In the ever-evolving world of haircoloring, staying ahead of the curve is paramount. As the Board of Certified Haircolorists (BCH), we understand the significance of education and its role in shaping skilled professionals. In this article, we aim to shed light on the distinctions between assessment-based certificate programs, assessment-based professional certification programs, and certificates of attendance, drawing insights from the valuable perspectives shared in the "Features Document" by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

Certificates of Attendance:

Certificates of attendance are typically awarded for participation in workshops, seminars, or conferences. These certificates acknowledge an individual's presence but do not necessarily assess or validate the acquired knowledge and skills.


1. Exposure and Networking: Certificates of attendance provide opportunities for networking and exposure to new trends and techniques in the industry.

2. Continuing Education: Ideal for professionals seeking to stay updated on industry trends without committing to a full certification program.


1. Limited Validation: While certificates of attendance offer exposure and knowledge, they may lack the rigorous assessment necessary to validate an individual's proficiency.

2. Not a Measure of Competency: Attendance certificates are more about participation than competency, making them less suitable for those seeking a comprehensive evaluation of their skills.

Assessment Based Certificate Programs:

Assessment-based certificate programs play a crucial role in providing foundational knowledge and skills. These programs are designed to impart specific expertise in a particular area of haircoloring, ensuring that individuals acquire a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. Typically, these programs involve assessments to gauge the participants' grasp of the content covered.


1. Focused Expertise: Certificate programs are tailored to address specific aspects of haircoloring or a manufacturers hair color brand, allowing participants to deepen their knowledge in specialized areas.

2. Entry-Level Access: Ideal for beginners or those looking to specialize in a particular technique, assessment-based certificate programs provide an entry point into the field.


1. Limited Scope: While beneficial for focused learning, certificate programs may lack the breadth and depth required for a holistic understanding of the field.

2. Varied Quality: The quality of certificate programs can vary, making it essential for participants to carefully choose programs with accreditation and industry recognition.

 Assessment Based Professional Certification Programs:

Professional certification programs go beyond basic education, offering a comprehensive assessment of an individual's proficiency in a broader scope of haircoloring. These programs often include both theoretical knowledge, case study evaluation and practical skills evaluations, ensuring a well-rounded understanding of the profession.


1. Comprehensive Evaluation: Certification programs assess not only theoretical knowledge but also practical application, providing a more holistic evaluation of a candidate's capabilities.

2. Industry Recognition: Achieving professional certification signifies a higher level of expertise and is often recognized and respected within the industry.


1. Time and Commitment: Professional certification programs typically require a significant time commitment, making them more suitable for individuals committed to advancing their careers rather than entry-level professionals.

2. Cost: While the investment in a certification program can pay off in career advancement, the associated costs may be a barrier for some individuals.


In conclusion, the Board of Certified Haircolorists acknowledges the diverse educational pathways available for professionals in the field. Choosing between assessment-based certificate programs, assessment-based professional certification programs, and certificates of attendance ultimately depends on individual career goals and levels of commitment. As the industry continues to evolve, staying informed about the various educational opportunities will empower haircolorists to make informed decisions that align with their aspirations for excellence.

Jessee Skittrall is no stranger to the hairdressing industry! He comes from six generations of hairdressers

Jessee Skittrall Executive Director @ Board of Certified Hair Colorists