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Charles Weaver, president of the MSPAlliance, makes a simple analogy for the concept of accrediting Managed Service Providers.

“When I go to a doctor, I don’t understand anything about medicine, but I trust he does because of the certificates on his wall,” he said. “There needs to be that same level of trust in Managed Services.”

The alliance has had a Managed Services Accreditation and Exam since September, but “you need it to be more than a certificate you just pay for,” Weaver said. Things change very fast and a customer needs to know there is something governing who can call themselves a managed service provider, he said.

That requires continuing education to ensure that participants continue to be up-to-date.

The Alliance will begin offering a Continuing Managed Services Education program, with minimum credits required to maintain accreditation.

“Customers need to know these guys aren’t just making it up,” he said. “They need to know the industry is under some infrastructure that provides structure and a regimented program that maintains standards if they’re going to put their trust in Managed Service Providers.”

Toward the same goal, the organization instituted a professional code of ethics in January.