There is a startling trend, thanks to the “paranormal boom” resulting from shows like “Ghost Hunters” and the likes, of fly-by-night companies with a web-presence offering certifications for paranormal studies.
Upon completion of the programs you will be able to put the letters CPI after your name and you get to carry a fancy paper card stating that you are indeed certified.
While a majority of the public, when searching for a paranormal investigator, may be looking for some kind of credentials or designations, the truth is: these certifications are bogus.
For starters, just who is issuing the certifications? There is no union or governing body of paranormal studies. Colleges may offer parapsychology courses as an elective, but the classes are not accredited. There simply does not exist a legitimate “license”, “certificate”, or “degree” in the field and no organization holds domain over who is able to issue these so-called certifications.
When you choose to enroll in one of these online academies you will visit a website that entices you with eloquent verbiage on the importance of being certified. They promise you a certificate of completion, exclusive membership into a secret society of other suckers certified paranormal investigators, and goodies such as access to paranormal glossaries with over 200 entries. WOW!
Here is an actual segment from one company…uh…educational institution offering a certification program:
- Learn what is involved in being a serious paranormal investigator! (The exclamation points make this sound exciting!!!!!!!)
- Perform your own paranormal investigations! (Wow, they included their permission for me to perform my own investigations within the curriculum? They are so generous. And they used another exclamation point to drive home the point.)
- The CPI Course is unlike any other course available! (Okay, none of this stuff so far is something tangible,hence not really an inclusion. More like broad general statements. At least they used an exclamation point, now I know they mean business.)
- “Love it or Your Money Back” 30 Day Guarantee! * (What if I just really sort of like it?)
- 222 pages, 8.5×11, single spaced, 10 point font, 1/2 inch margins. The optional print version is perfect bound with a laminated full color cover (professionally printed–not home printed. Both the Print and Online versions are identical.) Sounds awesome…but what are you giving me that is 222 perfect bound pages? At least it’s included… whatever it is.
- Online PDF Course included; Hard Copy Print Version available for purchase on the Course Page after enrollment INDIAN GIVERS! Turns out I have to pay for the print version. Then it’s not really included, is it. (You know they are lying because they stopped using exclamation points.)
- Glossary of Paranormal Terms with 200 entries I already have one of these…it’s called the internet.
- Online Multimedia Resource Library located on the Course Page with case study pictures, videos, audios, video tutorials, and software Finally, something that is “included”.
- 7 video tutorials on how to use audio and photo editing software for analysis, as well as how to prepare evidence files for upload to a website, such as a team site Good information, but you can find this information for free on the internet.
- Final online comprehensive exam with an actual investigation and evidence review Wow, I am not sure how they include an actual investigation. They might instruct you to go to a cemetery or something, but then…they aren’t really including it as much as they are suggesting it.
- Includes Certificate, “CPI” designation, ID Badge, holder, lanyard, and laminated ID Card (emailed in PDF Format; print versions available) They are going to email you physical objects such as a badge holder, a lanyard, and a laminated ID card? Is that even possible?
- Membership upgrade to the “Certified Member” level
- Endorsed by ######### and accredited by the ######### Academy (2.5 CEUs) They endorse and accredit their own course? They must trust themselves.
- Proceeds help support #########.org, a non-profit organization Can I write my tuition off on my tax return then?
Clearly this is a load garbage…and to be honest…all “certifications” are. Leaders in the field are vocal about their disdain for these organizations because these certifications are simply a means of revenue generation. They are a profit center for organizations and nothing more.
Having a group of faceless paranormal investigators on a website tell you that they will certify you doesn’t mean a thing and their certifications are as worthless as their empty promises. Do yourself a favor and join a local group that offers training. You won’t get a fancy diploma and they may not email you a laminated ID card, but in return you get to keep the 70 to 200 dollars you would have spent on “tuition”.