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I work for a company where I can obtain some professional certification, however as with most companies I will need to repay the cost of the training if I leave, which is fair.

I have been asked number of times if I would like to renew some of the certs I already held, although expired. There are few problems with that:

  1. The company has a requirement of X-many people certified to a specific level(for discount purposes). I won’t be utilising this knowledge in my current role/department, although it would help me to keep my CV up to date. The down side is the obvious tie in to the company for a given period of time.
  2. The company is actively looking (new jobs in different departments) for people with those certificates to bring them on board (see point 1 about requirement).

I need to say there is very small, one time incentive whenever the certification is obtained.

How could I approach management to say that I can do the certification, perhaps if my remuneration will be increased permanently with every new certificate or without the tie in for long time. Preferably the remuneration option.

Has anyone got any useful feedback in situations like this?

  • Not sure I understand...are you asking how you should ask for a permanent raise for a certification instead of a one-time bonus? And no one else you work with has that arrangement? – Keith May 22 at 12:31
  • "however as with most companies I will need to repay the cost of the training if I leave, which is fair." is this a U.K thing because I have never heard about this (in Denmark)? – M_dk May 22 at 12:44
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    @M_dk - it's common to the point of being standard in the US. And it makes sense - if the employer pays to educate you or get you a certification, and you walk out the door to another job the next day, that's not really fair - since the employer is not able to get the benefit from that training. So the employee (who is theoretically going to benefit, i.e. from leveraging the training in their new role) is expected to reimburse the employer for the cost of the training. – dwizum May 22 at 13:13
  • @dviwum Fair enough. I will say that whether or not its fair is a cultural thing. In fact, most tech companies in Denmark believes (and rightly so), that if you continually invest in your workers not only will you have more skilled employees, but they will have better employee retention on top. It is the very definition of a win-win situation. – M_dk May 22 at 13:39
  • @M_dk -- in the US, this is very common, as well. Employees like to go to a company where they will get ongoing training and investment. But it's still not fair to expect a company to send someone to training for several thousand dollars and then not get any benefit. – Keith May 22 at 16:22
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What kind of role do you have? If you are in some kind of consultancy role, and the company is 'selling' you, then your certifications are probably tied to the number of jobs, and the rates you can get. Or if they state all of our 'x' employess have at least 'y' qualification/ Otherwise, certification is a lot more of a benefit to the individual than the company.

I know someone who does get this kind of renumeration, he is always cramming to pass certifications (In things he doesn't have much/any experience in) just before he goes off to a particular client site. Where I work, if you want the certificate, you are paying for it yourself as it really doesn't benefit us at all.

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Your employer uses a 'repayment of training cost clause', which is essentially a debt you acknowledge and that is written off as long as you stick around. If the certification does not benefit you in your current role and does not make you a more valuable candidate when job-hunting, then you should not take the cert under those conditions.

Your superiors are at risk of losing their precious discount. If they find it worthwhile to pay you to study and do the exam, and to waive the 'repayment of training cost clause', then you should let them. Otherwise, they should find someone who actually uses the cert.

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How could I approach management to say that I can do the certification, perhaps if my remuneration will be increased permanently with every new certificate or without the tie in for long time. Preferably the remuneration option.

It sounds like you're not happy with your current level of compensation, and so you're thinking of using the new certifications as leverage to try to boost your salary. This seems like a really bad idea to me - it would be a very non-standard request, which may raise eyebrows and means you're almost certainly going to get a flat out "no" as a response with no further consideration.

Instead, if you're feeling underpaid, I'd approach your manager completely separately from the certification discussions and ask for more money. Off the back of that conversation (depending on the salary offered) you need to decide whether you're staying for the foreseeable future, or moving on elsewhere. If you want to move on, then you need to further weigh up if the certification is worth it if you end up footing the bill, and if not, then politely decline.

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