I am building for a client online certification application. Person will complete a short training (few slides) and after that the person will get the certificate proving completion of the "course". How to call that person (preferably one word)?

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    Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/416545/17956
    – Jim
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 16:01
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    I would strongly suggest that you avoid "certifiable".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 16:10
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    My point is that "certifiable" means "insane", and is an insult. (I gather you understand this, but just in case.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 16:44
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    One word often use to describe someone who has received certification from a certifying authority is accredited. according to Merriam-Webster Online, the verb accredit means (1) to give official authorization to or approval of: (a) to provide with credentials; (b) to recognize or vouch for as conforming with a standard; (c) to recognize (an educational institution) as maintaining standards that qualify the graduates for admission to higher or more specialized institutions or for professional practice ..." Does that meet your needs?
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 23:58
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    A certificate holder. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 12:34

4 Answers 4


At the risk of stating the obvious...why not "certified"? If you're licensed to teach a course of say, physical therapy, then a person successfully completing that course would be afforded the title of "Certified Physical Therapist".


Technically, this would be dramatically overstating the certified person's achievements, but within the context of your application or website, you could reasonably refer to them as graduates:

1: a holder of an academic degree or diploma
definition from m-w.com

In this case, the "diploma" is merely the certificate that you issued, but that should be clear enough from the context of the application.

  • I think it would be too much for my case. As you stated it would be dramatically overstating the certified person's achievements. But thanks anyway. Commented May 7, 2019 at 15:41

The answer would really depend on the authorizing organization’s perspective on their authority. Based on what has been said so far, I would prefer the word ”certificant” or to use the word ”certificated” as a descriptive adjective before the title of the person being certificated. As pointed out by other posters, certified, even when not being used to mean crazy, has a different connotation than certificated.

Many governing bodies make a definite distinction when it comes to their documents of authorization. The organization with whom I am most familiar is the US FAA. The FAA does not issue airman licenses. They issue certificates for pilot, instructor, examiner, technician, mechanic, etc. When describing an airman, the FAA and its representative will use the term certificated (pilot, et. al.) as an adjective. Wikipedia gives the reason as, “U.S. pilots are certified, not licensed, although the word license is still commonly used informally.1 Legally, pilot certificates can be revoked by administrative action, whereas licensing (e.g., a driver's license) requires intervention by the judiciary system.”


Certificated. As obvious as it seems, that is the word used, for example, for teachers in the U.S. who have earned their teacher's credentials.

Certificated: "a document attesting to the fact that a person has completed an educational course, issued either by an institution not authorized to grant diplomas, or to a student not qualifying for a diploma." Dic.com

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    I think you put the definition for certificate, and I have never heard the word certificated in my life. Commented May 31, 2020 at 0:29
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    @Micah Windsor A random search for "certificated" (There are 1,000 more examples. Look up the word certificated.): Certificated Employees: The Certificated division of the Human Resources department is responsible for all personnel transactions for certificated (teaching/credentialed) positions within the r Lucia Mar Unified School District, and directly responsible for compliance with Education Code provisions, collective bargaining agreements, and District policies and procedures.
    – Zan700
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 0:55
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    I never said it wasn't a word, it's just not as common as certified. You also failed to address my first point. Certificated is a verb, so its definition cannot begin with a document. That is the definition for certificate. Commented May 31, 2020 at 1:10
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    From your source: "having an official document as proof that something has happened or been done". That is not the definition you used. And once again, you fail to read the entirety of my reply. "I never said it wasn't a word, it's just not as common as certified." I know it's a word. Commented May 31, 2020 at 2:15
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    And if you look at the website where you got your definition closely, you'll notice that the definition is clearly for certificate. It says it in big bold lettering at the top of the page. Commented May 31, 2020 at 2:17

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