There are three general types of certification. Listed in order of development level and portability, they are: corporate (internal), product-specific, and profession-wide.
Corporate, or internal certifications, are made by a corporation or low-stakes organization for internal purposes. For example, a corporation might require a one-day training course for all sales personnel, after which they receive a certificate. While this certificate has limited portability – to other corporations, for example – it is the most simple to develop.
Product-specific certifications are more involved, and are intended to be referenced to a product across all applications. This approach is very prevalent in the information technology (IT) industry, where personnel are certified on a version of software or hardware. This type of certification is portable across locations (for example, different corporations that use that software), but not across other products.
The most general type of certification is profession-wide. Certification in the medical profession is often offered by particular specialties. In order to apply professional standards, increase the level of practice, and possibly protect the public (though this is also the domain of licensure), a professional organization might establish a certification. This is intended to be portable to all places a certified professional might work. Of course, this generalization increases the cost of such a program; the process to establish a legally defensible assessment of an entire profession is very extensive. An example of this is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which would not be certified for just one corporation or one piece of accountancy software but for general work in the profession.
Certifications are earned from a professional society or from an IT vendor (e.g. Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe, etc.). In general, must be renewed periodically, or may be valid for a specific period of time (e.g., the lifetime of the product upon which the individual is certified). As a part of a complete renewal of an individual's certification, it is common for the individual to show evidence of continued learning — often termed continuing education — or earning continuing education units (CEU).
Most certification programs are created, sponsored, or affiliated with professional associations, trade organizations, or IT vendors interested in raising standards. Even those programs completely independent from membership organizations enjoy association support and endorsement.
The growth of certification programs is also a reaction to the changing employment market. Certifications are portable, since they do not depend on one company's definition of a certain job. Certification stands about the resume and the professional reference by being an impartial, third-party endorsement of an individual's professional knowledge and experience. Certification provides an impartial, third-party endorsement of an individual's professional knowledge and experience.
It is important to note that certifications are usually earned from a professional society or educational institute, not the government. If a demonstration of ability or knowledge is required by law before being allowed to perform a task or job, this is referred to as licensure. In the United States, professional licenses are usually issued by state agencies. The certification assessment process, for some organizations, is very similar or even the same as licensure and may differ only in terms of legal status, while in other organizations, can be quite different and more comprehensive than that of licensure. Certification and licensure differ only in terms of legal status.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Standard 1100, defines the requirements of meeting the ANSI standard for being a certifying organization. According to ANSI Standard 1100, a professional certifying organization must meet two requirements:
Deliver an assessment based on industry knowledge, independent from training courses or course providers.
Grant a time-limited credential to anyone who meets the assessment standards.
Certifications are very common in aviation, construction, technology, environment, and other industrial sectors, as well as health care, business, Real estate broker and finance. In USA, the Federal Aviation Administration regulates aviator certifications.
The National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) is a US-based organization that helps certification bodies, primarily in health care and related fields, by providing them with information on the latest trends and issues of concern to practitioners and organizations focused on certification, obtaining licenses, and human resource development. Many members of the Association of Test Publishers (ATP) are also certification organizations.
Areas of certification
Accountancy, Auditing and Finance
There are many professional bodies for accountants and auditors throughout the world; some of them are legally recognized in their jurisdictions. Public Accountants are the accountancy and control experts that are legally certified in different jurisdictions to work in public practices, certifying accounts as statutory auditors, eventually selling advice and services to other individuals and businesses. Today, however, many work within private corporations, financial industry, and government bodies.
Accounting and external auditing
Cf. Accountancy qualifications and regulation
ACA, FCA or CA (Chartered Accountant) conferred by Institutes of Chartered Accountants in various territories, namely the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
ACMA or FCMA (Associate or Fellow Chartered Management Accountant) conferred by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK)
Associate or Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA or FCCA) conferred by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK)
AAIA or FAIA (Associate or Fellow International Accountant) conferred by Association of International Accountants
CPA (Certified Public Accountant) conferred by State Accountancy Boards in the USA, Hong-Kong, Australia...
