What Is a Certificate of Completion?

A certificate of completion is a document awarded to a recipient in recognition of an accomplishment. It mostly applies to participants who have completed a course or have reached the culmination of an event, training, or seminar. 

According to an online Glassdoor article, it’s possible that professional certifications can influence an employer’s decision to hire a candidate. Although, this is highly dependent on the type of certification. Recruiters admit that role-specific and software certifications are factors that can help boost a candidate’s chance of getting hired.    

Scenarios Where Certificates of Completion Are Awarded  

Course Completion: Whether it is an educational, professional, or personal course, completing a set of requirements and devoting time and energy to accomplishing a goal is an achievement in itself. One common example is on-the-job training. A company or organization will normally award a trainee who has fulfilled his or her required number of hours and obligations at an internship. The printed document can then be used as proof or a supporting document used for the intern’s academic requirements. Graduation or Moving Up Ceremony: Not all levels necessitate a formal diploma or an extravagant graduation ceremony. These usually only apply at the end of major educational levels such as completing elementary school, high school, and university. But if you’ve completed another academic year and are eligible for the next term, some institutions award students with a simple certificate of completion. For instance, a middle schooler who has completed the 4th grade may not necessarily receive a diploma yet, but a certificate of completion for finishing the school year strong could be given instead. Training and Professional Certifications: In the professional world, having an additional certification or vocational course under your belt is seen as a plus for many. On top of a regular college diploma or master’s degree, these extra certifications are more industry-specific and can help impress prospective employers. They normally pertain to a specific skill set. If the person has completed the skills training, they can earn their certificate of completion. For example, in real estate, being an accredited broker or realtor with the right certificates to show, can boost your credibility and add to your expertise and experience. Another example would be first aid experience. Anyone can get first aid training. After several sessions and lectures, you can obtain a first aid certificate of completion. Authentication of Works: In the construction industry, contract completion certificates are common. It signifies that a project is completed or a contractor has delivered on an agreement. Any civil works or repairs need to be officially certified by the proper authorities, especially when it comes to infrastructure and buildings. These are done mostly because projects are required to meet safety standards and promote transparency in contractor-client negotiations.

Tips for Creating a Certificate of Completion 

A certificate of completion can either be simple or complex, depending on the requirements. If the need is for a simple week-long planning seminar, a simple yet elegant certificate will do. But if the certificate is intended for project completion in construction, then it should obviously contain more details. The following tips below can guide you in making the right certificate that suits your academic or business needs:   

1Place a company logo and signature: It is essential that every certificate of completion contains an official logo or complies with company branding. Regardless if you are a preschool teacher, HR manager, or a government agency, it’s important to always emphasize your organization. It’s not only for branding, but for validation purposes in the future. Even if you are using a template, make sure a logo and the appropriate signatures are always present. 2Make fonts readable: Don’t make your text too small that it makes it difficult to read. On the other hand, you don’t want your fonts to be too big either. Use a standard size font for your certificate, that is universally acceptable. Overly playful or theatrical fonts should be saved for personal documents and not for professional use. 3Keep it classy and elegant: Keep your audience in mind when designing your certificate of completion. You are allowed to use bold and colorful features, but strive to keep it professional. If your recipients are preschoolers and young children, there is more room for creativity and playfulness. And when in doubt, just remember you can’t go wrong with simplicity. 4Don’t neglect basic language rules: Always check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation marks. No matter how simple the certificate, the content will not only speak of your own ability, but it reflects the organization as a whole too. The recipients or awardees expect a credible and respectable certificate; so it’s always best to avoid language errors. 5Use a standard size document: Most certificates come in letter size or A4. If you are handing out certificates to multiple recipients, make sure they are all uniformed. Your document’s orientation can either be landscape or portrait. You want to avoid anything that’s too big in size and inconvenient to carry around. A certificate of completion more or less serves the same purpose as a plaque or letter of appreciation; and they all normally come in regular size. 6Be mindful of the layout: Ensure your spacing and margins are precise. All media and text should be aligned, centered, and symmetrical. It makes it easier on the eyes and speaks of your professionalism and attention to detail.

Elements of a Certificate of Completion

All certificates of completion essentially contain the same basic information for courses and certain achievements. However, for more technical certificates such as the ones used in construction, there may be additional details that need to be specified in the certificate. Some of the common elements in a certificate of completion are enumerated below. 

