What is Certification?

What is a Certification

A professional certification is a credential that verifies a person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform a specific job or work in a specific field. They carry significant weight and recognition, assuring professional competence alongside an academic degree or work experience.

After earning a certification, an individual can typically start using a designation after their name. For example, a person who earns the Certified in Public Health designation can begin using “CPH” after their name. Most certifications have ongoing requirements to maintain that designation.

Certifications are typically awarded by a national or international certifying organization after a candidate has met the initial eligibility requirements and passed an assessment. Certifications assist employers, the public, and members of the public health profession in the assessment of a certificant so they must be run by respected third-party organizations, like the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE). NBPHE is always working to be the best at what we do and are a proud member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

How to Earn a Certification

To become certified, individuals must meet eligibility requirements, pass a standardized examination and fulfill ongoing maintenance requirements, such as continuing education or professional development.

It’s important to note the difference between certifications awarded by professional associations and certificates awarded by educational institutions.

  • A certificate – awarded by an educational institution – recognizes a person who finishes a focused, industry-specific training within an academic setting.
  • A certification – awarded by a professional organization – recognizes a working professional who has completed an assessment that evaluated their ability to do their job or work in that field.

Why Choose Certification

Certifications are recognized within their respective industries and indicate a higher level of expertise and competence. Studies have shown that both certificates and certifications could potentially boost your salary by as much as 20 percent—whether you list them on your resume while seeking a new role or make the case for a raise or promotion at work.

Professional certifications demonstrate expertise and are one of the best credentials you can obtain. They demonstrate you are a serious professional who has invested in acquiring the skills and knowledge required to help any organization succeed.

In addition, earning a high quality professional certification will give you a competitive advantage over those who cannot demonstrate they take continuous education seriously. You will find the doors open for career advancement and higher compensation.

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