Qualification Vs Certification – What’s The Difference?

Joanna Personal Development, Working with Others Leave a Comment

There is often confusion among career-makers over the definitions of qualification and certification differences and the practical meaning of the two terms. This article uses relevant dictionary definitions and relatable examples to demonstrate the differences.


Definitions from the Oxford dictionary:

“A pass of an examination or an official completion of a course, especially one conferring status as a recognized practitioner of a profession or activity”

“A quality or accomplishment that makes someone suitable for a particular job or activity”

Definition from the Business dictionary:

“Capacity, knowledge, or skill that matches or suits an occasion, or makes someone eligible for a duty or position. Qualification denotes fitness for purpose through fulfilment of necessary conditions such as age, taking an oath, completion of required schooling or training, or acquisition of a degree or diploma.”

What Does This Mean For You?

If you are qualified for a particular job, this means that you have met all of the conditions expected of you. These conditions can vary vastly between industries and individual roles. For example, you may need a degree (which is a form of certification) to have the qualification for a role in healthcare, whereas experience and knowledge may be enough to qualify for other positions.

There are often many factors that determine how qualified you are for a particular situation, and qualification for a role may or may not require or lead to certification.


Definitions from the Oxford dictionary:

“The action or process of providing someone with an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement”

Definition from the Business dictionary:

“Formal procedure by which an accredited or authorized person or agency assesses and verifies (and attests in writing by issuing a certificate) the attributes, characteristics, quality, qualification, or status of individuals in accordance with established requirements or standards.”

What Does This Mean For You?

Certification usually results from some sort of education or training. After completing the training to a high enough standard, you will receive a certificate, which is evidence of your accomplishments.

Certification is often, but not always, a highly valuable form of qualification. Most employers in most industries like to see proof that you are qualified, and a certificate from a specific test or course is one of the best ways to show them. In some cases, certification from a certain course is a requirement to get the job.


The third definition to clear up is ‘accreditation’. According to the Oxford dictionary, accreditation means “the action or process of officially recognising someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity. “

Qualification Vs Certification – Which is More Valuable?

Now that we have clarified the definitions, the question remains, qualification vs certification – which is more valuable? The truth is that qualification is always important by definition, because you always need to be and should be qualified for the job. Some jobs require specific certification in order to be qualified, and in this case certification is a part of being qualified .

The Business Dictionary, meanwhile, describes accreditation as a “certification of competence in a specified subject or areas of expertise, awarded by a duly recognized and respected accrediting organization.”

Accreditation, in other words, happens when you receive a certificate from a recognized organization in your field.

Gaining Qualifications and Certification By Taking Courses

Courses Dojo offers a number of quality face-to-face and online courses in a number of career paths and industries. Taking relevant course leads to better qualification in that area, because you gain knowledge and skills that help you to demonstrate your capability to do the job. Some of our courses also lead to certifications which are recognized by industry leaders and employers.

Either way, taking our courses today will enhance your career and set you on the road to success.

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