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Licensure and Certification

Several key challenges affect the ability of countries to regulate the education of their health professionals, especially in those with limited resource. In the context of health care, regulators are charged with ensuring that the public has access to competent health care providers. The regulation of health professions education must therefore ensure that physicians, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and other allied health providers  receive a quality education, are certified or licensed upon entry to professional practice and maintain competency throughout their active clinical careers.

Certification and licensure play a key role in supporting country efforts to implement regulatory solutions based on emerging, international, evidence-based guidance. Certification is the process for officially documenting that a student can competently provide a service(s). It is bestowed by an authorized organization (e.g., Ministry of Education or Health), educational institution (e.g., medical or nursing school) or agency. Licensure is the issuance of formal permit to practice in a given jurisdiction.