Humanitarian Logistics Certification Program
The Humanitarian Logistics Certification Program represents an exceptional instance of sustained inter-agency and private-public collaboration. The critical need for training and professional recognition of logisticians working in humanitarian organizations was identified during the Humanitarian Logistics Conferences of 2003 and 2004. Fritz Institute was the catalyst to develop the Certification Program, bringing together leaders in humanitarian logistics with experts in commercial logistics training to define the content and objectives of the program, and design and deliver the courses.
Today, the Certification Program continues as an inter-agency, private-public collaboration. It is delivered through a three-way partnership: the courses are managed and sponsored by the Fritz Institute; CILT (UK) is the awarding organization for the qualification; and the Logistics Learning Alliance (LLA) is the administrating and coaching organization. The program continues to be guided by the Certification Advisory Group, which comprises senior logistics officers from UN agencies, international non-profit organizations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Certification Program comprises three courses:
1) Certification in Humanitarian Logistics (CHL) – launched in September 2006 and updated to “CHL 2.1” in 2012, teaches the base principles of logistics and supply chain operations in the humanitarian context in order to increase the proficiency and expertise of humanitarian logisticians working at an operational level.
2) Certification in Humanitarian Supply Chain Management (CHSCM) – launched in 2008, emphasizes more strategic elements of supply chain management and is aimed at senior logisticians and logistics coordinators working at the strategic level of humanitarian operations. As CHSCM emphasizes linking logistics more closely to programs, people in other functions who interface with logistics are also targeted. This program has a long-term impact, influencing the development of supply chains and ongoing operations in a way that will transform delivery.
3) Certification in Humanitarian Medical Logistics Practices (MedLog) – launched in 2009, focuses on medical items' special supply chain requirements. MedLog is aimed at experienced logisticians and medical specialists handling the medical supply within humanitarian organizations.
What does 'Certification' mean?
Professional certification is a process in which an individual proves that he or she has the knowledge, experience, and skills to perform a specific job. The certificate assures employers that the holder is competent and professional. Some certifications are basic and require minimal effort and learning to obtain, such as certification in CPR. Others require multiple years of education and experience, such as a Certified Public Accountant.
The Humanitarian Logistics Certification Program certifies that individuals have the skills required to be competent and professional humanitarian logisticians.
Finding competent staff for immediate deployment is a constant struggle for humanitarian organizations. Emergencies require immediate response and organizations do not have time to develop or train personnel. Professional humanitarian logisticians have to be able to ‘hit the ground running’.
Senior logistics and supply chain personnel from UN, NGO, and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement together defined the comprehensive skills required of a professional humanitarian logistician – what is required at an operational level and what is required at higher, more tactical or strategic levels. The Humanitarian Logistics Certification Program was subsequently designed, under the guidance of these organizations, to ensure graduates have the skills required to perform competently on the ground.