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Community Indicators Projects Certification

The ISQOLS Certification in Quality-of-Life Research program is designed to help QOL researchers specializing in community indicators projects obtain additional training and become officially certified in the field. This certificate program is administered by the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS), a globally-recognized academic and professional association, with its own publications, journals, conferences, and identity, and the Management Institute for Quality-of-Life Studies (MIQOLS).

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Learn the Ins and Outs of Planning, Developing, and Implementing Community Indicators Projects

This course focuses on the process of planning, developing, and implementing community QOL indicators in the context of a town, county, city, rural area, or a metropolitan region. The program is self-paced and facilitated mostly one-on-one through personal communication with the instructor.

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The certification course includes:

  • 9 major content-rich learning modules
  • Support from a renowned quality-of-life/wellbeing scientist
  • An official certification on successful completion of the course work and examination

To learn more about the certification program, watch this video overview presented by the course instructor, Dr. Joseph Sirgy.

Theoretical Foundations

The first module discusses the theoretical foundations of community indicators research. Five theoretical concepts are described guiding the formulation of community indicator projects.

Topics in this module include:

  • examples of theoretical concepts that underlie the planning of community indicators projects
  • concept of personal utility
  • concept of opulence
  • concept of social justice
  • concept of human need satisfaction
  • concept of sustainability
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This certification program is aimed at:

  • Community planners
  • Researchers working in nonprofit organizations
  • Consultants who want to specialize in community indicators research
  • Researchers in local government agencies who want to receive additional training in developing indicator systems related to a particular domain such as public health, the environment, etc.
  • Academic researchers who are interested in developing research and/or teaching expertise in this area
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A World-Renowned Instructor

M. Joseph Sirgy is a management psychologist (Ph.D., U/Massachusetts, 1979) and the Virginia Tech Real Estate Professor Emeritus of Marketing at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (USA) and Extraordinary Professor at the WorkWell Research Unit at North West University – Potchefstroom Campus (South Africa). He has published extensively in the area of business ethics and quality of life (QOL). His awards include: International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies’ (ISQOLS’) Distinguished Fellow Award, ISQOLS’ Distinguished QOL Researcher, Academy of Marketing Science’s (AMS) Distinguished Fellow Award, AMS’ Harold Berkman Service Award, Virginia Tech’s Pamplin Teaching Excellence Award/Holtzman Outstanding Educator Award and University Certificate of Teaching Excellence, the EuroMed Management Research Award, and the Macromarketing Society’s Robert W. Nason Award. Best paper awards include articles published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, the Journal of Travel Research, and Applied Research in Quality of Life. His editorial responsibilities include co-founding editor of Applied Research in Quality of Life, editor of the QOL section in the Journal of Macromarketing, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Macromarketing, editor of ISQOLS’/Springer’s book series on International Handbooks in QOL, Community QOL Indicators--Best Cases, Applied Research in QOL--Best Practices, and co-editor of the Springer book series on Human Well-Being and Policy Making.

M. Joseph Sirgy

What our former students say:

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Frequently Asked Questions

The program is self-paced and administered mostly one-on-one through personal communication with the instructor. Course participants are assigned an online training manual. After reading the manual and interacting with the instructor, the participant is assigned several case studies to analyze. The instructor then certifies the participant upon successful completion of these case analyses. Since there is no set timeline, the length of the course will vary based on the how quickly the student can master the material.


  • ISQOLS members can take the course for certification for $700.
  • Non-ISQOLS members can take the course for certification for $900.
  • Benefits include:
    • Access to the lecture slides
    • Access to the lecture videos
    • Discount from Springer to purchase the textbook that supports the course
    • Direct communication with the instructor by e-mail and/or video conferencing
    • Certification upon demonstrated learning (evaluated through successful completion of several exams)


  • ISQOLS members can audit the course for $50.
  • Non-ISQOLS members can audit the course for $200.
  • Benefits include:
    • Access to the lecture slides
    • Access to the lecture videos
    • Discount from Springer to purchase the textbook that supports the course

No. However, to make the most out of the material provided in this course, it is recommended that the applicants have at least some background in social sciences and rudimentary knowledge of population statistics.

