The Difference between a License vs a Certification

The Difference between a License vs a Certification

We touched on the alphabet soup that is the recovery world a few posts back, but wait there’s more. Do you know the difference between a license and a certification?

A license is mandated by whichever state(s) the healthcare provider practices. This means there are minimum requirements they must meet to legally call themselves a physical therapist, massage therapist, and so on. For example, a PT in the state of Florida must complete 24 continuing education credits every two years to keep their license or a Chiropractic Assistant must have a supervising Chiropractor registered with their license to work. If a regular person calls themselves a PT, chiropractor, etc without having a license; they can be reported to the state and face disciplinary action.

A certification is mandated by whoever created the certification. Certifications may have educational requirements, but they are not bound by any laws or rules. For example, a physical therapist can specialize in Orthopedics by documenting their work hours and passing a test from ABPTS. Once they pass, they can add “OCS” to the end of their name. Another example, an athletic trainer can take a RockTape class on KT tape or flossing to earn a “Functional Movement Technique” (FMT) certification.

Extra letters at the end of someone’s name, or extra titles in anyone’s instagram bio should never earn instant clout. Stay diligent, google a few things, and learn about who you are getting information from. Is this movement therapist even a medical professional? Did this physical therapist just take a bunch of random courses to get extra letters?

Let's Heal (Not Hurt) the Process.

Let's Heal (Not Hurt) the Process.

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