Here are some terms for clarification. Please note that there is a difference between professional certification and licensure. One is voluntary and non-governmental (professional certification) and one is mandatory and governmental (licensure).
‘Professional Certification: A voluntary process by which a non-governmental entity grants recognition to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications or criteria specified by that entity. There are 3 key elements to this definition: 1) Certification is voluntary. Individuals are not required by law to be certified in order to engage in a particular occupation or profession. 2) Certification programs are sponsored by a variety of non-governmental entities, such as for-profit corporations, professional and trade associations [the PMA in this case] and philanthropic organizations. They are not a form of government regulation. 3) Individuals receive certification only after the certifier has confirmed that they meet the standards set by the certification program. This means that the certification process must include some means of evaluating candidates for certification. Individuals cannot simply fill out a form, pay a fee, and become certified.’
‘Licensure: The mandatory process by which a governmental agency grants time-limited permission to an individual to engage in a given occupation after verifying that he/she has met predetermined and standardized criteria, and offers title protection for those who meet the criteria.’
The umbrella term that includes the concepts of accreditation, licensure, registration, and professional certification. Credentialing can establish criteria for fairness, quality, competence,and/or safety for professional services provided by authorized individuals, for products, or for educational endeavors.’
These definitions come from NOCA's Basic Guide to Credentialing Terminology, 2006. (NOCA, the National Organization for Competency Assurance, has changed its name to ICA, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence).
This is good for us all to understand. I hope it's food for thought and discussion.