Why isn't my certification verification data available instantly?

We’re often asked by new members why their certification data and digital badge aren’t available instantly when they complete their certification exam.  We completely understand that you may be excited to share your new certification, especially when you’ve just completed a new Six Sigma certification or Leadership certification.  So what exactly happens when you pass an MSI certification exam?  Let’s take a look at each step of the process:

Step 1 – Processing Que:

The moment you complete your certification, your data enters our processing queue.  MSI has thousands of active members at any given time, and hundreds of certifications can be completed in a single day.  Your data sits in this queue for several days until all certifications ahead of it have been processed.  This “sitting around” is actually very beneficial for some members because if you’ve moved but haven’t updated your address, this gives us time to make that correction.  We do issue your digital certificate immediately so that you have proof of completion if you need it for employment purposes.

Step 2 – Review and Approval / Denial:

All MSI certifications must be approved before they are officially conferred.  MSI takes the certification process very seriously.  While we can’t go into exact specifics of the verification process, MSI reviews a member’s account for suspicious behavior and anomalies which may compromise the certification process.  Much of this process is software-driven, and accounts are flagged and reviewed to ensure the integrity of the certification.  This can include everything from IP address reviews to identical-answer reviews of exams.  A small percentage of certifications are rejected each month for inappropriate behavior.

Step 3 – Approved, printing process:

Once your certification has been approved, it moves to processing.  In processing, there are two components.  The first component is your digital badge and verification data.  MSI manually adds all certifications to the verification database.  This means one of our members types out your data into the record and activates it in real-time.  Your badge is auto-generated and is attached to your profile. It’s at this point that you can link your Six Sigma certification, or whichever certification you’ve completed, to your LinkedIn account.

The second half of the process is the printing process.  Your information is sent to our professional printer, where your data is pulled directly from within your account and applied to the certification and transcripts.  This process is automated, but the packaging of the paperwork in the mailer is done by hand.  This gives the team one last chance to review the certificate and transcripts and verify it matches the name and address on the mailer.

Step 4 – USPS pickup and tracking numbers:

Packages are processed on one day and typically picked up by the USPS the next morning.  MSI ships a lot of certifications, so there can be anywhere from 50 to 150 envelopes for the postal service to pick up each day.*  When the packages are picked up, they are scanned into the postal system by the USPS.  This triggers the notification system to send out the tracking number of the package so that you’ll know exactly when your certificate and transcripts will arrive in the mail.

International packages:

Here is an interesting note about international shipments.  All international shipments are shipped to the same location in the US, a mail processing facility located in New Jersey.  This is the primary Customs hub for packages leaving the US and heading overseas.  This allows the postal service to identify and route parcels in the most efficient manner quickly.

Side note – We’ve actually been told by the USPS that our mail volume single-handedly helps pay for additional postal jobs at our local post office.  We consider this to be quite an honor; to know that our organization is helping to create jobs even outside of MSI.