The vast majority of chess titles today are fundamentally competitive. To be a "master" of any kind according to bodies like FIDE is defined in terms of being able to beat others rather than mastering a specified body of chess knowledge, theory, or skills. In educational theory, such chess titles are norm-based rather than criterion-based.
A recent question establishes that there are criterion-based curricula that an aspiring chess player may self-study, but it appears that none of them lead to any sort of recognized title, certification, degree, or other formal designation.
Are there criterion-based titles or other designations in the world of chess? For example, is there a "GED" type qualification that doesn't represent any particular competitive rating but represents basic competency in all of the basic techniques of chess? Are there specialty skill certifications, e.g. for openings or skewers, that are obtained by passing skills tests rather than by obtaining a specified tournament rating?
I'm mentally comparing this somewhat to martial arts, which typically award color belts based on passing tests (criterion-based) but also have a separate system of trophies and titles that can be earned by winning tournaments (norm-based).
Other common educational terms strongly associated with criterion testing are mastery learning, learning standards, competency-based education, and outcome-based education.
As to the "why", these sorts of titles could appeal to people who see chess as more of a form of mental exercise for themselves than an opportunity to pwn noobs.