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In company XYZ people can get a certificate called 'XYZ certified professional'. This certificate has a date and the certificate is valid for a number of years from that date onwards.

Which is the best description for this date?

  1. Certification date
  2. Certificate date

I would intuitively choose 1, but 2 has the advantage of being shorter.

Thanks for answers.

  • 1
    Certification date is when the person obtained the certification, Certificate date is the date on the certificate - e.g. when it was created – mplungjan Jun 1 '15 at 15:07
  • Either sound acceptable but do they mean exactly the same thing? Certificate date sounds like the date the certificate was written - which could be the same as certification date. But if there is a procedure whereby certificates are renewed (say annually) then will the date on any certificate necessarily be the same as that of original certification? – WS2 Jun 1 '15 at 15:09
  • @WS2 and mplungjan you raise a good point, so I guess 1 is better because it removes a potential ambiguity. If you want to write this as the answer I will accept it. – Roland Jun 1 '15 at 15:12
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Either sound acceptable but do they mean exactly the same thing? Certificate date sounds like the date the certificate was written - which could be the same as certification date. But if there is a procedure whereby certificates are renewed (say annually) then will the date on any certificate necessarily be the same as that of original certification? –

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Generally, though, you can use whatever terminology you like so long as you are consistent. The following might be an example.

  • The certificate date is whatever date is printed on the certificate, whether it is the first time that certificate was awarded to a specific professional or not.
  • The certification date is the date when the professional first completed certification.
  • The recertification date is the date when that professional completed recertification.

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