Launching National Credentials Dialogue

by Rachel Zinn
June 15, 2015

WDQC and more than 40 other organizations, including many of our partners, are co-sponsoring an effort to reform the nation's postsecondary credentialing system.

Lumina Foundation is spearheading this work to address growing confusion by students and employers about what credentials mean, how they are connected, and which have value.

"Students of all ages and backgrounds need a system of credentials that validates a variety of experience, education, and training so they can compete for 21st century jobs," notes a Lumina issue brief. "Current credentials serve as the currency denoting that candidates for jobs have the skills employers are seeking, but they fail in this task on many levels."

Co-sponsoring organizations will contribute to a national dialogue on credentials focused both on understanding current challenges and developing solutions to create a more connected, transparent system.

We encourage you to visit connectingcredentials.org to answer questions about credentialing challenges and provide feedback on “Connecting Credentials: A Beta Credentials Framework,” a paper designed to frame the meaning of various credentials in terms of the knowledge and skills that their recipients should possess.

Another way to participate in the national dialogue is to sign up for online conversations on specific topics, such as credential portability and assuring the labor market value of credentials.

For more information on credentials, the new website offers links to dozens of resources, including the National Skills Coalition's State Workforce and Education Alignment Project (SWEAP)  and a WDQC publication identifying innovative practices for linking data about occupational licenses and certifications awarded by industry.

We look forward to assisting in the national dialogue, which is being co-managed by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW). It is critical that the attainment and value of credentials can be accurately measured, and that reliable information about credentials is utilized to enhance economic opportunity for individuals and businesses.