October 26

Paralegal Certificate vs. Certification – The Difference


The terms “certificate” and “certification” are related but have distinct meanings in various contexts. Here’s an overview of the key differences:


A certificate is a document that attests to the completion of a course, training, or program of study.

Between a certificate and certification, most paralegal employers prefer a paralegal certificate as it demonstrates the completion of a course of study.

A certificate is generally awarded by an educational institution (such as Paralegal Institute), training center, or organization that provides specific education or training.

Certificates can be obtained for a wide range of purposes, including academic achievements, vocational training, or participation in workshops and seminars.

The emphasis is on the completion of a learning experience.


Certification is a formal recognition by a professional organization or a certification body that an individual has met specific criteria or standards in a particular field.

It often involves an assessment or examination process to ensure that the individual possesses the required skills, knowledge, and competencies in a specific domain.

Certifications are often linked to professional or industry standards and are typically pursued to enhance one’s credibility in a specific profession.

Certification is an ongoing process, and individuals may need to renew or update their certification periodically through continuing education or reexamination.

In summary, a certificate is generally awarded upon the completion of a course or program, while certification is a formal recognition of an individual’s competence in a specific area, often requiring an assessment or examination.

Certificates are more commonly associated with educational achievements, whereas certifications are often tied to professional or industry standards.


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