As mentioned in a previous post, AFAA defines a “soft” certification as one without checks and balances such as an accredited exam and ongoing continuing education requirements. As you may recall, we listed the following criteria that we use to differentiate between a soft certification and an actual accredited certification:
1. Is the certification accredited?
2. Is the educational curriculum accredited?
3. Are there prerequisites?
4. Is there a monitored practical exam?
5. Is there a monitored written exam?
6. Does the certification expire?
7. Is continuing education required to maintain the certification?
When using these criteria as a tool to evaluate the rigor of a certification program, consider the amount of responses that elicit a “no.” The more “no’s” you get, the “softer” the certification.