Credential Types

Certification

Independent validation by a non-governmental organization that an individual has demonstrated the level of knowledge, skill, or ability required to practice a profession, occupation, or role at a defined level of competence.  Certification is sometimes voluntary but may be mandated by a government entity.  Certificants are usually authorized to use a designation or title to communicate their certified status to consumers and other stakeholders.

Licensure

The mandatory process by which a government entity authorizes an individual to engage in a profession, occupation, or role after verifying that he or she has satisfied relevant criteria and has demonstrated the level of knowledge, skill, or ability required to practice that profession, occupation, or role at a defined level of competence.

Certificate

Recognition that an individual has completed a discrete course of study—based on attendance, participation, or an assessment.  A certificate program usually has a narrower scope (course of study) than a certification program (knowledge, skill, or ability required to practice an occupation competently).  A designation or title is usually not granted at the completion of a certificate program.

Accreditation

Independent validation by a non-governmental organization that an institution, building, business, or other organization has satisfied a set of standardized criteria.