Distinctions Between Assessment-Based Certificates and Professional or Personnel Certification Programs
Professional or personnel certification is a voluntary process by which a non-governmental body grants time-limited recognition and use of a credential to individuals who have demonstrated that they have met predetermined and standardized criteria for required knowledge, skills, or competencies. To retain the credential, certificants must meet requirements for renewal. The credential awarded by the certifier denotes that the participant possesses particular knowledge, skills, or competencies.
Whereas the primary focus of an assessment-based certificate program is on the provision of education/training, with assessment(s) being used to confirm that participants have achieved the intended learning outcomes,
the primary focus of professional or personnel certification is on assessment. Moreover, the assessment conducted by a certification program is independent of a specific class, course, or other education/training program and also independent of any provider of classes, courses, or programs
The assessments are NOT designed to evaluate accomplishment of the intended learning outcomes of a specific class, course, or other education/training program or event, and the certifier is NOT the sole provider of any education or training that may be required for certification. (pp. 1-2)
Source: National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). (2009). ANSI/NOCA 1100 – Standard for assessment-based certificate programs: An American national standard
. Downloaded July 6, 2009, from http://www.noca.org/PublicationsandR...s/Publications
Additional information is available without charge from the same web site in The NOCA Guide to Understanding Credentialing Concepts (2005).