Accreditation vs Qualification

What is the difference between a qualification and accreditation?

Accreditation is a status given by one entity to the product or service of another. It usually permits the other to use the branding of the one on their product, service or CV. There are many accredited courses and the value of the accreditation varies greatly. Accreditation is not overseen by any independent third party or government department. It’s value is largely subjective.

Qualifications are developed and issued by Awarding Organisations and, in the UK, these are listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which is the national framework of UK qualifications. The awarding organisations are in themselves regulated and overseen by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation often know as ‘Ofqual’ or colloquially as ‘the watchdog’.


Ofqual is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England

"Super chuffed to receive my CPA certificate – I am now a certified PUWER Assessor! Thanks Warren Spiers, Mike Armstrong and Steve Crangle for your excellent training!"

Should I choose an Accredited Course or a Qualification?

The assumption of Professional status and competence requires a combination of things including:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills/Experience
  • Attitude and behaviours

Accreditation is normally used to convey a perception of quality/reliability and therefore trust in the subject, be it a product, service or person. However professional status and competence for a person is better demonstrated via a qualification due to the independence and quasi-governmental oversight of Ofqual.

CPA – The UK’s first Ofqual-approved PUWER Qualification

Want to become a PUWER assessor and receive the official seal of approval by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)? Here, at Spiers Engineering Safety, we are proud to offer the first Ofqual approved CPA (Certified PUWER Assessor) course in the UK.

Our Level 3 – Certified PUWER Assessor CPA™ Qualification in PUWER Inspection ensures that you have sufficient and reliable knowledge of the industry best practices for PUWER inspections, both in theory and in practice. This professional, 3-day qualification course will use law, designated standards and modern tools and formats combined with years of experience to raise your competence for actually doing PUWER inspections.

We use the latest tools to support your learning including RiskMach – a powerful, compliance software, to complete the entire PUWER assessment. Attending the course qualifies you for 3 months free use of RiskMach which can be used to facilitate a streamlined risk management process and offer a standard format for communicating risks and actions between all users for PUWER inspections and more. We encourage you to practice doing inspections in your workplace to support your learning and invite us to review your progress and support your professional development.

Qualified Professionals Providing a Service

With this UK CPA qualification training under your belt, you can act as a qualified responsible person for doing PUWER inspections for clients across all industries. Whilst it is not a legal requirement that a competent person have a qualification in PUWER inspection it is can only add to the confidence in your own abilities and how to establish your competence is likely to be questioned by your employer or your client during basic due diligence checks.

View our Certified PUWER Assessor Training Course