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National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)

This national credential is the centerpiece of a comprehensive system that helps individuals gain the skill businesses need to build tomorrow’s workforce.  It verifies core employability skills that are valuable across all businesses and industries.  The credential offers individuals, employers, and educators a standardized approach to recognizing the universal value of these skills to job success.

Workers require strong, transferable skills in today’s rapidly changing, technology-based economy.  Workers who can’t demonstrate those skills create a significant drag on productivity, revenue, and competitiveness in businesses across the nation.  To meet these challenges:

  • Employers need reliable methods of identifying and measuring essential skills to hire qualified people and equip employees for the future
  • Job Seekers need a credential that provides a clear picture of their career readiness skills
  • Educators and trainers need clearly defined specifications for the skills employers require

Three Essential Skills

The NCRC requires qualifying scores on three WorkKeys assessments that provide a measure of “real world” workplace abilities.  ACT has studied thousands of jobs and determined that these WorkKeys skills are universally essential to workplace success:

  • Reading for Information – Necessary to read and use written text, including memos, letters, directions, and signs, in order to do a job
  • Applied Mathematics – Necessary to apply mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques in work settings
  • Locating Information – Necessary to locate, summarize, and use workplace information, including charts, forms, diagrams, maps, and gauges

Three Certificate Levels

The NCRC and credentialing programs that adopt its framework recognize individual skills at three levels and award a different certificate for each of them:

  • Gold certificates are awarded to people who score level 5 or above on the three NCRC assessments. People who hold Gold certificates possess foundational skill levels needed for 90 percent of the occupations analyzed by ACT.
  • Silver is achieved by scoring a level 4 or above on the three assessments. Individuals at this level qualify for 65 percent of the occupations analyzed by ACT.
  • Bronze certificates are awarded to individuals who achieve scores of 3 or above.  ACT research positions this level as the threshold of workplace competence. People who receive Bronze certificates are qualified for 35 percent of the jobs studied by ACT.

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