Certificate, Certification, or Both? What's Right for You?
Professional or personnel certification programs and assessment-based certificate programs serve different purposes and may require separate business approaches, governance structures, and development processes.
Although the terms sound similar, they are not interchangeable and their distinctions are important to
ICE has the tools you need to determine the right program type for your organization and candidates. Evaluate your program's goals, purpose, assessment, and maintenance requirements and identify the correct program path to meet your needs.
Remember, there is no superior program type - just the right program.
Defining Features of Quality Certification and Assessment-Based Certificate Programs
Download the Defining Features
Certificate vs. Certification: What's the Difference?
The information on this page is produced and copyright protected by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. Use with permission only.
|Assessment-based Certificate Program||Professional or Personnel Certification Program|
|PURPOSE: Build capacity and recognition of a specialty area of practice or set of skills||PURPOSE: Recognize professionals who meet established knowledge, skills, or competencies|
|Provides instruction and training (non-degree granting)||Assesses knowledge, skills, and/or competencies previously acquired|
|Assessment is used to evaluate mastery of the intended learning outcomes; linked directly to the learning event||Assessment is best used to assure baseline competencies and to differentiate professionals; independent of a specific learning event|
|Assessment content may be narrower in scope||Assessment content is usually broad in scope|
|Awards a certificate to recognize mastery of the specific learning outcomes; it is NOT a certificate of attendance or participation, which is awarded to individuals who have attended or participated in a course or training program but did not have to demonstrate mastery of the intended learning outcomes||Awards designations to recognize achievement|