Value of Certification

Value of Certification Statement

Credentialing is an overarching term that includes processes, policies, and practices that support credentials such as a license, registration, certification, qualification, or assessment-based certificate to demonstrate that an organization or individual has met predetermined and standardized criteria. Given the range of terms, different interpretations and distinctions between mandatory versus voluntary requirements among these credentials, can create confusion. This document serves as the first in a series of brief statements that clarify and communicate the value of credentials to stakeholders, beginning with certification.

Certification is 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.

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:

Consumers benefit from:

Employers benefit from:

Increased recognition by peers and respect of colleagues in the profession

Objective, independent, third-party evaluation and assessment of professional competence Qualified individuals for employment or advancement
Improved opportunities for employability and advancement Commitment to public safety and/or consumer protection Recertification requirements for continued or enhanced competence
Greater confidence in their professional competence Accountability through ethical conduct standards and/or a disciplinary process Commitment to public safety and/or consumer protection
Increased autonomy in the workplace Recertification requirements for continued or enhanced competence Reduced risk of errors, accidents and/or legal liability
Better compensation and career longevity   Reduced employee turnover and increased job satisfaction
    Justification for potential compensation differential


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

Institute for Credentialing Excellence. Value of Certification Statement 2020.