Understanding Certification Credentialling Options for Professionals - A High-Level Snapshot
Some professions require specific licensing, such as healthcare professions. Verifying a professional's credentials, education, and licenses ensures that they meet the standards of practice required within their discipline.
1. First-party means that a person claims (self-attests) to be competent and qualified to provide their respective services.
2. Second-party certification is when an employer, instructor, etc., declares that the person is competent and has the necessary skills and qualifications to do their job, whether paid or through volunteerism.
3. Peer review evaluations are conducted by people with similar qualifications working in the same area. This approach provides a self-regulatory framework for members of relevant organizations, credentialing bodies, or practitioners within a given profession.
4. Third-party certification uses an independent and objective, neutral auditor, assessor, etc., to enhance credibility, declaring that the person is competent and qualified to work within their scope of practice.
Voluntary third-party certification is meant to enhance credibility and public confidence providing a competitive advantage in the marketplace or specific areas of field-related competencies. Some service providers may prefer to have or need more than one certification. Certification is typically ongoing with requirements for ongoing professional development.
Animal-Assisted Human Services (AAHS) competencies may require both, whether volunteering or in paid positions. For example, if a service provider uses their social work credentials but is directly handling animals, they may need to gain additional training to work with certain species depending upon the type of service they provide. In some cases, multi-disciplinary teams are needed to deliver AAHS.