TERM20 I.C.E. Basic Guide to Credentialing Terminology (2nd Edition)

The intent of this document is to clarify terms that are used in relation to programs that grant formal recognition to individuals or entities during the credentialing process. Credentialing is an umbrella term that includes the concepts of accreditation, licensure, registration, professional certification, and education (e.g., certificate programs).

Resources consulted during the creation of this guide include:

  • I.C.E. (2006). Basic guide to credentialing terminology.
  • I.C.E. (2016). National Commission for Certifying Agencies standards for the accreditation of certification programs. 
  • Durley, C. C. (2005). I.C.E. guide to understanding credentialing concepts. 
  • ASTM International. (2018). Standard terminology for accreditation and certification (ASTM E 2708-18a). 
  • International Organization for Standardization. (2014). Conformity assessment—Vocabulary related to competence of persons used for certification of persons (ISO/IEC Standard No. 17027).

Terminology Task Force Members:

  • Michael Clark, CAE (Chair)
  • Cindy Durley, MEd, MBA
  • Lawrence Fabrey, PhD
  • Wallace Judd, PhD
  • Felicia Lembesis, CAE
  • Jan Robinson
  • Tony Zara, PhD

Member & Non-member Price: FREE

If you would like to submit any revisions or comments, please complete this form.

You must log in to your account, become an ICE member or create a non-member account to register for and/or purchase this item.

If you receive ICE emails, you already have an account. Click 'Login to view purchase options' to login or retrieve your password using the "Username and/or Password Help" link at the bottom of the page.

It is important to ICE that you enjoy this offering. Please email ICE staff at and identify any needs and accommodations requested.  

Login to view purchase options


Recent Stories
WP21 Using Online Research Techniques to Better Understand Your Audience

WEB21: Recertification and Longitudinal Assessment for Continued Certification

WEBLIVE21: Open Meeting with NCCA Standards Revision Main Committee