What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards, and when in compliance with these standards, is awarded recognition by a third party. ICE offers accreditation for both certificate and certification programs. For information on the differences between these programs, visit the Certificate vs. Certification page.
The Value of Accreditation
Accreditation provides third party oversight of a conformity assessment system. It provides a mechanism for organizations to demonstrate to the profession it represents, and the general public it serves, that its credentialing program has been reviewed by a panel of impartial experts that have determined that their program has met the stringent standards set by the credentialing community. Accreditation through ICE provides organizations and many ICE members with a way to answer the question, "who reviewed your certificate or certification program?", a question often posed by members of an occupation, employers, and sometimes, the courts.
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is the accrediting body of ICE. NCCA was created in 1987 by ICE to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs/organizations that assess professional competence. Certification programs that receive NCCA accreditation demonstrate compliance with its Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs, which were the first standards for professional certification programs developed by the industry. More information about certification accreditation can be found in the NCCA Section of this website.
The Assessment-based Certificate Accreditation Progam (ACAP) reviews certificate programs against the ICE 1100 Standard. The standard sets guidelines for organizations seeking to develop high-quality assessment-based certificate programs. The ICE 1100 Standard, an American National Standard, was adopted in 2009. More information about certificate accreditation may be found in the ACAP Section of this website.