Tuesday 14 February 2012

How Does Certification Differ from Apprenticeship and Certificate-based Programs?

Organizations representing trades often struggle with understanding the differences between apprenticeship, certificate-based programs and certification.

An apprenticeship program is designed to recognize skilled crafts workers who have achieved a specified standard by undergoing various components of a training system. Apprenticeship is mandatory and based on a combination of formal in-class training and on-the-job training, and workers are often paid during the training in “earn as you learn” arrangements. At the end of an apprenticeship program, an individual is deemed competent to conduct activities without supervision and progresses from the role of apprentice to that of journey person.

Certificate-Based Programs, on the other hand, designate that participants completed the required education and/or training and demonstrated the intended learning outcomes, often through a test based on the curriculum.

Both of the above contrast with Certification Credentials, which designate that candidates must demonstrate the requisite work-related knowledge, skills, competencies, and other pre-requisites. Certification credentials can also be used to differentiate between basic skills and knowledge, and more advanced knowledge and or specializations.

This post is based on content from 'ABC's of Certification' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd.

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