Certification, Certificate, Accreditation: These three terms might seem similar, but mean very different things. Here is a brief overview. We also recommend you check out the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.
Any of the terms here are often referred to as a credential, as an umbrella term. A credential refers to any type of supporting document/attestation that you have done something or know something, and includes other terms like License or Degree.
(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).
Additional terms beyond Certification / Certificate / Accreditation
Nathan Thompson, PhD
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