It is a way to prove my knowledge and it also makes it easier to know at what level I should talk about accessibility. If I meet someone who has a WAS certification from IAAP and who is already in the accessibility industry, the conversation will be more detailed.
In the customer contacts I have, I notice that some people are very familiar with IAAP and their various certifications. This type of customer feels reassured when getting help from a certified consultant and is more than happy to see their internal developers certified. I get more surprised when I talk to project managers or developers who have some type of accessibility responsibility within their organisation and who have not heard of certifications.
As I see it, within a few years certification will be a matter of course and perhaps even a requirement in procurements.
It is obvious: that so much is being invested in accessibility now, which is a big difference from just a few years ago. I have to say that I think it will be exciting to see how web agencies, authorities and municipalities will handle this in the slightly longer term. There are so many people who have been given responsibility for the organisation's accessibility over the past year and who have too large knowledge gaps. I hope that they want to increase and spread awareness and competence on accessibility within their teams and really walk the talk. Too many are only focusing on fixing the accessibility statement right now.
CPACC-certification - Preparatory training courses
WAS-certification - Preparatory training courses
International Association of Accessibility Professionals: IAAP