PFA (Professional Financial Accountant) from came center and Cairo University
CMA (Certified Management Accountant) conferred by Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA in Australia), Institute of Management Accountants (IMA in US)
CCC (Chartered Cost Controllers) issued and conferred by the American Academy of Financial Management USA Certifying Board (AAFM)
Internal auditing and fraud combat
CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), CCSA, CGAP, QAR conferred by the worldwide recognized Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) headquartered in Altamonte Springs Florida with chapters in many countries
CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) conferred by the worldwide recognized Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) headquartered in Texas with chapters in many countries
CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) awarded by the worldwide recognized Information Systems Audit and Control Association headquartered in the USA with chapters in many countries
AVA (Accredited Valuation Analyst) conferred by the The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)
ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser) conferred by the American Society of Appraisers
CBA (Certified Business Appraiser) conferred by the IBA[disambiguation needed ]
CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) conferred by CFA Institute (CFAI)
CVA (Certified Valuation Analyst) conferred by the The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) and The International Association of Consultants, Valuators and Analysts (IACVA)
CIIA (Certified International Investment Analyst) conferred by the Association of Certified International Investment Analysts (ACIIA)
FRM (Financial Risk Manager) conferred by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)
PRM (Professional Risk Manager) conferred by the Professional Risk Managers' International Associate (PRMIA)
CFP (Certified Financial Planner) conferred by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and Financial Planning Standards Board
CWM (Chartered Wealth Manager), CAM (Chartered Asset Manager), CTEP (Chartered Trust and Estate Planner) and CPM (Chartered Portfolio Manager), issued, founded and conferred by the USA Board of Standards American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM)
CCP (Certified Credit Professional) issued to credit management professionals in Canada by the Credit Institute of Canada
EA (Enrolled Agent) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
CCMT (Certified California Municipal Treasurer) conferred by California Municipal Treasurers Association (CMTA)
CGAP (Certified Government Auditing Professional) conferred by the Institute of Internal Auditors, based on the US Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book) and additionally on COSO, IIA standards and INTOSAI ISSAI standards recognized worldwide in public finance
CGFM (Certified Government Financial Manager) conferred by Association of Government Accountants (AGA)
CGFO (Certified Government Finance Officer) conferred by Government Finance Officers Association of Texas (GFOAT)
CMA (Certified Management Accountant) conferred by Institute of Management Accountants
CPFO (Certified Public Finance Officer) conferred by Government Finance Officers Association
CPFA (Certified Public Finance Administrator) conferred by Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada (APTUSC)
Physical Asset Management
MMP – Maintenance Management Professional
CMRP – Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) 
ASSE (American Society of Sanitary Engineering)  - an ANSI Accredited standards developer and certification body
Certification is of significant importance in the project management (PM) industry. Certification refers to the evaluation and recognition of the skills, knowledge, and/or competence of a practitioner in the field.
Project management certifications come in a variety of flavors:
Competence-based programs wherein an individual must provide evidence of actual, on-the-job performance
Knowledge-based programs wherein an individual must pass an exam
Experience-based programs wherein an individual must provide evidence of training or education in the field.
Combination of Competence-based, Knowledge-based, and Experience-based
A professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation (often called simply certification or qualification) is a designation earned by a person to assure that he/she is qualified to perform a job or task. Certifications, generally, need to be renewed periodically, or may be valid for a specific period of time (e.g. the life-time of the product upon which the individual is certified). As a part of a complete renewal of an individual's certification, it is common for the individual to show evidence of continual learning — often termed continuing education — or earning continuing education units (CEU).
