What is certification?

Certification is the procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process, system or person has met specified requirements.

What is accredited certification?

Accredited certification is a written assurance provided by a third party that has been formally recognised by an accreditation body.

To gain accredited certification, organisations must make sure the certification body they are using has been accredited

What’s the difference?

It’s easy to think of accredited certification as simply a better choice than non-accredited certification, but it’s really the only choice.

If a certification body isn’t accredited, there’s no way of knowing whether it’s applying the relevant framework or standard appropriately. There’s no one checking that its assessment practices are sound, so it could theoretically be handing out certifications to anyone who applies. As a result, certifications awarded by non-accredited bodies hold little weight.

By contrast, accredited certification proves that a well-respected organisation has verified that the person or organisation has met the relevant requirements. If a regulator, client or prospective employer requests that you are certified, they are almost always referring to accredited certification.