Certification… Certificate… Accreditation
These three terms might seem similar, but mean very different things. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, which is the association of certification associations and therefore the leader in the field, defines the first two thusly. Accreditation is something that is applied to a Certificate or Certification. Note that a Certificate is based on instruction/training that your organization might provide. To be a Certification, your test cannot require candidates to take your training if you want to gain accreditation.
Professional or personnel certification is a voluntary process by which individuals are evaluated against predetermined standards for knowledge, skills, or competencies. Participants who demonstrate that they meet the standards by successfully completing the assessment process are granted the certification.
An assessment-based certificate program is a non-degree granting program that:
(a) provides instruction and training to aid participants in acquiring specific knowledge, skills, and/or competencies associated with intended learning outcomes;
(b) evaluates participants’ achievement of the intended learning outcomes; and
(c) awards a certificate only to those participants who meet the performance, proficiency or passing standard for the assessment(s).
Accreditation says that your Certification or Certificate program meets best practices. Only the minority of these guidelines refer to aspects of your test, such as cutscores and reliability. The rest pertain to aspects such as board governance, eligibility pathways, security policies, handbooks, and corporate finance. We can help you navigate these waters, in addition to the technical test-related aspects.
The following two tabs change content below.
Nathan Thompson earned his PhD in Psychometrics from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on computerized adaptive testing. His undergraduate degree was from Luther College with a triple major of Mathematics, Psychology, and Latin. He is primarily interested in the use of AI and software automation to augment and replace the work done by psychometricians, which has provided extensive experience in software design and programming. Dr. Thompson has published over 100 journal articles and conference presentations, but his favorite remains https://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=16&n=1.