Certificate vs Certification

Certificate vs Certification

Dunlap-Stone University offers industry certification exam preparation training for IIEI Certification’s international trade certifications and program completion certificates for its vocation training programs.

What is the difference between a Certificate Program and a Certification Program?

What is the distinction between a CERTIFICATE such as those awarded by Dunlap-Stone University (DSU) and a CERTIFICATION earned from IIEI Certification?

Certificate from DSU:

According to the school’s accreditation body, DEAC , a “assessment-based certificate program” offers a  course of study that meets three major requirements:

  • Provides an accredited course of instruction with defined learning outcomes
  • Evaluates participants’ achievement toward mastering the learning outcomes
  • Awards a certificate ONLY to those who have taken the course and successfully met the requirements for passing the course.

Students receive documentation of the assessment measures of the course, most often in the form of an official transcript with the number of credits and letter grade earned.  The vocational certificate programs offered by Dunlap-Stone University are licensed by the Arizona Board for Private Postsecondary Education under license #V1195 and are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distanced Education and Training Council.

Non-Accredited Training Certificate Program – Certificate of Attendance

A certificate from a training provider, such as a provider of a two day training seminar, typically signifies that the person attended or at least paid for the training session. In most cases, it does not attest to, or validate, the learning or knowledge of the attendee regarding the course material named on the certificate.  Most importantly, no claims can be made as to the knowledge the attendee has of the subject matter. They may have learned much or little.

A Certification Validates the Proficiency of the Holder:

A true certification program measures the knowledge and proficiency of the holder. It is a separate independent process from training. Although many non-profit certification membership organizations offer the training to their members and administer the certification test, in such instances there must be a “firewall” between the test trainers and the test administrators.  Sadly, even reputable organizations often fail to meet this ANSI standard of independence.

According to American National Standards Institute, and Standard 1100, a professional certifying organization must meet two general requirements:

1. Deliver an assessment based on industry knowledge, independent from training courses or course providers.

2. Grant a time-limited credential to anyone who meets the assessment standards.

IIEI Certification, a program offered by International Trade Certification Authority Inc. meets these requirements. It is a member of the American National Standards Institute, aligning itself to the ANSI standards.  For more information about IIEI Certification exams, visit:


As set forth in the certification body’s mission statement, it only performs the functions of a certifying authority, publishing the test knowledge requirements for its certifications, independently testing those standards and awarding certifications to those who qualify. IIEI Certification offers no training courses to help prepare individuals to sit for the various certification exams it offers. It relies upon students to self-prepare of its examinations or for them to use the training services of universities, colleges and training organizations worldwide.

Operating outside of the international trade regulatory arena for which it certifies persons, IIEI Certification, is independent and impartial in its relationship to its certified persons, including their employers and their customers and takes all possible steps to assure ethical operations.

Further Separation

Although the university prepares test takers for industry exams, Dunlap-Stone University’s instructors, who teach the courses that help prepare students for the various IIEI Certification exams, are not aware of which students in their classes are preparing for their industry certification exam and which ones are taking accredited college courses as part of their course of study for a degree or a vocational certificate.

Historically, DSU only helps a small portion, less than 4.5%, of those who sit for IIEI Certification prepare for their tests.