Certification is a voluntary process by which individuals are assessed against predetermined standards for knowledge/skills/competencies and granted a time-limited credential, which requires ongoing recertification (renewal requirements) to ensure certificant maintenance or improvement of competencies (and therefore can be revoked). The primary purpose of certification is assessment and the assessment process is independent of a specific course of study or any education/course/curriculum provider.
An example, Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM), offered by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) - CVPM designation awarded for successful completion.
An assessment-based certificate program is a relatively short, non-degree granting program that provides instruction and training to aid participants in acquiring knowledge/skills/competencies and designates that participants have passed an end-of-program assessment derived from learning/course objectives. Although assessment is an integral part of the certificate program, the primary purpose of the program is to provide instruction and training, with intended learning outcomes.
Examples of veterinary management certificate programs include: Veterinary Practice Management Program (VPMP) offered by Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine and Krannert School of Management and Veterinary Management Institute (VMI), offered by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) - a certificate of completion is awarded, no title or certification designation is awarded.