When selecting a professional to perform a service most people seek a professional with certain credentials or certifications in order to ensure they are receiving the best possible service. The search for a grant proposal preparation professional is no different. Unfortunately, with some professions, there is little to no standardized or consistent credentialing to demonstrate skill or experience. This is true of proposal preparation specialists. When looking to apply for the incredibly competitive SBIR program, applicants want a professional that demonstrates proficiency and ethics. Without a consistent method of measuring the abilities of these professionals, that can be difficult to achieve.
While no official certification is available for SBIR proposal preparation, a great place to find a proposal preparation specialist is through the Grant Professionals Association or GPA. This organization offers membership to grant proposal professionals who wish to adhere to a strict set of professional and ethical guidelines. The GPA requires members to uphold the organization’s mission statement at all times. Those that fail to do so will have their membership revoked. To see a list of the GPA professional and ethical guidelines, visit their website.
Determining GPA membership
GPA membership standing should not be a difficult credential to determine in your grant professional. The GPA offers a searchable list of all GPA members by name or location, so you can easily check a grant professional’s standing via the GPA website. Most GPA members will also list their membership to the organization on their company website, resume, or LinkedIn profile. While membership alone does not certify a proposal preparation specialist as an expert in SBIR or any other form of proposal prep it is a first step in determining the potential professionalism and ethics of the grant preparation professional you choose to hire. Choosing an SBIR preparation consultant can be a difficult choice. Learning about some of the key indicators of success and professionalism can go a long way in helping you hire the right consultant for the job.
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