Accreditation vs Certification

Understanding Accreditation versus Certification:

  • Accreditationis verification related to demonstration of competence to carry out specific tasks
  • Certificationis verification related to products, processes, systems or persons

Therefore, we recognise that accreditation is one step higher than certification.

A typical example found across the world would be in education. Students receive their degree, which is a form of certification, through universities that have themselves been accredited to offer these qualifications.


To put this into Perspective for us:

  1. The IAPC&M only accredit training courses, which has always been the case.  Once the student is awarded their coaching/mentoring qualification, it’s theirs for life. Students can say that they have a ‘Coaching/Mentoring Diploma Course (Accredited by)’ qualification. This is what they may show on a CV, application form or in their social media.
  2. Attending a training course does not and never has come with automatic accreditation from the IAPC&M (nor did it with ECI or IIC&M) withoutthe student first applying for accreditation.
  3. Historically (ECI, IIC&M), students who successfully qualified from a level 7 accredited course could apply for APC accreditation simply by i) paying an accreditation fee ii) sending a copy of their certificate and iii) signing the Declaration of Integrity. There has always been an application process to become accredited.
  4. However, as those of you who were accredited before 2017 know, the accreditation process was significantly enhanced.  These changes have been repeatedly communicated via the training providers conference call, various e-mails, and of course your service level agreement (SLA) meeting.
  5. Working example: Someone successfully completes their Level 7 qualification in Strategic Management and Leadership (a typical CMI programme) at award, certificate or diploma level. They will have this qualification for life. What they do not have is membership of the CMI unlessthey apply, part of which is submitting evidence of their qualification. (NB: Some training providers build membership fees in to the course programme. However, this is membership, not accreditation).
  6. For a direct comparison, look to what other coaching bodies do, such as the ICF. All students looking to be credentialed (accredited) must go through a process.
  7. Courses/programmes are accredited to give the student an accredited qualification/certificate which is for life.
  8. Course/programme accreditation levels have been mapped against the England and Wales [vocational] educational framework, hence the term ‘equivalent to’.
  9. Individuals are assessed to give successful applicants personal accreditation which is not for life. Currently, accreditation for all, is re-assessed every three years.
  10. A student may complete an IAPC&M accredited programme with you and, as a result of the level of your programme, have the required training hours and practical coaching or mentoring experience to be able to apply for individual accreditation.
  11. Individual accreditation application is onlypossible when the individual can demonstrate that they meet the required criteria for the level of accreditation they are applying for.
  12. Application does not guarantee accreditation. Only individuals who pass our stringent and comprehensive accreditation assessment process will be awarded accreditation. This is how we ensure that IAPC&M accredited coaches and/or mentors (and training providers) are amongst the top 1% in the world.

Accreditation vs Certification Doc

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