Assessment-based Certificate Programs

Understanding the differences in certification types is important before pursuing any online education program. MMS Academy provides assessment-based certificates in compliance with ICE 1100 standards. ICE (Institute for Credentialing Excellence) is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry. ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and is a provider of information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.

The ICE 1100 standard specifies essential requirements for certificate programs and provides guidance to program providers, consumers, and others on what defines a high-quality program.

The focus of an assessment-based certification program is on education and training, with the intent of the assessment being verification that specific education or training was met.

MMS Academy is currently pursuing an ICE 1100 accreditation standard.

Assessment-based Certificates vs. Certificates of Attendance

Assessment-based Certificates

Assessment-based certificates are awarded on attending a course with a systematic assessment.

Standards include:

  • Technically rigorous exam questions and grading structure to which systematically-developed knowledge content is applied
  • Use of professional testing experts and content subject matter experts
  • Adherence to ICE 1100

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of Attendance awarded based on attending a particular training session and/or completing a course or specified courses.

Standards for granting the award are based on course content as demonstrated by the student’s participation.



Assessment-based Certificates vs. Professional Certification

Certificate and certification programs are designed to meet different needs. For example, the organization that aims to recognize professionals who meet established knowledge, skills, or competencies (as in certification) may be missing an opportunity to build capacity and recognition of a specialty area of practice or set of skills (as in many certificate programs).

Each program type is not more or less rigorous than another, they simply serve different purposes and may require different business approaches, governance structures, and development processes.

Assessment-based Certificates

  • Provide instruction and training (non-degree granting)
  • Goal is for participants to acquire specific knowledge, skills, and/or competencies
  • Assessment is used to evaluate mastery of the intended learning outcomes (linked directly to the learning event)
  • Assessment content may be narrower in scope
  • Awards a certificate to recognize mastery of the specific learning outcomes. NOT a certificate of attendance or participation, which is awarded to individuals who have attended or participated in a course or training program but did not have to demonstrate mastery of the intended learning outcomes
  • Complies with the ICE 1100 Standard and follows the ACAP application procedures to earn accreditation

Professional Certification

  • Assesses knowledge, skills, and/or competencies previously acquired
  • Goal is to validate the participant’s competency through a conformity assessment system
  • Assessment is best used to assure baseline competencies and to differentiate professionals (independent of a specific learning event)
  • Assessment content is usually broad in scope
  • Awards designations to recognize achievement
  • Complies with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs and follows the NCCA application procedures to earn accreditation 

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