What is the difference between a certificate of achievement and a certificate of completion? Both certificates celebrate the recipient's achievements. A certificate can be as informal as one printed on a computer or as official as a high school or college diploma. Depending on the context, a certificate of completion and a certificate of achievement can mean very different things. Some certificates hold weight in the educational sphere and the workplace while others are simply meant to acknowledge a personal triumph or convey an award.

Certificate of Achievement Meaning

A certificate of achievement acknowledges both short- and long-term accomplishments. It does not necessarily signify that a person has completed something but rather that she has hit a significant milestone in the process of completion. A certificate of achievement can be given in the workplace for things like completing a specific sales goal or a personal employment achievement. While a certification of achievement can be given when someone leaves a company, the certificate of achievement definition is generally not one of finality. If you get a certificate of achievement, it doesn't mean you are leaving your job. These certificates hold varying amounts of weight educational sphere or workplace but a certification is not equivalent to a diploma, raise or increase in responsibilities.

Certificate of Completion

A certificate of completion acknowledges that a person has completed something from beginning to end. For example, a person could have completed a school year for a certificate of achievement in graduation. They might also have passed an important exam or a work certification process. Certificates of completion recognize that a person has gained experience and skill that they did not have previously. These certificates can be used as proof of skill and experience in both the educational sphere and workplace.

Certificates of Achievement in Education

Certificates of achievement hold little weight in the educational sphere. As a student accumulates these certificates at the high school level, he can however use them to appeal to a college recruiter in his application process. Certificates of completion are comparable to diplomas in the educational sphere but are not equivalent. Rather than allow the student to advance to college as a diploma or GED would, a certificate of completion is an acknowledgment of that student's work from the beginning to the end of the year. It holds no weight when applying to colleges and does not mean that the student has passed all of his classes. It will possibly allow him to walk the stage and participate in other graduation ceremonies with his classmates.

Certificates of Achievement at Work

The certificate of achievement meaning in the workplace may be nothing more than kind acknowledgments. These certificates serve to make employees feel appreciated and noticed for their hard work but they do not mean that the employee will advance in any way. In the educational sphere, a certificate of achievement similarly holds little significance besides acknowledgment and motivation. Until a student reaches the high school level and is ready to apply to college, she is unlikely to find a place to use those certificates for advancement.

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