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Why Accreditation Matters

Third Party Validation

Accreditation is third-party validation. It is a time intensive process that requires ongoing dedication of the organization to maintain its accreditation status. There is an application process, documentation of evidence in meeting standards and continuous process improvement that must be adhered to. Organizations seeking accreditation require a site visit to validate that all standards are being met.

As an organization that strives for the gold standard in professional development, Business U has taken notice of how vendors market their professional development training programs, which has prompted us to provide you with information to fact check training vendors.

Here’s a quick guide to help you differentiate key professional development industry terms to ask training vendors before hiring them to train you and/or your staff and invest in their programs:

Professional Certification (not accredited by a third-party) is the culmination of a training program that states the participate who completed the program now has the knowledge and skills to perform a specific job and/or a combination of job duties.

Third Party Validated Certificate Program is a training program about a topic for which participants receive a certificate after completing the course and passing an assessment instrument. This is not to be confused with the commonly used "certificate of attendance" or “certificate” given at the completion of many continuing education courses to validate attendance.

Accreditation is third-party validation awarded to an organization that has achieved a particular status by meeting standards set by external regulators. The participant receiving a certification that is accredited has demonstrated that she or he have achieved the learning outcomes by mastering the knowledge and skills outlined in the program. The certification has been vetted by an impartial third-party to provide assurance that the awarding of a “certification” is only granted to the training organization by passing a rigorous peer review process. It is also proof that the learning outcomes have been developed using a proven instructional design methodology and bench-marked against industry best practices.

To verify the quality of the accrediting and/or certifying body, make sure to ask the training vendor if the certificate is attached to continuing education units? Not all CEUs are the same; this article explains why.

Accreditation is third-party validation awarded to an organization that has achieved a particular status by meeting standards set by external regulators. The participant receiving a certification that is accredited has demonstrated that she or he have achieved the learning outcomes by mastering the knowledge and skills outlined in the program. The certification has been vetted by an impartial third-party to provide assurance that the awarding of a “certification” is only granted to the training organization by passing a rigorous peer review process. It is also proof that the learning outcomes have been developed using a proven instructional design methodology and bench-marked against industry best practices.

For more information and key questions to ask training vendors before you hire them, read our blog, Fact Checking Your Professional Development Investment – What’s in a Certification?

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