Certifications by name
Accreditation in Public Relations (APR): by the Universal Accreditation Board
Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA): by the Financial Board
Accredited Management Accountant (AMA): by the IMCCB Accounting Institute
Accredited Management Consultant (AMA): by the Management Consultants Board
Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.): by the Institute for Supply Management
Accredited Valuation Analyst (AVA): by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts
American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM)
Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP): by the Disaster Recovery Institute International
Certified Business Manager (CBM): by the Association of Professionals in Business Management
Chartered Director (CDir) : by the Institute of Directors (IoD)
Certified Association Executive
Certified Facility Manager (CFM) : by the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA)
Certified Call Center Manager (CCCM) by the RCCSP Professional Education Alliance
Certified Financial Planner (CFP): by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
Certified eMarketer (CeM) : by the eMarketing Association
Certified Home Inventory Professional (CHIP) : by the National Association of Home Inventory Professionals([www.nahip.com])
Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) : by the The DataWarehousing Institute
Certified Business Inventory Professional (CBIP) : by the National Association of Home Inventory Professionals([www.nahip.com])
Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM): by the CCIM Institute
Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA)
Certified International Project Manager (CIPM): by the Global Academy of Project Management
Certified International Project Manager (CIPM): by the US Academy of Project Management
Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM): by the Knowledge Management Professional Society
Certified Management Accountant (CMA): by the Institute of Management Accountants www.imanet.org
Certified Management Consultant (CMC) : by the Institute of Management Consultancy (IMC)
Certified Manager (CM) : offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM)
Chartered Merger and Acquisition Professional (CMAP) : offered by the Middle Market Investment Banking Association (MMIBA)
Certified Manager of Animal Resources (CMAR): offered jointly by ICPM and AALAS
Certified MBA (CMBA), offered by the International Certification Institute
Certified Public Relations Counselor(CPRC), offered by the Florida Public Relations Association
Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.): by the Institute for Supply Management
Chartered Manager (CMgr) : by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
Certified in Management (C.I.M.) is administered by the Canadian Institute of Management
Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Chartered Manager (F.CIM) administered by the Canadian Institute of Management
Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA): administered by the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors
Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) administered by the National Contract Management Association
Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) administered by the National Contract Management Association
Certified Commercial Contracts Manager (CcCM) administered by the National Contract Management Association
Certified Professional Manager (CPM) : by the Society of Business Practitioners
Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) administered by the Institute for Supply Management
Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP) by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP)
Certified Protocol Consultant (CPC) by the International Association of Protocol Consultants and Officers
Certified Protocol Officer (CPO) by the International Association of Protocol Consultants and Officers
Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG) by the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies
Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA)
Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA): by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts and the International Association of Consultants, Valuators and Analysts
Electronic Document Professional (EDP) professional designation : administered by Xplor International
Global Professional in Human Resources Certification : by the Human Resource Certification Institute
Enrolled Agent (EA), by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
European Financial Advisor (EFA), by European Financial Planning Association (EFPA)
European Financial Planner (EFP), by European Financial Planning Association (EFPA)
Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, by the American College of Healthcare Executives
Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI), by the Life Office Management Association
Master Certified Knowledge Management Professional (MKMP): by the Knowledge Management Professional Society
Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) : by the American Marketing Association
Property Manager : certified by the National Property Management Association (NPMA) in durable, movable and fixed asset management; not for buildings, real estate, or housing management. Only for inventory, logistic, acquisition, warehouse, tracking types of personnel. (npma.org)
Professional in Human Resources Certification : by the Human Resource Certification Institute
Professional Manager (P.Mgr.) administered by the Canadian Institute of Management
SAPM credential : offered by Stanford University for graduates of the Stanford Advanced Project Management Mastery Program.
Small Business Certification : by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and others administer
Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification : by the Human Resource Certification Institute
Professional certifications in computer technology are non-degree awards made to those who have achieved qualifications specified by a certifying authority. Depending on the particular certification, qualifications may include completing a course of study, proof of professional accomplishments, achieving a specified grade on an examination or some combination thereof. The intention is to establish that an individual holding a certification is technically qualified to hold certain types of position within the field.
