ITEC: The Certification for Intercultural Professionals
The Intercultural Training Expertise Certification (ITEC) establishes and advances the quality of intercultural training in the international sphere (e.g., global relocation, multi-national teams, international education), by (1) helping interculturalists communicate their level of preparedness to do intercultural training in the international sphere through a recognized industry standard, and (2) helping those who hire interculturalists assess the preparedness of trainers.
For over 25 years, The Interchange Institute has been training and mentoring interculturalists around the globe, including over 600 trainers in 40+ countries who have become licensed Crossing Cultures with Competence (CCwC) practitioners through our Training of Trainers Program, and continue to be part of our community platform. In addition, the Institute has completed industry-wide research on how emerging and established interculturalists have built and nurtured their careers. In short, we have a deep understanding of how established intercultural trainers have successfully built their practices, and of the needs of emerging interculturalists who are looking for guidance about how to build the expertise that is expected of them.
While national or international certification programs exist in many related professions (for example, coaching, language teaching, education, mental health, relocation), this same structured approach does not exist in the intercultural field. This is, perhaps, understandable because the field exists at the intersection of many sectors (corporate, education, medicine, missions, military, foreign service, humanitarian aid) and many national cultures’ educational systems.
The Interchange Institute’s Intercultural Training Expertise Certification (ITEC) program is designed to fill this gap. It has been developed in consultation with senior interculturalists and the organizations who hire them. It supports both established trainers wanting an Industry Standard Certification and emerging interculturalists who can use the ITEC framework to shape their learning and development, building their ePortfolio over time until they are ready to apply.
There are three ITEC certification levels:
- ITEC Associate: The practitioner is a certified intercultural trainer who has provided evidence of having undertaken a train the trainer program or similar by a recognized organization and satisfies the requirements of the ITEC Associate outlined in the Skill and Knowledge Domains.
- ITEC Professional: The practitioner is a certified professional intercultural trainer who has met the requirements for Associate status and has provided evidence of all four (4) Skill and Knowledge domains plus one (1) or more specialty areas and is prepared to deliver a wide range of intercultural services.
- ITEC Senior Professional: The practitioner has met the requirements for Professional status and has provided evidence of (a) delivering extensive intercultural services and/or (b) has demonstrated thought leadership through writing, teaching, or training. Peer review assessed.
The ITEC is a way for interculturalists to signal their readiness to offer services efficiently and with transparency, confirmed by an independent non-profit organization, and those who hire intercultural trainers to have increased confidence in their hiring, backed up by our certification. Hiring agencies may or may not require ITEC status and may have requirements beyond those included in the ITEC (for example, intercultural living experience, masters degrees, years of experience).