What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards by a third party. When in compliance with these standards, it is awarded recognition.
ICE can accredit assessment-based certificate programs and certification programs. For information on the differences between these types of programs, please visit the Certificate vs. Certification page.
Assessment-based Certificate Accreditation (ACAP)
The Assessment-based Certificate Accreditation Program (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.
National Commission for Certifying Agencies Accreditation (NCCA)
To help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public, ICE created its accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) in 1987. Certification programs (organizations that assess professional competence) 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.
ISO 17024 Accreditation
Through a partnership with the International Accreditation Service (IAS), ICE is offering dual accreditation to NCCA and ISO 17024. The Internationals Standards Organization has almost 20,000 standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business. ISO/IEC 17024 sets the requirements and the framework, at a global level, for the operation of Personnel Certification Bodies. More information about the process for dual accreditation can be found in the ISO 17024 Section of this website.
The Value of Accreditation
- Enables credentialing organizations to demonstrate to the profession it represents, and to the general public its certificants serve, that their program has met the stringent standards set by the credentialing community
- Enhances a program's credibility and legitimacy by providing impartial, third party oversight of a conformity assessment system
- Provides organizations 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