It is possible to obtain certifications from free online courses, though the type of certification and courses available vary between institutions. Each institution operates its own procedure for issuing certification, with some charging fees for receiving physical copies of the actual certification.
Many major and local universities offer free online classes that may also include certification courses. Schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer free online courses that correspond to the classes it offers for enrolled students along with special courses designed exclusively for its free online education program. For these types of online classes, students need to check the course descriptions to see if the class features specific training for a certification exam and tools to schedule to take it, or if completion of the class includes the certification. Some courses may change over time, meaning that the certification status for a class is subject to change.
It is also possible to obtain certification through online learning companies, such as Alison, which provides free courses to students who register on the company's site, Alison.com. As of 2015, every course includes the ability to print out a free learner record, which provides official proof of completion. The company also sells physical certificates to students, depending on the needs of the course. OpenCulture.com also regularly publishes a list of online courses that feature varying types of certification, some of which come from third party governing boards.