As I've noted previously, the two concepts are distinctly different...and mutually exclusive.
Clearly, there is absolutely nothing wrong if someone wants to “achieve” something as a result of their experiences in ham radio. But, as I've also said a taxpayer supported, federally administered LICENSING system that grants access to our amateur radio frequencies is not the way to do it. Moreover, what the FCC has been doing all these years by forcing “achievement” down EVERYONE’S throat with their stupid “Incentive Licencing” nonsense has since become systemically discriminatory under current US law, and is therefore quite illegal.
Indeed, the ARRL and other similar organizations have a boatload of awards one can strive for and “achieve” for those persons who need some external incentive to do so. Likewise, numerous “achievement” awards are also available for those who want yet another piece of paper to hang on their shack walls to show others how great they are. But those so-called “incentives” have absolutely no place in a licensing system.
As I've repeatedly noted, an FCC license that grants access to operation in our Service is NOT a “diploma”. And the federal government has absolutely NO business continually peddling it as such, particularly in this supposedly “enlightened” age of equal access for all.
Rather, our licenses should be thought of as nothing more than a “permission slip”…a “license to learn” if you will…that simply shows that the holder has proven to the appropriate government agency that they have demonstrated the necessary set of knowledges and skills that will keep themselves and others safe without also causing harmful interference to other hams or other services with the (added) privileges granted. Period.
The bottom line here is that if people want (or need) yet another piece of paper to show they have “achieved” some level of technical or other knowledge in our Service, that can (and should) be a pursuit that is undertaken OUTSIDE of the licensing system and NOT as an integral part of it.
Or, to put it another way, if such persons continually need that kind of "ego stroking" to make themselves feel that they are somehow better than everyone else in our Service, that's certainly their business.
However, I highly resent having to PAY for their ego stroking with my tax dollars!