Professional Certification vs. Certificate Program
Issues to consider when developing a certificate program
Certificate programs are a growing segment of the continuing
education marketplace. These programs generally recognize a
relatively narrow scope of specialized knowledge used in
performing duties or tasks required by a certain profession or
occupation. Before developing and marketing a training program
that offers a certificate or a certification in a particular
technique or procedure, examine the following:
- Is there an educational need for the program?
- How will the program content be validated by experts?
- What will be used as the learning assessment to award the
- What organizations recognize the certificate?
- How will the value and acceptance of the certificate
program be accurately communicated?
What is the difference between professional
certification and a certificate program?
is the voluntary process by which a
non-governmental entity grants a time-limited recognition and
use of a credential to an individual after verifying that he or
she has met predetermined and standardized criteria.*
ASHA's Certificate of Clinical Competence is a professional
is a training program on a specialized topic for which
participants receive certification after completing the course
and passing an assessment instrument.
: This is not to be confused with the commonly
used "certificate of attendance" given at the
completion of many continuing education courses to validate
If you offer a certificate program and register
it for ASHA CEUs, all promotional materials should clearly
communicate that, although ASHA CEUs may be offered,
course content, specific products, certificate
programs or clinical procedures.
*Reprinted by permission of the National Organization for