Difference Between Accreditation and Certification

Accreditation vs Certification
 

Accreditation and certification are complimentary processes that are similar in nature. These two terms are heard quite often in educational and corporate world where people seek if the organization or the institution is accredited and certified or not. However, the two terms are not synonymous and this article attempts to highlight the differences between these two terms.

Accreditation

In the outside world, people, companies, and institutions want to show that they are competent and efficient. Accreditation implies that a company or organization adheres to certain standards. These standards are set by a third party whose approval is like a review of the quality or efficiency of the organization. Accreditation is performed by an agency that has been accepted as standard, and its stamp of approval means a lot to educational institutions, laboratories, organizations, hospitals, etc. Private educational institutions are always eager to get accreditation from a state agency so as to show to the students that it adheres to strict standards in education and testing. Accreditation is a process that evaluates agencies, educational institutions, and other organizations. Accreditation is done by bodies designated for this purpose. These bodies are approved for this process and agencies and organizations apply for accreditation to this approved body. Students looking for admission in educational institutions check if the institute or college has got the necessary accreditation or not.

Certification

Certification is a proof that an individual has successfully completed a study course and he is competent and skilled in that particular course. If someone passes a course successfully, he is awarded a certificate that says that he is skilled in that particular course. Certifications are most common in the educational world though skills of people are also certified by companies to help them in their careers. This is particularly true in IT industry where certifications from top companies add to the skills an individual has. Certification is also done by agencies for products to reassure consumers about the quality and reliability of these products.

What is the difference between Accreditation and Certification?

• Accreditation is done by an approved agency that has been accepted as standard and organizations apply for accreditation to prove their worth to outsiders.

• Certification is mostly in the case of individuals though products are also certified by governmental agencies, to maintain quality and to reassure consumers about the reliability and efficiency of these products.

• Educational institutions apply for accreditation with the state university or the Federal university.

• Certificates are awarded to individuals as in IT industry to confirm the skills of people.

• Accreditation is a stamp of approval by a third party about procedures.