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Certification vs. Certificate

For those organizations seeking ANSI accreditation for their food handler program it is important to understand the difference between certificate programs and certification programs (commonly referred to as food protection manager certification programs).
Please review the table below to understand the difference between certification and certificate:

Certificate Certification
The credential awarded to candidates is based on successful completion of a training or educational program. It may include an assessment of learning. The credential awarded to candidates is based on a third-party assessment of competence by a credentialing body.
The content of a certificate program is based on the required learning objectives for the course curriculum. The content of certification is based on a job or practice analysis that identifies the tasks and associated knowledge, skills and attributes (KSAs) required for competent performance.
The certificate issued from certificate programs generally do not have to be renewed. The certification issued is time limited and must be regularly renewed for the candidate to demonstrate continued competence.
The certificate issued from certificate body are owned by the individual and are not taken away even if the person does not seek to renew their certificate. The certification issued is “owned” by the certifying body and may be taken away from the certified person.
Listed on resume as Certificate in Food Handling. Typically results in a formal designation/job title- Certified Food Protection Manager.

After reviewing the table above, if your credentialing program aligns with a certificate program you can familiarize yourself with the ANSI accreditation policies and procedures as well as learn how to apply.  However, if your credentialing program aligns with a certification program you can learn more about the ANSI-CFP Accreditation Program.


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