What Is a Certificate of Merit?

certificate-merit Mike Goren/CC-BY 2.0

A certificate of merit is a document that recognizes the achievements of an individual or a group. The certificate is one of respect and gratitude, but mostly honor. The certificate is not bestowed upon individuals unless the recognition has been earned.

In schools, teachers award deserving students for their outstanding performance and academic achievements in one or more subject areas. Schools also give out certificates of merit to students who display good behavior or those who have demonstrated remarkable success. Companies give certificates of merit to staff members in recognition of great accomplishments and contributions, in addition to obtaining status as an outstanding employee. The certificate of merit acknowledges the quality of service and dedication that people have shown while performing their work.

The word "merit" is described in three distinct terms in reference to individuals: a person having an admirable quality, someone who does good deeds for others and one who exhibits good behavior. These terms are used in educational settings, businesses and organizations to consider issuing certificates of merit to well-deserving individuals. Individuals must have made a recognizable contribution or have made a noticeable difference within the school, company, organization or community to receive a certificate of merit.