But I hope I somehow misunderstood and he wouldn't have to go through a formal test. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just believe he deserves more.
Interesting way of looking at it... On the one hand I can understand why there can be tests by 'awarding it' (e.g. at the highest levels teaching ability and 'contribution' through teaching are, from what I understand, meant to be a really major factor, and how would one test that? And I'm not sure what the best way to handle people 'between organizations' for many decades would be), but it's also kind of weird in another way, and also kind of weird that, as your words show, such a rank (when the same rank is also given by direct testing) is actually considered by some to be _superior_ to a rank acheived by more direct means (testing). If someone gets an honorary doctorate or other university degree, I think most people consider it, although in many cases a real honour, especially if the university does not abuse the power, in at least some ways a somewhat lesser thing than what we'd often call a 'real' degree, for example (done by completing examinations, or by presenting a thesis and being examined on it).
E.g., for me, it actually bothers me a bit that rank could be awarded on the basis of 'loyalty'. If only there was some other way of more directly recognizing and honouring loyalty?