Professional Associations and Certification Boards
A professional association welcomes individual members who practice a specific profession or occupation or who share a common industry. Professional associations represent the special interests of their members through advocacy and networking efforts, and provide guidance and oversight by setting standards, required competencies, and the ethics of practice that support their members while also safeguarding the public.
In some cases, professional associations may also act as credentialing bodies or certification boards, offering certification or registration within a specific discipline or profession. In other cases, certification is offered through a non-biased testing entity. In either situation, the education required for such a certification must be provided by another unrelated training entity – one that does not share a financial structure with the professional association and is free from all other conflicts of interest.
That said, professional associations may provide continuing education for their members in the form of conferences, online learning, or other related opportunities, but these associations should not be confused with training organizations.
Please note that not all of the associations listed below meet the standard definition for a professional association, but they have been included here because they provide a level of support and advocacy for the industry.
Click the below logos to learn about the following professional associations and certification boards:
Training organizations provide education and professional development opportunities for those interested in adding a speciality area of practice, or learning a new model, skill, or technique.
At the successful completion of a training program, the participant may be granted a “certification of completion” that documents the topic of the training and the hours of continuing education accrued.
It is important to note that this type of “certification” is not the same as a certification or registration granted by a non-biased credentialing or certifying body. The key difference is that xx training program, competency or successful completion is assessed by the same individual or organization who provides the training.