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Certification vs. Certificate

For those organizations seeking ANSI-CFP accreditation it is important to understand the difference between certification programs and certificate programs (commonly referred to as food handler certificates). The CFP Standards for Accreditation of Food Protection Manager Certification Program (view the complete standard) are voluntary unifying national standards providing a mechanism for the universal acceptance of food protection manager certification programs. ANSI-CFP accreditation ensures that credential holders with an accredited food protection manager certification have undergone a valid assessment and have the necessary competencies to ensure safety in food establishments. 
Please review the table below to understand the difference between certification and certificate:

Certification Certificate
The credential awarded to candidates is based on a third-party assessment of competence by a credentialing body. The credential awarded to candidates is based on successful completion of a training or educational program. It may include an assessment of learning.
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 content of a certificate program is based on the required learning objectives for the course curriculum.
The certification issued is time limited and must be regularly renewed for the candidate to demonstrate continued competence. The certificate issued from certificate programs generally do not have to be renewed.
The certification issued is “owned” by the certifying body and may be taken away from the certified person. 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.
Typically results in a formal designation/job title- Certified Food Protection Manager. Listed on resume as Certificate in Food Handling.

After reviewing the table above, if your credentialing program aligns with a certification program you can familiarize with the ANSI-CFP accreditation policies and procedures as well as the CFP website on food protection manager certifications. However, if your program aligns with a certificate program you can familiarize yourself with the ANSI Food Handler Certificate accreditation program. 


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