Certificate or Certification: What's the Difference?

On-Demand Webcast 


Michelle Nolin, CPLP, Learn Ethos
Mary Rehm, Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA)
Manfred Straehle, PhD, GISF, Assessment, Education, and Research Experts


Over the past few decades a number of credentialing options have become increasingly popular, including certificate programs, microcredentials, and digital badges. However, these newer credentialing options lacked a set of standards or agreed upon definitions, resulting in confusion even among individuals who design, construct, deliver, and manage these programs.

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

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish the essential elements of a certificate and certification program based on ICE definitions
  • Define the activities necessary to conduct a certificate and certification program (e.g., recertification program versus no recertification program)
  • Determine whether a certificate or certification program is more valuable for your organization considering your strategic and psychometric needs

$90 Members and Non-members

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About the Presenters

Michelle is the President and Founder of Learn Ethos, a learning and development consulting group that specializes in strategy and development of professional education and training in the US and abroad. She is an ASTD-Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) with more than 20 years of experience in instructional design, learning strategy, medical writing, and directing the development of continuing education, corporate training, and communications programs for healthcare providers, consumers, patients, and life science industry professionals. She's experienced in accredited certificate programs as well as a variety of delivery methodologies, including mobile learning, eLearning, Web, print, audio, video, virtual classroom, and live instructor-led training. 
Mary Rehm is the Director of Learning and Development with the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), providing learning and certification programs for its members around the globe. Mary most recently worked for Questar Assessments where she led the assessment design team in the development and delivery of K-12 state summative assessments in Mississippi, New York, Indiana, and Missouri. She also developed and supported certification programs for a wide variety of quality professionals with the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and ISO auditor certification and training programs with Exemplar Global. Mary founded Rehm Partners in 2015 to provide assessment and strategic planning services to organizations within the United States.
Manny is a consulting assessment, educational and research expert with a number of work experiences with licensure and certification organizations, and over 10 years of experience in the credentialing industry. Throughout his career, Manny has led psychometric and testing activities, marketing and survey research, aptitude and employment selection testing, and other research and evaluation projects.