Unlike certification, curriculum-based certificates usually do not have ongoing requirements, do not result in an initial designation, and cannot be revoked. In certification, the focus is on the assessing current knowledge and skills. In a certificate, the focus is on training individuals to achieve a certain knowledge and skill base.
The training and assessment usually cover a focused area of knowledge and skills.
There are usually no ongoing requirements to maintain a certificate; they are more like educational degrees that are granted and never revoked. Some associations do date the certificate, however, so individuals retake the course at certain time intervals.
According to an Oct. 25, 2004 article in Meeting News magazine, Tyra Hilliard, assistant professor of event and meeting management at George Washington University states, “Earning a certification means you have already achieved a certain standard, and you often have to have a certain amount of experience to even apply. With certificate programs, often anyone can enrol, and it’s more about obtaining a new body of knowledge.” The International Special Events Society offers more information on their website. Here a summary from their site:
People are always asking us, “What’s the difference between certification and a certificate?” So, to assist you in communicating with your colleagues and clients and to help avoid confusion in the marketplace, we have provided you the comparison below.
As the premier organization for Event Professionals, ISES certifies special event professionals through the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation. Unlike many certificate programs being offered by colleges and private educational opportunities, the CSEP program is practice-based. It is not intended to teach individuals how to effectively become event professionals. Rather, it is designed to measure an individual’s “knowledge-in-use” – the application of knowledge and skills by those with real-life experience in this role.