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What's The Difference Between Certification and Accreditation?

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

I get asked quite often about the difference between getting certified and becoming accredited. It can also be a bit confusing trying to understand the difference between the NALA Educator’s Comprehension Course (Step One of NALA School for Lash Trainers) and The NALA Seal of Accreditation. I hope this blog will clear things up a little. It may also just raise more questions, which is totally fine! Simply ask your questions in the comments below and I will be happy to answer them! The information varies slightly for artists and educators so I categorized my explanations accordingly.


What is a certificate?

A certificate (provided to you by your educator) is evidence that you completed your training. Certification courses aren't typically governed by the federal, state or provincial school boards and they aren't usually valid for educational credits or student loans, although some regions do recognize lash extension training as formal education, it is not typical in most of the world. A certificate is not equivalent to a diploma or degree but it is an official document attesting to your achievement.

Earning a lash certification is the important first step to becoming a lash artist. Your training course will prepare you with the required information and instruction to perform lash extension treatments. It is never recommended to begin your lash career without the proper guidance of an experienced industry expert. Your certificate is very important, however, not all certificates are created equal. It is important to do your homework before selecting a school.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a different process and an accolade of it’s own! It provides you with an independent, third-party assessment of your best practices. Accreditation is validation that you are doing everything to a high standard. The NALA Accredited Member has proven her ability to safely and accurately apply eyelash extensions and has successfully passed a written exam about health, hygiene and safe practices. Once a lash artist is approved as an accredited member she is listed on the NALA Global Directory and promoted as an "Accredited Lash Artist" where the public can find her and become a client.

Essentially, your certificate is evidence that you WERE TAUGHT what to do, Accreditation is evidence that you’re DOING IT to the highest standards.


What is an Educator’s Certificate?

The certificate earned from The NALA Educator’s Comprehension Course (Step One of NALA School for Lash Trainers) is evidence that you took the educator's course. It’s proof that you have learned what you need to do to be an effective educator, how to write a quality manual, as well as what vital elements you need to teach your students and more. The class is a comprehensive course outlining everything you need to know to develop your own training program and successfully launch your lash academy.

What is The NALA Seal of Accreditation?

The NALA Seal of Accreditation (Steps Two and Three of NALA School for Lash Trainers) is evidence that your training academy offers your students all of the necessary information and has the content needed to ensure they are successful. This is the industry’s highest level of achievement for a lash training course. It is not easily earned. It cannot simply be purchased by paying a fee. In order to earn the NALA Seal of Accreditation, your training academy will endure a thorough investigation. The majority of applicants do not pass their first attempt but they are guided through the necessary changes to help bring their courses up to standard so they can pass. Our goal is to help all courses achieve accreditation status.

Once the academy is accredited by the association it is listed on the NALA Global Directory and promoted as an "Accredited Lash Academy" where the public can find them and enrol.

In closing, to over-simplify, certification means you learned something and accreditation means you're doing it to the highest standards with professionalism.

NALA Accredited Members and NALA Accredited Training Courses are listed on the NALA Global Directory once we are able to confidently vouch for their professionalism, integrity and business ethics.


Levi Shephard

NALA President

Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace formal business advice, financial advice, government regulations, or any other form of legal advice.


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