain number of years of experience working in human resources.
C.C., O.C., C.M – These letters denote a persons membership in the Order of Canada. There are three levels of prestige within the order, companion, officer and member. The Order of Canada is the highest civilian award, given to those who provide outstanding service to Canada.
C. Med and Q. Med – These are designations for those who are either certified or qualified mediators meaning that they have received an accreditation for mediation outside of their formal education. This provides some consistency to a field in which lawyers, conflict resolution and peace studies practitioners all work.
This is just a taste. There are literally hundreds of post-nomial designations out there. Who knows what combination of alphabet soup you’ll find on the next piece of letterhead that comes across your desk.