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What is the Difference Between Certification and a Certificate?

Teamwork: RBLP Certification

At RBLP, we frequently field questions from applicants regarding our certification program – specifically, how is the RBLP leadership certification different than a certificate?

The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, of which RBLP are a membership organization, define certification as a process by which an entity grants formal recognition to individuals that meet predetermined, standardized criteria. The certification process involves determination of eligibility, an assessment of demonstration of competence, and requirements for regular recertification. Certification is usually voluntary and established by a non-governmental entity; it differs from a certificate program, which provides instruction and training with a goal of participants acquiring specific knowledge, skills or competencies. (More on the differences between the two are listed here.)

The Value of Certification: A high-quality certification validates an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in a defined profession, occupation, skill, or role. Certified individuals in the workforce reduce risk and enhance consumer protection and public safety. In addition, these certifications allow employers and other stakeholders to identify individuals with the competencies needed to perform a role or task

Certification holders benefit from:

Increased recognition by peers and respect of colleagues in the profession

Improved opportunities for employability and advancement

Greater confidence in their professional competence

Increased professional trust from employers or the public

Increased autonomy in the workplace

Better compensation and career longevity

Consumers benefit from:

Objective, independent, third-party evaluation and assessment of professional competence

Commitment to public safety and/or consumer protection

Accountability through ethical conduct standards and/or a disciplinary process

Recertification requirements for continued or enhanced competence

Employers benefit from:

Qualified individuals for employment or advancement

Recertification requirements for continued or enhanced competence

Commitment to public safety and/or consumer protection

Reduced risk of errors, accidents and/or legal liability

Reduced employee turnover and increased job satisfaction

Justification for potential compensation differential

Still have questions about how an RBLP Leadership Certification can benefit you? Email us!


Content for this statement inspired by ICE 2012, A Look at the Value of Professional Certification.

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