By Michelle Graff
New York--Jewelers of America announced Thursday that it has certified 133 professionals in the areas of sales, management and bench professional this year, which is more than double the 65 it certified in 2014.

The JA Professional Sales and Management Certification program evaluates proficiency with two-hour exams at two levels. No studying is required, as the certification is meant to attest to the existing expertise of the professional.

The Bench Professional Certification program also was created to validate and promote the status and expertise of jewelry arts professionals. The nationally recognized certification is offered at four levels.

JA created the certification program in the late 1990s through an industry task force that included representatives from all types of retail jewelry stores nationwide. The goal of the program is to raise the level of professionalism throughout the industry.

The certifications that jewelers receive from the program can help stores differentiate themselves from the competition and enhance consumer trust in the jewelry professional, the organization said.

“JA Professional Certification helps raise the bar when it comes to professionalism in the jewelry industry,” said Susan Posnock, JA’s director of public affairs and education. “JA certification programs promote consumer confidence by validating an individual’s talent, knowledge and jewelry proficiency to consumers seeking trustworthy jewelers.”

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