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Difference between Certification and Accreditation

Difference between Certification and Accreditation

Certification and accreditation are two important processes that help ensure the quality of products, services, and organizations. However, they are often confused with one another. This article will explain the difference between certification and accreditation, and discuss the benefits of each process.

What is Certification?

Certification is the process of verifying that an individual has the skills and knowledge necessary to perform a particular job. Certification programs are often developed by professional organizations, trade associations, or companies that want to ensure that their employees are properly trained. Certification can also be used to demonstrate competency in a particular field to potential employers.

In many cases, Certification is required in order to work in a particular profession. For example, most healthcare professionals must be certified in order to practice medicine or nursing. Certification programs usually involve completing a training program and passing an exam. Some Certification programs also require ongoing continuing education in order to maintain the credential. Certification can be an important way to demonstrate expertise and commitment to professional development.

What is Accreditation?

  • Accreditation is a process used to evaluate schools, programs, and other educational institutions. The main goal of accreditation is to ensure that these institutions meet certain standards of quality. In order to be accredited, an institution must first be evaluated by an accrediting body. This evaluation includes a review of the institution’s curriculum, facilities, and faculty.
  • If the accrediting body determines that the institution meets its standards, it will award accreditation. Accreditation can be granted at the institutional level (meaning that the entire school is accredited) or at the program level (meaning that only a specific program, such as nursing or business, is accredited).
  • Accreditation is important for both students and employers. For students, it can provide assurance that their credits will transfer to other schools and that their degree will be recognized by employers. For employers, it can give them confidence that job applicants have received a quality education.

Difference between Certification and Accreditation

Certification is a voluntary process that organizations undergo to demonstrate that they meet certain standards. For example, an organization might seek certification from a third-party organization to show that it meets ISO 9001 quality management standards. Certification is usually valid for a certain period of time, after which the organization must go through the process again to renew its certification.

Accreditation, on the other hand, is a mandatory process that organizations must undergo in order to operate in certain industries. For example, in order to operate as a college or university in the United States, an institution must be accredited by one of the six regional accreditation boards. Accreditation is also usually valid for a certain period of time, after which the organization must go through the process again to maintain its accreditation.


Certification and accreditation are two important processes to ensure the quality of education. However, they differ in their purpose and focus. Certification is an assessment of individual programs, while accreditation is an assessment of an institution as a whole. Accreditation looks at all aspects of the school, from academics to finances to student services. It also evaluates how well the school meets certain standards. Certification, on the other hand, only looks at specific areas such as curriculum or faculty.

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