Certificate or Certification?

 Cert-SMThere is a difference


  • Relies on an objective, unbiased qualification process typically designed to evaluate skills, experience and knowledge
  • Evaluations are based on generally accepted standards
  • Awarded by professional associations or governing bodies, usually not-for-profit
  • Indicates demonstrable skill, education and education
  • Considers knowledge, skill and experience acquired through many sources, not a particular institution or organization
  • Confirms attainment of experience, not only completing courses or getting a passing grade on exams
  • Usually confers the right to use specified letters after their name indicating the designation awarded
  • Demonstrates achievement of skills and expertise acquired through experience, and knowledge acquired through professional pursuits and educational courses


  • Results from an educational process typically designed to help upgrade skills or start a new career path
  • For newcomers and experienced professionals
  • Awarded by educational programs or institutions, typically for-profit
  • Indicates completion of a course of study with a specific focus (different than a degree granting program)
  • Course content is determined by the specific provider or institution, but might not meet national standards
  • Usually listed on a resume detailing education
  • Demonstrates knowledge of course content at the end of a set period in time or a certain number of educational courses