What is certification?

Definition of Certification

Certification, the original objective for ALA-APA, is a well-established practice in many professions; indeed a right of passage in some fields for those who wish to progress. Although the terms certificate and certification programs are often used interchangeably, ALA-APA defines certification as

  • usually offered by a professional association;
  • voluntary;
  • requiring that applicants meet minimum criteria, such as experience or education;
  • granting the authority for graduates to use a designation (e.g., CPLA┬«);
  • including an assessment covering a broad range of skills;
  • ensuring the privacy of participants; and
  • requiring that certified professionals adhere to procedures to retain the designation