Rank certification in the Taekwondo, and all other martial arts, is a mess and has been for decades. There is no national or international organization for Taekwondo that is universally recognized by other Taekwondo organization, any other martial arts organization, or by any legal entity. Although the AAU comes close since it accepts ranks from all organizations and only requires that they all complete according to AAU rules. Since the WTF won the battle for control of Olympic Taekwondo, they are the international sanctioning body for Olympic competition. If you want to compete in one of their competitions or in the Olympics, you must be a member of their organization. Otherwise, it does not matter who certifies you, or that you are even certified by an organization.
In the Navy, when you achieve the rank of chief petty officer, to be accepted by other chief petty officers, you must endure a chief’s initiation that is conducted by your command’s Chief’s Mess (local chief’s organization). There is no legal requirement to complete the initiation, but within in the chief’s community, there is an unwritten understanding that you are not a “real” chief until you have completed an initiation. You will find it difficult to deal with other chiefs if they know you have not been initiated.
Initiations are conducted locally by your current command. Each command conducts the initiation as it see fit; some are relative simple and easy to complete while some are elaborate and difficult to complete. In the past, some initiations were extremely difficult and sometimes dangerous. Nowadays, there are official rules for conducting an initiation for safety and preservation of dignity, but there are still no requirements as to what each prospective chief must endure during the initiation. Therefore, each initiation is different. However, if you have a document from a Chief’s Mess that indicates you have completed an initiation; it will be accepted by any Chief’s Mess in the Navy. Rank testing and certification is similar to the way chief’s initiations are administered. Since there are no laws governing the process, ANY person may teach an established martial art or one the person “foundered,” conduct a rank examinations, and issue rank certifications. These certifications may hold great value to the students receiving them, since they know what they had to do to earn the certifications, they hold great respect for the person who issued the certifications, and the certifications are accepted and respected by all their peers. However, unlike the certification of completion of a chief’s initiation, these rank certification may not be accepted or honored by any other instructors or organizations since each instructor or organization has its own criteria for rank advancement.