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Career Readiness Certificates Help Businesses Identify Job Seekers With the Right Skills

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) is an evidence-based credential that measures essential workplace skills and serves as a reliable predictor of workplace success. The program is endorsed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a statewide workforce credential.

For businesses struggling to find qualified talent, engaging with job seekers who have attained a CRC can provide an understanding of a candidate’s skill level and competency. To date, more than 450 Virginia business have registered as CRC supportive employers and nearly 20,000 Virginia job seekers have obtained a certificate.

What is a career readiness certificate?

Career readiness certificates give employers assurance that candidates have the skills needed to do the job. Using standardized quantitative measures, job seekers are able to document their workplace skills in applied mathematics, workplace documents and graphic literacy. 

Job seekers taking the assessment can qualify for one of three certificate levels — bronze, silver and gold — each of which signify the level at which they are able to show proficiency in the skills needed to succeed in most workplaces. 

Through an assessment of more than 19,000 job analysis studies, ACT has determined that a silver CRC signifies that a recipient possess skills that support success for 67 percent of jobs. For example, a silver CRC holder is able to calculate averages, identify trends in graphics and has the ability to choose what to do when changing conditions call for different actions. 

Training programs are also available to help job seekers to improve skills, allowing them to attain a higher credential level. 

In Virginia, CRC testing is completed at Virginia’s Community Colleges and Virginia’s Workforce Centers. At Goodwill, we’ve been partnering with Peninsula Career Works in Hampton Roads to administer tests for credentialing program candidates. In early 2019 we will begin our own CRC testing for participants in our Transition to Independence and Employment (TIE) program.

“Stackable, portable credentials such as the CRC help job seekers stand out from the pack and provide employers with a good level of certainty of candidates’ skills,” said Shawn Smith, director of workforce development for Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia.

Career readiness certificates can help businesses improve their hiring process

Many organizations are ready to hire qualified workers but do not have the time or expertise to identify individuals with the skills necessary to succeed on the job. Recruiting, hiring and training new employees can be a costly expense, especially if turnover within your organization is high. 

According to an Association of Talent Development report, organizations spend on average $1,273 per employee on training. Evaluating candidates with CRCs can give hiring managers and business owners the ability to identify job seekers who are prepared to do the job, reducing turnover and making training more efficient.

Businesses interested in hiring candidates that have attained CRCs can register as a supportive employer, giving them access to the list of CRC examinees in their region.