ISQOLS can provide educational credit in terms of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the Community Indicators Projects Certification Program. 1 CEU is equivalent to 10 contact hours. The Community Indicators Projects Certification Program involves an estimated 15 contact hours in total. This translates into 1.5 CEU. As such, the program provides 1.5 CEUs.

Those interested in receiving the CEUs should provide enough information to their own educational institution about the ISQOLS certification program and their own institution would determine if they would accept these CEUs.

Many occupations require CEUs to stay licensed in their profession (planners, pollsters, survey researchers, public administrators, etc.). Those who wish to use the certification program for CEUs in meet continuing education requirements of their profession should contact their state/country licensing board and submit information about the course.

This certification is provided by the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS), a global organization with a mission to promote and encourage research in the field of quality-of-life (QOL), happiness, and wellbeing studies. ISQOLS has members all throughout positioned in academic institutions as well as stakeholder groups, and are well-respected for their contributions to QoL. As such, an official certification would be beneficial to anyone who wants to apply the science of wellbeing to guide community indicators projects, academic research projects, policy making, managerial decision-making, population statistics, and/or coaching and counseling.

Some benefits of the certification expressed by our former students include:

  • "This certification program has so many impacts, especially in my work field as a psychologist, lecturer, and happiness and wellbeing researcher. I have broadened my knowledge about how to build indicators in quality of life and involved relevant parties in this study. I feel confident that I’ll have a brighter future as a researcher, which is still rare in Indonesia with this certification." - Yufi Adriani
  • "This certificate program increased my knowledge particularly in the field of quality of life measuring. Particularly it made me look broader on the different theoretical approaches when considering different quality of life dimensions. My field of research is closely related to such issues as I am doing the analyses of relationships between income inequalities and different dimensions of wellbeing. Because of more skills and knowledge to evaluate quality of life I will be able to do in-depth analysis on the relationships between income inequalities and different dimensions of wellbeing from the perspective of social justice. In this perspective it gives me the possibility to write more advanced papers and publish it in important journals." - Małgorzata Szczepaniak
  • "I have attended many conferences, and workshops around the world on QOL. Usually, the sessions or presentations reflect a specific part of the project or outcome. But each of the cases presented in the certification program provided the whole picture from start until end. Each case posed questions of (why?), and (why not). Each case made me go deeper into the (circumstances) and the (realities). The cases presented (hard) realities that copying the best of what other countries or cites have done is not the way. The cases force the (dedicated) analyst to look deeper into the communities with its unique features and settings. I am in charge of the QOL survey in Abu Dhabi, this unique experience gave the in-depth understanding of the whole process. It gave me many ideas that I would implement to enrich my understanding of the whole process." - Masood A. Badri
  • "Currently, I am working on a book chapter for the forthcoming Phillips and Trevan Research Handbook for Community Development (Elgar Publishing) writing a case study for a city in the southeastern part of the United States that has a community indicators project. The course allowed me to ask certain questions to professionals and the academic research partner that I might have missed. The certificate has allowed me now to write a case study on this southern city’s program looking critically from both a theoretical and indicators perspective but the value of both subjective and objective validation of what the needs of the community actually are. In my case that I am working on for that handbook, I have found that there was no community validation outside of elites (community leaders, government leaders and the like) to see if the selected indicators actually capture what should be measured." - Patsy Kraeger
  • "This program gave me a practical in depth model on how to choose theoretical concepts, how to plan for a quality of life research, the stages involve in planning and validation of data collected. This certification will enable me produce tools for research with confidence and also will enhance my research reporting skills." - Helvecia N. Takwe

The principal benefits you will obtain from the certification course are:

  • a theoretical foundation to guide the development of community indicators projects;
  • knowledge of how to plan a community indicators project;
  • knowledge of how to collect and validate data, and insight into how to best utilize primary and secondary data;
  • knowledge of how to prepare, promote, and disseminate community indicator report;
  • and knowledge of how to stimulate community action and measure the subsequent impact of the community indicators project.

This course is administered by a seasoned QoL scholar, Prof. Dr. M. Joseph (Joe) Sirgy. Students will additionally gain access to lecture slides, videos, the book (training manual), and one-to-one communication with the instructor through e-mail and video conferencing.

The International Society for
Quality-of-Life Studies

P.O. Box 118
Gilbert, Arizona, 85299, USA


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