I have in the past questioned the value in getting certifications/going on courses for the sake of getting a certificate in testing.
Whilst I do still question the worth of such an issue, I have recently read some articles which has shown me there is more value in these courses/certificates than I previously gave them credit for.
The main positive that I can think of, upon completing a course like an ISEB Foundation, is that it ensures that testers are on the same page when it comes to communicating. A bug is a bug, or if I'm speaking to someone about Integration testing, they know exactly what I am talking about and won't get confused.
I think in ensuring that everybody is on the same page when it comes to discussing testing issues/testing activities, it helps in gaining respect and confidence from other teams and other team members, as we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.
It isn't just about communication in the term of words however, it is important to understand what automated testing is for example, and when or how it might be useful, which you can possibly get from a course/certificate.
What I don't like about certificates is that they are mandatory in some roles/jobs, or the stigma associated with some, just because someone has a qualification, does not mean they are a good tester. I have met many testers with qualifications who I would question their ability, as well on the other hand I have met good testers who don't necessarily have the same qualifications who I think are awesome testers!
So, what I am trying to get at is that I don't believe that certifications should be a pre-requisite for getting jobs, nor should they be held in such high esteem as they are in some places, what they could and perhaps should be used for is ensuring that there is a level of understanding within/across teams. What I am open to is how we gain that level of understanding, in my opinion it doesn't have to be from a qualification, so long as there is something in place to ensure that we are all talking about the same thing, then I'd be happy. If people think qualifications help them get to this level, then who am I to judge?