Certification is a form of verification that a candidate has successfully completed an evaluation of his/her knowledge, skills and abilities against the national standard. Individuals that successfully pass certification evaluations are certified.
Accreditation is the confirmation from a third party review of an agency's certification system. The review includes all aspects of certification testing including; completeness, fairness, security, validity and correlation to the national standards.
With national accreditation, students are assured that the development and administration of evaluations such as written and skills-based tests are to the highest quality and are consistent with national standards.
Simply put, agencies are accredited and individuals are certified.
The purpose of the Pro Board® is to establish an internationally recognized means of acknowledging professional achievement in the fire service and related fields. The accreditation of organizations that certify uniform members of public fire departments, both career and volunteer, is the primary goal. However, other organizations with fire protection interests may also be considered for participation. Accreditation is generally provided at the State or Provincial level to the empowered certifying authority of that jurisdiction.
The International Fire Service Accreditation Congres (IFSAC) is a not-for-profit, peer driven, self-governing system of both fire service certifying entities and higher education fire-related degree programs. IFSAC's mission is to plan and administer a high-quality, uniformly delivered accreditation system with an international scope.