Making the Case for Credentials

Survey Reveals Majority of Canadian Companies Cover Professional Certification Costs

Toronto, ON. — Most workers today are getting support from their employer to grow their skill set, according to recent research from staffing firm Robert Half. A majority of Canadian CFOs interviewed (68 per cent) said their companies cover some or all of the cost for staff to obtain professional certifications, with the same number saying their companies help in maintaining credentials once earned. Still, nearly one-third of respondents (32 per cent) said their organization offers no financial support for employees’ continuing education.

“Many employers support ongoing training because they’re aware of how valuable well-educated professionals, with up-to-date knowledge of industry trends, are to the successful evolution of business.” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “For workers, keeping skills current is essential for career advancement. Obtaining an industry-specific designation demonstrates commitment, and a willingness to take on new challenges and adapt to changing business needs.”

“Prior to asking your manager about covering the cost for continued education or training, be prepared with research that highlights the potential benefits the program can provide to the company, in addition to your career,” added Scileppi.

CFOs were asked, “How, if at all, does your company support its employees in their efforts to receive professional certifications? Do they provide...?” Their responses:

Full support – the company pays all educational costs

31%

Partial support – the company pays some educational costs

37%

No support at all

32%

100%

CFOs were also asked, “How, if at all, does your company support its employees in their efforts to maintain professional certifications? Do they provide...?” Their responses:

Full support – the company pays all educational costs

31%

Partial support – the company pays some educational costs

37%

No support at all

32%

100%

Robert Half offers five tips for getting company support to acquire professional certifications:

  1. Make a business case. Devise a plan before you approach your boss. Describe how the certification will allow you to make greater contributions to the company. Consider, too, that some professional certifications have a stronger return on investment than others.
  2. Cite immediate benefits. Show examples of how the certification will help improve productivity, bring additional revenue or allow you to take on additional responsibilities.
  3. Prepare for the future. Explain to your manager how your training will develop you for leadership positions. Most CFOs realize the importance of succession planning, and they’re looking for rising stars who may be able to fill the pipeline. 
  4. Share the wealth. Let your boss know that an investment in your education can strengthen the entire organization. Offer to share the information learned or mentor colleagues to extend the value of your added expertise.
  5. Divide the cost. If your manager denies your request, don’t give up. Are you willing to cover part of the fees for your professional certification? If not, revisit the conversation in a few months if you sense your boss may be more open to it in the future.

About the Research

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at roberthalf.ca. For career and management advice, follow our blog at blog.roberthalf.ca. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]