A certificate is a document serving as proof or as written testimony of qualifications or truth of something. It may function as a type of recognition such as an award certificate. A certificate may also be a reward in itself—such as a gift certificate.

Gift certificate

How to Use Certificates

Certificates can recognize an individual's achievement in a particular skill or field of study.

Certificate example

Certificates are often part of awards programs used by management teams or human resources as an effective way to further the personal and professional development of their organizations. Although inexpensive to create, they can prove to be a powerful tool not only in recognizing employee efforts but in motivating and inspiring others.

Decorated certificate

Best Practices When Creating a Certificate

  • Determine the type of certificate. What level or type of achievement is being honored?
  • Select the appropriate template. Look for a template that accurately reflects the importance and nature of a certificate. Is it meant to be a fun, team building certificate or a serious item with some gravitas? For example, an award certificate that is issued on a monthly basis may not hold as much value as an award presented on an annual basis. Your choice in template and design may help reflect this as well.
  • Brand the certificate. The use of the corporate colors and company logo add to the certificate's presentation quality.
  • Enter the appropriate information. Customizing the certificate to reflect the unique qualities of the recipient makes the award more meaningful to the individual receiving the certificate.
  • Include the proper authorities. Although an employee may have little or no interaction with the senior or executive management team, receiving a certificate signed by such individuals can prove to be valuable. The acknowledgement of their achievement alone can be reward enough for the award recipient.