I heard several conference speakers indicate that certificate programs are a good option for organizations to implement when the target market is too small to support a full-scale certification program, or when the organization doesn't have the resources to develop certification. I respectfully and emphatically disagree!
These are both inappropriate reasons for an organization to develop a certificate program. A certificate program is not a back-up option for certification. The decision as to which credentialing program to develop should be based upon what the program is intended to accomplish, not the size of the market or resources of the organization. The appropriate reason to develop a certificate program is that your target audience has a knowledge or skill gap that can be addressed through an outcomes-based training program. Certification programs do not address knowledge or skill gaps; on the contrary, they recognize those who demonstrate they already have the knowledge and skills within the scope of certification.