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Do certificates from online courses have any value?

Online courses and varieties of distance learning have become increasingly popular in the current climate, with many rightly turning to these as a way to upskill and continue their professional development.

There is, however, a common misconception around the value of this type of learning. University and college-based courses have dominated over previous decades, meaning that online certificates can often be dismissed as not offering a similar level of value to career progression.

The key to success is choosing the right course, and we’re here to help. So in this post, we debunk the myths and give you some top tips on how to pick the online certificate CPD course that is best suited to advancing your career prospects.

  • Ensure the course is officially certified

    The first and most crucial aspect to look out for when selecting an online course is whether it’s officially CPD certified.

    Certificates from officially verified CPD courses are more credible to both employers and businesses as the learning value has been scrutinised to ensure both integrity and quality. While many sites offer online certificates, it’s the ones with reputable CPD accreditation that are likely to command the most attention and respect.

    Every single course on the CPD site is fully certified, so you can feel assured that any certificate you earn will offer the appropriate level of value, both in the short and long term.

  • Do your research on the course provider

    A variety of different organisations offer courses. But making sure to do your research on the course provider will ensure that they’re reputable, enhancing the credibility of your subsequent learning.

    For example, many universities and now offer online modules that are either integrated into their existing courses or are separate, online-only versions. Having a certificate that is both CPD accredited and provided by a recognised learning provider is a big win for professional development.

    All of our online courses and materials are provided by a combination of industry experts and accredited CPD providers from a wide variety of sectors.

  • Don’t let price be your only factor

    It can be tempting to be solely price led in your approach to online learning. While that should remain a factor, we would always advise you to be cautious.

    Low cost or even “free” courses undeniably lower the barriers to entry, but the quality of learning may not be suitable. These programmes may not have been CPD accredited, meaning course content won’t have been evaluated for quality and relevance.

    Remember: a certificate is only worthwhile to your career prospects if it’s of appropriate quality. Which leads us nicely on to…

  • Don’t just focus on the certificate itself

    Undertaking an online course is fundamentally about gaining knowledge and sharpening your skills. While the “physical” certificate is there to prove your completion of the course, the knowledge you gain during the process is undeniably your biggest asset.

    These new and improved skills will have a positive impact on your day-to-day job, making you better equipped to perform your role. If you perform better in your position, then professional development opportunities are more likely to come your way, regardless of whether you have a course certificate to point to!

    If the course is CPD accredited, reputable and relevant to your industry, then the learning opportunity shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Enhance your professional credibility

    Naturally, an increased commitment to learning should have a direct impact on career progression. Ensuring that you have taken the above steps and gaining a relevant, high-quality online qualification will help your CV stand out in any recruitment process.

    Not only does it provide a real proof point for your skills and knowledge, but it also showcases your commitment to professional development in and outside of the workplace.

    We’ve run through this in detail here.

    You can take a look through all the CPD courses currently available on our website here, or for further information. If you are looking to become a CPD provider please contact our team who’ll be more than happy to discuss your requirements further.

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The CPD Certification Service
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