Certifications, generally, need to be renewed periodically, or may be valid for a specific period (e.g. the life-time of the product upon which the individual is certified). As a part of a complete renewal of an individual's certification, it is common for the individual to show evidence of continual learning — often termed continuing education — or earning continuing education units (CEU).
Certification is often used in the professions of software engineering and information technology.
Some certification programs are oriented toward specific technologies, and are managed by the vendors of these technologies. These certification programs are tailored to the institutions that would employ people who use these technologies.
2Third-party and vendor-neutral certifications
3.1Information systems security
7DoD Directive 8570.1
Apple Inc. sponsors the Apple certification program
Avaya sponsors the Avaya Professional Credential Program
Cisco Systems sponsors the Cisco Career Certifications program
Brocade Communications Systems sponsors the Brocade Certification and Accreditation program
Citrix Systems sponsors the Citrix Certified Administrator program
Cyberoam sponsors the Cyberoam Security certifications program
Hewlett-Packard sponsors the HP ExpertONE certification program
Dell sponsors the Dell Certified Systems Expert program with Associate and Master levels
IBM sponsors certifications
ISIS Papyrus sponsors the Papyrus Certified Professionals Program
Zend Technologies sponsors the Zend Certified Engineer (PHP) program
Third-party and vendor-neutral certifications
Third-party commercial organizations, trade associations, and vendor-neutral interest groups that sponsor certifications include:
SCIPP International ANSI Accredited Secure Web-Application Development Awareness course and End-User Security Awareness courses.
MigrationX sponsors unique IT migration related certifications like Certified Migration Expert (CME) & Certified Migration Professional (CMP).
The BSD Certification Group Inc. A non-profit organization committed to creating and maintaining a global certification standard for system administration on BSD based operating systems.
INFINIDOX sponsors 12 professional information security certifications.
Basic Computer Literacy Certification
XML Certification Program - XML Master
Certiport sponsors the Microsoft Office Specialist and IC3 certification (Internet and Computing Core).
CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) CompTIA offers 12 professional IT Certifications, validating foundation-level IT knowledge and skills.
ECDL Foundation sponsors the European Computer Driving License (also called International Computer Driving License) (ICDL)
International Information and Communication Technology Council Certification Program
ISC2 sponsors the CISSP, SSCP and other security certifications
Learning Tree International sponsors Learning Tree Professional Certification
Linux Professional Institute
Majinate sponsors the Accredited Symbian Developer scheme for Symbian OS
NACSE (National Association of Communication Systems Engineers) sponsors 36 Vendor Neutral, knowledge specific, Certifications covering the 5 major IT Disciplines which are: Data Networking, Telecomm, Web Design & Development, Programming & Business Skills for IT Professionals.
Network Professional Association offers the Certified Network Professional program
The Open Group sponsors TOGAF certification and the IT Architect Certification (ITAC)  and IT Specialist Certification (ITSC)  skills and experience based IT certifications.
SANS Institute operates the Global Information Assurance Certification program
Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) sponsors the SNIA Certification Program 
The SolidQ University Certifications
General certification of software practitioners has struggled. The ACM had a professional certification program in the early 1980s, which was discontinued due to lack of interest. Today, the IEEE is certifying software professionals, but only about 500 people have passed the exam by March 2005.
The IEEE Computer Society sponsors the Certified Software Development Professional as well as membership designations, "Senior" and "Fellow" which reflect experience and peer review qualification.
The IET sponsors the Chartered Engineer and Incorporated Engineer, which can be ratified into the European Engineer 
The BCS sponsors the Chartered IT Professional (CITP) programme.
The Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals sponsors the Certified Computing Professional (CCP) and Associate Computing Professional (ACP) certifications
The BDPA IT Institute sponsors the BDPA IT Associate (BITA), the BDPA IT Professional (BITP), and the BDPA IT Master (BITM) certifications
The Canadian Information Processing Society sponsors the Information Systems Professional certification in Canada.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants sponsors the Certified Information Technology Professional program.
