OPAC Office Skills Testing and International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) Partnership

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We are pleased to announce the strategic partnership of OPAC Office Skills Testing Software (developed by Biddle Consulting Group) and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). The goal of the alliance is to advance the value of professional standards for administrative and office career students, professionals, and employers. Since we understand how vital the administrative professional is to an organization, both OPAC and IAAP are fully committed to working together to enhance and support the administrative profession.

OPAC Office Skills Testing and International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) Create Partnership

Gerald J. “Jay” Donohue, Jr, IAAP Executive Director, and Mike Callen, Products Division Director at Biddle Consulting Group, were interviewed about the partnership and what it means to the administrative professional community.

Q. How will IAAP members and OPAC Office Skill Software clients benefit from the partnership?

Gerald J. “Jay” Donohue, Jr., IAAP:
“OPAC verifies the skills and proficiencies needed by individuals for entry-level administrative positions, which makes it a natural complement to the programs and services offered by IAAP. Our members can use this partnership to work with secondary and post-secondary institutions to share their expertise and participate in educational advisory groups. We have experienced leaders who are eager to serve as a resource for their younger colleagues. Our partnership with Biddle Consulting Group will help foster those types of professional networks. It also makes sense that IAAP, the world’s largest and most important organization dedicated to administrative professionals, should work with OPAC, which is used by human resource and hiring professionals across the globe. It’s to everyone’s advantage that new admins are entering the profession with a firm foundation constructed with the help of the organization that has the most experience serving career-minded administrative professionals. This is a true ‘win-win’ partnership that will only improve both organizations.”

Mike Callen, Biddle Consulting Group:
“First of all, partnering with IAAP brings us back to our roots. In 1993, when IAAP was known as PSI, they created the OPAC software and we participated in the validation of it. Later, we acquired the program from them. But when you seek to partner with an association, this is the very best one because IAAP actually gave birth to the program. Secondly, IAAP always has been and always will be all about the professional in office professional. No group knows more about identifying, shaping, educating, and developing an office professional than IAAP. Employers, students, and job-seekers need to know that they are getting the right kind of guidance and the best quality products and programs. The phrase ‘it takes one to know one’ really applies in this situation.”

Q. Jay, what are your impressions of the OPAC Office Skills Certification Program? In what ways do you think it benefits employers, students and job-seekers?

“OPAC guides educators and human resource professionals as they develop curriculum and identify the skills required by employers for entry-level support positions. It also defines success for training programs and their students. Employers need to know that their entry-level candidates can actually do the job, and not just say they can do it. That’s the real value of OPAC. It efficiently evaluates potential candidates and can be used to compare candidates across a number of defined categories. OPAC also helps students and job seekers map out what they need to know before taking an entry-level support position and helps them track their progress towards mastering those skills.

OPAC helps school districts and colleges measure actual skills demonstrated by students as they exit administrative programs. That’s important information for any school as they evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency.” Gerald J. “Jay” Donohue, Jr., IAAP

Q. Mike, why partner with the IAAP? In what ways do you think it benefits employers, students and job-seekers?

“I can’t say it enough – no one knows more about the office administrative profession than the IAAP. Their 70-year history attests to that. We encourage students and job-seekers with the hope of a rewarding administrative professional career, to join IAAP now. Their guidance, training and resources will be invaluable. To business educators, we suggest that they not only tell their students about IAAP but also take advantage of the resources themselves, as instructors. Employers need to know that hiring an active IAAP member means hiring a professional that has been exposed to the best training, collaboration, and resources in the office administrative profession. At the very least, everyone should be reading IAAP’s OfficePro magazine.

OPAC is often a first step for office skills certification, particularly if a student has graduated from a school business skills program that uses OPAC in the classroom. After OPAC, IAAP continues to lead and develop that student in their professional career.” Mike Callen, Biddle Consulting Group

About the IAAP:
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)IAAP’s mission is: “enhancing the success of career-minded administrative professionals by providing opportunities for growth through education, community building and leadership development.” This year IAAP celebrated its 70th birthday and has approximately 22,000 members in 500 chapters (mostly in North America).

IAAP developed the Certified Professional Secretary® (CPS®) exam and designation in 1952 and later created and now administers the Certified Administrative Professional® (CAP®) certification program, with specialty areas in Organizational Management (OM) and Technology Applications (TA). It also publishes OfficePro magazine and Connections newsletter and hosts several web communities for IAAP members on www.iaap-hq.org. In addition, IAAP offers professional 1:1 global networking. As the premier voice in the administrative profession, IAAP provides vital research and input into the industry’s professional standards.

Learn more about IAAP, including information about its membership and professional certification, at www.iaap-hq.org.

About OPAC Office Skills Testing:
OPAC Office Skills Testing and Certification SoftwareOPAC (an acronym for Office Proficiency and Assessment Certification) was originally developed by IAAP based on their knowledge of office professions. Biddle Consulting Group later purchased OPAC and continued to develop the software and conduct extensive validation studies showing OPAC to be a trustworthy measure of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed in the professional office environment. Over the last several years, in keeping with the current industry trends, the OPAC software has received several upgrades. It is currently used internationally (with its highest user base in North America) as part of the curriculum at business schools and vocational institutions with thousands of students receiving office skills certifications. Additionally, it is used extensively by HR Directors and Managers as a validated, trustworthy office skills pre-employment testing solution and in employee development programs. Employers can be confident that, by using OPAC and its built-in validation tool in their hiring process, they are hiring the best person for the job.

Learn more about the OPAC office skills testing and certification software and Biddle Consulting Group by visiting www.opac.com and www.biddle.com.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” the last speech given by Martin Luther King,  was shared in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968. The next day King was assassinated. Here’s an excerpt:

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt…Greece…Roman Empire…the Renaissance…I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating President by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn’t stop there…Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, “If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy.”

from “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I Have a Dream”, perhaps King’s most well known speech,  was delivered in Washington, DC,  August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. King was there participating in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The March and “I Have a Dream” were instrumental in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Here’s a portion of his inspirational words:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

from “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
[Audio and Full Text of “I Have a Dream”]

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Biddle Consulting Group office will be closed on Monday, January 16.