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The Fuld-Gilad Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence (ACI) pioneered the first certification program in the field of CI back in 1999.

The goal then, as today, has been to advance the level of professional training worldwide. Since then, the CIP® has become the global standard in CI certification among employers and CI practitioners alike. The program provides two levels of certification: CIP®-I, and Master of CI/ CIP®-II. The program is the only accredited certification program by the standard-setting IACET body.
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Competitive intelligence is no longer a young discipline. Counting from the 1985 establishment of Motorola’s BI unit by Jan Herring, one of our co-founders, the competitive intelligence field is well past adolescence. So why does is remain in an identity crisis? Why do some academics and consultants continue to debate what makes a CI professional? In other words, are we true professionals or are we still mere fledglings? And can anyone declare: I am a CI professional, or I am a CI consultant?

The answer is not simple. It is inevitably intertwined with the issue of education, accreditation, and the skill set demanded by the profession. Questions like these go to the heart of the matter:

  • “Can we be considered a profession if no academic degree is available?” (Answer: definitely!)
  • Do we need competitive intelligence certification to be recognized as a profession?” (Answer: It certainly helps.)
  • “What makes a successful CI professional?” (Answer: Read our 2013 authoritative survey on this question titled, “Who Are The Most Successful CI Professionals?” Or Download it Now!)

Conflicting language and interests between former government “spooks” and the “business” side of the field only add to the confusion. Are we a legitimate business discipline or an extension of political or military disciplines? (Answer: A resounding No!)

We at the Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence faced these questions head on when we decided in 1999 to design a rigorous competitive intelligence certification process.

We believe that competitive intelligence certification raises the standards in the field, so we have taken the initiative on two fronts. First, we decided to offer competitive intelligence certification. Second, we decided to certify the certifier, i.e., seek professional accreditation for our competitive intelligence certification curriculum.

We now grant a Competitive Intelligence Professional (CIP®) certificate. The competitive intelligence certification is granted only after completion of the full course of study, which stands now at eight courses (five core courses for the CIP®-I certification and three advanced courses for the CIP®-II certification). We also offer enrichment courses for the practitioner who needs a deeper dive into certain helpful skills. (Those courses are not required for certification).

ACI_2015_brochure pdficon_largeDownload our program brochure for more information on certification and course descriptions.

CoverSurvey_Page_01A report on professional certification in three parts by Ben Gilad, PhD.

Among the survey findings…
“49% of our CIP®’s got promoted after receiving the CIP® (certification).”

 

I liked it so much I took them twice.
Luis Madureira, OgilvyRED
The best training course I have taken in a dozen years with direct, immediate applicability to our way of thinking.
Dave Dusza, Northrop Grumman
The analytical frameworks examples and cases offered a clear and simple way to look at critical competitive areas.
Terry Frazier, Cognovis Group
The ACI training filled a gap in training both at work and at the undergrad and MBA levels. Practical application benefitting both new and seasoned CI professionals.
Keith Moody, ExxonMobil
Enriching, exciting, and fun!
Aysar Tayeb, Saudi Aramco