Company or School Logo: Academic institutions, regardless of level, can award certificates to students, faculty and staff. Including a school logo is a basic first step in creating a certificate. Employees who participate in company-sponsored trainings or seminars can also receive a certificate after wrapping up an activity. The official company logo and brand should always be clearly indicated in the certificate. Title: The phrase ‘Certificate of Completion’ is a no-brainer. Make sure the font and colors stand out and are big enough, compared to the other text in the certificate. After all, it is still an official and formal document that can be placed under a student or employee’s personal records. Name of Recipient: Include the complete name of the participant or graduate. This part can either be printed or hand written. It’s preferable to include the actual name as opposed to a generic participant only certificate. This retains a sense of individualism of an otherwise ordinary, common, or identical certificate. Completion Declaration: Most statements are brief and straightforward. These should affirm that the recipient has successfully completed a course or event. The tone of your statement can even suggest a congratulatory message. Name of Activity or Event: Describe the course in brief detail or state the official title of the event or seminar. These can be printed in bold letters. Include the date and location of where the workshop or activity took place. Examples of workshop titles would be “Sales and Marketing Strategies for the 21st Century”, or “Bartending and Customer Service 101”. Signatories: A certificate of completion is incomplete without the appropriate signature. This validates the certificate that it was supported by whatever reputable authority. An official signature gives the impression of a more formal certificate. Don’t forget to indicate the person’s designation underneath the name and signature. Official Seal: This part is optional; but some technical agencies or government institutions mark the certificates with an official company seal. This further certifies its validity and reputability. Design: Perhaps one of the most important elements of a certificate of completion is the overall design. Your design should reflect your company or organization and convey professionalism. It is best to keep your designs classic, simple, and tasteful. There are no set rules but the design should speak of the company’s brand. QR Code: Nowadays, some certificates of completion come with QR codes. Especially if the certificate is needed to fulfill certain work or school requirements, some companies find it important to validate the authenticity of the training. You can generate a QR code for anyone to scan, and they immediately will be linked to an official website or related page.

How to Make a Certificate of Completion

If you keep in mind the tips and tricks above, you’ll be able to create a certificate of completion in no time at all. Follow the step-by-step guide below.  

Step 1: Decide on a Design

You can either create your own design using a variety of applications, or make use of a number of existing templates available online. Fortunately, people nowadays don’t need to be experienced designers or artists to come up with a decent design. There are multiple resources that you can take advantage of. All you need to do is find the right one for you.  

Step 2: Input the Details 

Once you’ve decided on a design, key in all the details in your certificate. Include the complete names of the recipients, a brief description of the activity, complete date, location, and an official logo or header. Insert a QR code and/or an official seal, if applicable.    

Step 3: Have the Certificate Signed

To ensure the certificate is reputable or credible, have the right authorities affix their signatures at the bottom. If a certificate were to be viewed as a formal letter, there is always a clear recipient and a clear signatory that’s indicated. Usually, the founder, principal, CEO, or any high-ranking official signs these certificates. In many cases, there can be more than one signatory. Be sure to note the person’s title and designation below their name. 

Step 4: Review and Print

It is good practice to always review and go over one’s work. The quality of your output depends on it. Before final printing, make sure that all spelling, alignment, and the complete details are in place. Consider high quality resolution when printing. They may cost a little more but you’ll get better results. Some companies place the certificates in jackets or folders for added class and protection.  

FAQs

What does a certificate of completion mean?

Obtaining a certificate of completion means that you have completed a course or requirement and can proceed to the next stage or higher level. It is common in school settings and work environments. These certifications are an indicator that you have completed the necessary work and acquired the necessary knowledge and training.

How do I get a completion certificate?

If you want to get a completion certificate, you first need to understand the requirements. Whatever field or area, there are standard obligations and duties that you have to accomplish first. It can either be a quick session or a lengthy process, depending on the nature of the task or course. For technical and construction certificates, you often need to undergo rigorous inspection and go through several steps before obtaining certification.

Is a certificate of completion valuable?

A certificate of completion can be valuable, especially if it pertains to a specific trade or skill. Some companies require certifications for specialized areas of work. These certifications can boost your chances of getting hired because it gives employers the impression that you’ve acquired the necessary training and skills for the job. In the case of interns, a certificate of completion from the company can authenticate their training experience and is often needed as part of their academic requirements.

As the cliché goes, growing up is mandatory, but growth is optional. Certificates of completion are only documents that reinforce our natural capacity and need for learning and growth. Although, it’s true some may just be motivated to collect certificates for the purpose of building a better resume. But regardless of your motivation, self-improvement should not end with a high school or college degree. Browse the dozens of templates above and start customizing your own certificate today!