If they are not trained, qualified and accredited, they are not "professional"!
Unfortunately, they get often get hired because they present you with impressive looking proposals and fancy pitches - and because the majority customers don’t really know what makes a heritage interpretation professional, a professional, they get hired.
The result is poorly planned, designed and implemented interpretation, and that is bad for you!
Your site depends on interpretation for its survival – get it wrong and you could be out of business, and perhaps out of a job! 72% of our time at HDC is spent helping clients rescue poorly planned and designed interpretation that has been developed by so-called professionals that don't really know what they are doing.
These phony experts give a bad name to those of us that have spent years and years studying, training, earning our professional qualifications and struggling long and hard to build our skills and knowledge base.
Remember that if you hire someone without the proper training, the specialist skills and knowledge and a good level of demonstrable experience, you wont get the service and standards you need to make your interpretation project the success that it needs to be!
So, please help us to stamp out these bogus “experts” that damage our industry by asking a few simple questions...
- Do they have specialist heritage interpretation training? If so, where and how did they train and who with and for how long?
- Do they have recognized professional heritage interpretation qualifications? Membership of AHI or a similar organization is not a qualification! Accreditation or certification with NAI, NPS or at a university such as Michigan, Indiana or Perth is!
- Do they possess the specialist knowledge required by interpreters? Can they explain something simple such as recreational learning theory, experiential learning, mass customization, market of one, objective based interpretive master planning, pre-testing methodology or negative social proofing?
- Do they have any real experience? Just what sort of experience do they have? Is it first hand experience or just made up? Is heritage interpretation a full time career or something that is a sideline?
- Do they have the necessary skills? Do they have the full set of heritage interpretation skills or are they going to farm out the areas they don’t know about? Any a trained and qualified heritage interpretation professional should be able to offer you all the skills you need as a complete package.
- Do they work to the NAI or NPS standards of best practice? Do they work to recognized standards of best practice and are they accredited?