APICS establishes operations management standards and sponsors certification for Logistics 
The New Zealand Computer Society sponsors the Information Technology Certified Professional programme
The Australian Computer Society offers pathways to Certified Professional (CP) and Certified Technologist (CT) designation.
The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists sponsors the Certified Engineering Technologist or Professional Technologist Information Technology or Electronics (Computer) Technology profiles.
Information systems security
In an information systems environment that requires formal security accreditation, Certification refers to the comprehensive evaluation of the technical and non-technical security features of an information system.
Certification is formally defined by Krutz and Vines as:
The comprehensive evaluation of the technical and non-technical security features of an information system and the other safeguards, which are created in support of the accreditation process to establish the extent to which a particular design and implementation meets the set of specified security requirements.
See also: Controversies over the term Engineer
The current proliferation of IT certifications (both offered and attained) has led some technologists to question their value. Advanced training content that has been distributed on the Internet allows some to gain credentials without the implied depth or breadth of expertise beyond the certification material. Certifying agencies have responded in various ways: some now incorporate hands-on elements, anti-cheating methodologies or have expanded their content. Others have expired and restructured their certificate programs, and/or raised their fees to deter abuse.
See also: Student engagement
Research on college students and high school students has been done to determine whether relevant Information Technology industry certification is an asset to the teaching profession as they appear to be in the business world.
The studies investigated CIS/IT student perceptions and outcomes of certified and non-certified instructors. As observed by Adelman, many post-secondary CIS/IT faculty were unconcerned about the emergence in the 1990s of “a new, parallel universe of postsecondary credentials”, Anderson and Reimers found that CIS/IT students were keenly aware if their instructors had them. For example, certain certifications DOD 8570.1M are the only commercial certifications that the Department of Defense will accept towards meeting their Information Assurance hiring requirements.
The studies found a significant difference in learning outcomes between technology courses taught by certified and non-certified instructors; students whose instructors held IT industry certifications had higher levels of achievement than their non-certified peers and that college undergraduate students showed a significantly greater perception of their instructor’s effectiveness, teaching skills, professor technical expertise, and their own engagement in their classes with certified professors. Randall & Zirrkle (2005) noted a distinction between high school students and college students result benefit and the type of certification (vendor neutral and vendor-specific).
IT Certifications are considered as a standard of IT knowledge by most of the giant technology companies around the world. Best knowledge of up to date technologies is ensured by continuously updating the versions of certifications by the specific vendors. 
Professional computer technology certification can open doors to opportunity in employment and career development, and certainly where people seek computer technology positions with well recognized certifications such as CompTIA A+ or Network+. Certification per se, though, can only be a first step.
Professional certification on paper alone is never sufficient for developing or proving professional level expertise and must be followed through upon with hands-on professional, on the job experience. Certification can help open doors in achieving a position that offers that hands on experience but it is primarily a starting point even if a valuable one.
Professional certification as such offers significant value for people making career changes into computer technology, and for people who seek to enter the professional workforce with long term career potential, from underserved communities. A number of organizations (e.g. Per scholas in the South Bronx and Miami, Florida) work with communities in need and with a specific goal of helping community members achieve professional certifications as a route into professional jobs that can lead to building viable careers.
ABR - Accredited Buyers Representative in a real estate transaction
CDRS - Certified Default Resolution Specialist, avoid foreclosure through Short Sales
CSSBR - Certified Short Sale Buyers Representative
CHMS - Certified Home Marketing Specialist, Staging a home for highest dollar.
Real Estate Certifications
CSP - Certified Sales Professional in New Home Sales
GRI - Graduate REALTOR® Institute-Finance, Marketing, Brokerage
SFR - Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource
SRES - Senior Real Estate Specialist, active adult 55+
TAHS - Affordable Housing Specialist, able to find financial assistants, tax credits, etc.
Certified New Home Buyers Representative