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Already Gone:
Lately, I have been getting resumes and inquiries from people who have attained various "certifications" from non-accredited organizations.

NASP, WSO, ... are legal, provide a service, issue certificates, and even provide accreditation to other organizations who wish to use their names.  However, any enterprising individual can set up a web site with a bunch of online courses, charge you for them, and issue you a certificate for completing them.  There is some value in that.  You pay for training -- you get training.  As long as the content and curricula are complete, correct, and up-to-date, you are getting something for your money.  BUT, what are you expecting to get for your money? 

I liken this to Franklin Mint.  This is a company which manufactures replicas of rare coins and other memorabilia.  While a replica of a rare, valuable coin may be worth the price you pay, you will NEVER be able to resell it for a large profit -- mainly because replicas have little or no value to collectors.

In deciding on certifications to pursue to make yourself marketable as a professional, or para-professional, you should ask if the certification has any value to prospective employers.  The answer is what you probably expect.  A certification has value if it is issued by a regionally or nationally accredited organization.  Don't let the phrase "non-profit" fool you.  Most, if not all, people who work for not-for-profit agencies get paid.  Some are paid quite handsomely.  The designation as a non-profit enterprise only exists for tax and employment purposes.  It does not mean that the outfit is accredited.

Before you sign up and lay out any cash to get "certified", read this:

Good luck.

Now that's exactly the sort of information I've been looking for.  Thank you.

Already Gone:
I'm glad to be of help to you.

Online training is a gift for those of us who can't get free to attend classroom courses.  If you are going to take training for any particular certification - say, HAZWOPER for example, be sure that the provider is authorized to issue a valid certificate.  The Virtual University ( available through is an authorized provider of many courses which lead to certification from an accredited agency or by OSHA.  Although they issue certificates for completion of courses, and many of those courses lead to certification in different professional fields, they do not claim to be a certifying agency.  They don't offer "titles".  They simply provide approved training, using course content that has been reviewed and approved by OSHA and instructors who have been qualified by OSHA, and issue a certificate that proves you have passed. Likewise, there are several courses you can take to prep for certification exams, (e.g. an NRRPT or CHP prep course) but the providers don't claim that completion of their course entitles you to certification.  You still have to qualify and pass the exam given by NRRPT, ABHP, BCSP, etc., in order to use the title.

I'm basically giving a caution here that you can spend quite a few dollars at some sites to get training, where the provider claims to offer a title (Certified Industrial Toilet Cleaner or stuff like that) which has no value on your resume.  If I see a resume with something like "Licensed Safety Professional" on it, it throws up a huge red flag.  On one hand, it means that you have taken a lot of training courses, which may be very valuable courses full of good content.  On the other, it means that you have a "license" that was issued by a non-accredited organization, who issued it based solely on your having met their standards, which have not been reviewed by an independent board of professionals.  While the training means something to me, the "license" means nothing at all. 


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