Certification vs. Certificates


The primary purpose of any professional certification program is to provide an independent assessment of the knowledge, skills and/or competencies required for competent performance of a professional role. This assessment is typically accomplished by the successful completion of an examination.1

The Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) is a professional certification. 

When your goal is to get your resume to the top of a recruiter’s pile, having the RAC is your advantage in getting recognized for an advanced job in regulatory. The RAC stands out from continuing education, like certificate programs, because it indicates mastery and competency.


A certificate training program’s primary purpose is to provide education and training so that participants can attain defined learning objectives in a particular area of regulatory affairs. Although assessment is a part of a certificate training program, the assessment is conducted to evaluate the attainment of the learning objectives. 

RAPS Online University Certificate Programs

Offered as sector-specific individual certificates or a comprehensive dual certificate, the RAPS Online University certificates give you the knowledge and expertise you need to advance your career in just 6-12 months combined with the self-paced flexibility of e-learning. Unlike the Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC), an exam in which one demonstrates their regulatory skill, there are no eligibility requirements or application deadlines for the RAPS Online University certificate programs. 


The dual certificate offers you a way to explore different career path options available to a regulatory affairs professional, and provides you with comprehensive foundational knowledge across sectors.


Please note, RAPS certificate programs do not confer RAC status; the only way to gain RAC status is to take and pass one of the RAC exams.

1 Defining Features of Quality Certification and Assessment-Based Certificate Programs. (2010) The Institute for Credentialing Excellence.