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Assessment-based Certificate Programs

What is an Assessment-based Certificate Program?
If you offer an education or training program that includes an end-of-course assessment, you offer an assessment-based certificate program (ABC). Certificate and certification programs are designed to meet very different needs, serving serve different purposes that may require different business approaches, governance structures, development processes, etc.

Why an ABC?
Assessment-based certificate programs can be used as a way to build capacity in a profession or to fill an ongoing skills gap. They can also be used as an adjunct to certification in order to provide competency-based continuing education or to identify advanced or specialty areas of practice.

Assessment-based Certificate Resources

Foundations of Assessment-Based Certificate Programs

This online course provides staff and volunteers basic knowledge and good practices for developing and administering an assessment-based certificate program. Module topics include:

  • The Business of Credentialing–Certificate vs. Certification
  • Getting Started–Program Design and Structure
  • Adult Learning and Instructional Design
  • Assessment and Measurement Principles

Three-part On-demand Webinar Series on Assessment-based Certificate Programs

A three-part on-demand webinar series on the purpose of assessment-based certificate programs and the sound instructional design principles that should be integrated into them. Topics covered include:

    • Assessment-Based Certificate Programs: Why They May Be Preferable to Certification
    • Instructional Design Principles I
    • Instructional Design Principles II 

Assessment-Based Certificate Programs: Why They May Be Preferable*

In this one-hour webcast, presenters discuss the unique purposes and goals of assessment-based certificate programs versus certification programs. They also share considerations for creating a good certificate program.

*This web-cast is also included in the Three-part Webcast Series

Certificate or Certification: What's the Difference?

This on-demand webinar provides clarity on the differences between a certificate and certification program, including three major differences based on ICE and ISO (ANSI) definitions and standards. Learn a basic method of evaluating the quality of a these types of programs, and learn answers to these questions: What does it mean to earn a badge, a certificate or a certification? How do you know if the program is a quality program?