What’s the difference between certification and licensing?

Feb 7, 2021

[Creating a Certification Series – Part 3]

Licensing is about the WHAT.

Certification is about the WHO.

Licensing is about saying ‘here’s my stuff, here’s what you can use and what you can/can’t do with it’.

Certification is about the person you are certifying – where you are training them in your proven process and then allowing them to leverage your brand/reputation in their own business. Where you are setting out requirements for them to earn their certification status. Where you are giving them tools and resources so they can create success following the path you’ve already laid out.

A license can stand alone and usually becomes ‘absorbed’ into the person’s existing program/business.  For example, I might license someone to teach my Hire Up hiring process in their own coaching program. They pay me to use my IP but they aren’t branded as a Hire Up professional.

A certification always INCLUDES a license within it – specifically laying out what they can and can’t do with the stuff they are learning. For example, when we train a Certified OBM® the license they are receiving (as outlined in their agreement) is that they can use what they are learning when working with their 1-1 clients, but that they can’t teach/share the material in groups or create other programs from it.

Either option can be amazing (and successful) depending on the goals of your business and how you want this to fit into the big picture. 💪

Interested in creating a certification? My Certification Accelerator will take your program from concept to first sale in 6 weeks – learn more here. 


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