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Workcred.org
Letter from The Executive Director
Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. COL, Retired

First Quarter 2018

Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. COL

Standing Up for Quality

Dear colleagues:

Given the choice, would you choose quantity over quality? Probably not. And yet, when it comes to the world of credentials, some credentialing issuers have created exactly that: an upside-down world where credentials abound but quality is elusive. Simply creating more credentials without regard for quality is not the solution. That makes for a buyer-beware environment where employers and job seekers can't tell a quality credential from one of lesser value and effectiveness. We can do better.

At Workcred, we are actively engaged in multiple projects with industry, government, and credentialing partners to turn the world of credentials right-side up, where quality is recognizable, understood, and reflects current practice in the workplace.

In the coming weeks, Workcred will publish findings and recommendations from our research examining how credentials are used and valued by manufacturers, and what additional credentials are needed to keep up with changing skill needs. This research is conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership. While focused on U.S. manufacturing, there are important implications for other sectors as well. We see a strong need to:

 Improve understanding about the content and appropriate use of credentials in the workplace
 Expand the use of standards as a basis for workforce credentials
 Strengthen relationships between employers, education and training providers, and credentialing bodies
 Add employability skills components to credentials
 Create credentials that focus on performance
 Increase the number of apprenticeships and expand apprenticeships to more occupations

Another exciting project has us partnering with the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) and Jobs for the Future on a U.S. Department of Labor grant. This important initiative is helping young adults recently released from incarceration to gain skills, quality credentials, and work experience for a successful transition to a stable and productive life.

Workcred has been advising states such as Kansas and Nevada on building industry credential recognition programs, and worked with national standard setting and regulatory organizations to determine whether professionals who obtain specific credentials should be considered qualified.

In terms of other recent accomplishments, Workcred is proud to see Credential Engine grow out of the Lumina Foundation-funded Credential Transparency Initiative, in which Workcred partnered with George Washington University's Institute of Public Policy and Southern Illinois University to design, develop, and pilot a Credential Registry, common credentialing language, and a prototype software application. Housed under Credential Engine, the registry is now open to the public. Workcred is planning to build an app that will allow users to understand the quality of credentials posted on the registry, and continues to play a leadership role.

When it comes to credentials, quality is key to creating real opportunities for growth and development. If your organization is interested in teaming up on research or collaborative activities or could benefit from Workcred's expertise, please feel free to contact us.

Best regards,

Roy A. Swift

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