Certification Award Program Ideas and Examples

Samantha Mikos

Paper certificates don’t show recipients how much they truly matter. Instead, they look like all the other certificates a person gets since grade school. It’s time to level up certificate award programs. With custom designs and unique materials, recognition awards can be elevated and help create unforgettable moments for honorees.

At Cristaux, we’ve helped clients revamp their certification programs with exciting and multifunctional designs. With each creation we make, we strive to elevate brands and make lasting impressions on recipients.

Circular Crystal Award With Logo And Black Base With Metal Nameplate

What is a certification award?

A certification award honors someone who completed an educational program, training, or something similar. These people go above and beyond to advance their skills, so they deserve to be recognized. These awards often feature recipient information and company branding. This way, honorees and organizations are showcased.

Learn more about custom awards.

Why give certification awards?

Whether recognizing employees or vendors, certification programs come with many perks. Showing appreciation and celebrating others are gifts that keep giving. There are many benefits to giving certification awards.

  • Strengthen professional relationships
  • Grow brand awareness
  • Inspire others to achieve
  • Encourage individual growth

Discover how to create an employee recognition program.

Lincoln Motors Frame Certificate Team Award

Certification award ideas

Before jumping into the creation process, it’s important to brainstorm and consider different ideas. This first step helps build excitement and open-mindedness for new projects. Consider the following ideas to revamp award designs.

Award plaque

A plaque is a timeless award. It can be easily personalized and elevated. For instance, a yearly certification program can create medals or tokens for plaques. Then, recipients can replace the older medallions with the newest ones, and the standard plaque stays the same. A functional recognition concept like this introduces a fun and interactive element that’ll make any program unique.

Crystal creation

Crystal is a radiant and elegant material, while being quite versatile for award design. It can be cut, etched, colored, and more. Also, it pairs well with other materials like wood and marble. By creating crystal awards for a certification program, you can immediately stand out from common paper certificates.

White And Clear Crystal Award With Blue And Green Details

Branded design

If an award is not branded, then it is a missed opportunity. Incorporating company branded elements is essential to growing brand awareness. Consider engraving a company’s logo or filling in personalization with company colors. To take it one step further, designs can build in company values like integrity and innovation. By showcasing a company’s culture, recipients can clearly understand what an organization appreciates most.


Decoration helps infuse personal details into each recognition piece. For example, fabricators can digitally print the recipient’s name, the organization’s name, and an inspirational quote onto a custom award. Other personalization methods include sand etching, embedment, and more. All in all, personalized awards take on a unique identity and create a special moment for honorees.

QR code

Although the QR code was invented in 1994, this tool is growing more and more popular. QR codes in recognition programs can take award recipients to unique digital destinations. Examples include codes printed on office signage, award packaging, and the awards themselves. After being scanned, the code could take people to an online list of program graduates or the company’s website. The possibilities are endless.

Certification wall plaque metal and acrylic by Cristaux

Certification award examples

One of the best ways to learn is to look to others for inspiration. The following examples show how certification award programs can be elevated with creative designs and excellent quality.


This award plaque created for the Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC) proves the value of custom creations. By using a unique mix of materials and a QR code, we fabricated plaques with purpose. Every business who fulfilled their guidelines received one of these plaques. These creations were proudly displayed and inspired engagement with the GUDC brand.


The Association of Network Marketing Professional (ANMP) worked with us to create crystal awards for the graduates of their educational course. This creation was etched to feature precise and meaningful personalization. Complete with customized gift boxes, these pieces showcased radiance and brilliance.

Crystal Star Statue Blue Silver Paint Black Presentation Box 001

Other examples

Perhaps you want more ideas or have other programs to update. Browse our portfolio and the following examples for more inspiration.

Elevate your program

Creating custom certification awards is a great chance to showcase a brand and upgrade a program. With custom awards, recipients can cherish a lasting impression, and future students can be inspired.

Contact Cristaux to start your award creation process today.