Knowledge Center

Workcred has created these resources to help you better understand and navigate the credentialing system.


Certification and Its Relationship to Further Learning
Certifications can lead to further opportunities for education and learning. This issue brief describes the relationships that can exist among certifications, degrees, credit for prior learning, and advanced education.

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U.S. Credentialing System
The U.S. credentialing system is complex and involves multiple organizations. The graphic depicts the relationship among the organizations that interact to form the U.S. credentialing system.

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How Do Credentials Differ?
There is a great deal of confusion in the marketplace about the various types of credentials, how they differ, and the appropriate use for each. This graphic depicts the elements of certificates, certifications, degrees, and licenses.

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The Many Faces of Certification
Certification is a term that is widely used in the marketplace to describe many different things. The graphic highlights different elements that are associated with the term certification.

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Types of Certificates
Certificates are awarded for different reasons. Some certificates are given after an assessment that measures learning outcomes, while others recognize attendance. The graphic shows the different types of certificates.

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Questions for Universities to ask Certification Bodies
There are more than 5,000 certifications in the marketplace and it is challenging to differentiate them from one another. University faculty and administrators can use this set of questions to help them gather more information about certification bodies to determine whether it is appropriate to embed a specific certification into an academic degree program.

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How Workcred Can Help You

  Employers and Industry Associations

  Government

  Credentialing Organizations

  Education and Training Providers



Employers and Industry Associations


  • Identify quality credentials that are effective and have market value
  • Understand different types of credentials and their appropriate use
  • Build quality credentialing programs that meet national and international standards
  • Establish transparent career pathways with stackable, competency-based credentials
  • Ensure that credentials are aligned to the current body of knowledge for an occupation
  • Determine the need for new credentials
  • Build capacity to identify and articulate competency needs on an ongoing basis
  • Connect and align with educators, credentialing bodies, and other key players in the credentialing system



Government


  • Identify quality credentials that are effective and have market value
  • Build state and regional industry certification recognition programs that promote quality credentials that have labor market value and support improved employment prospects
  • Identify quality certifications that could be used in licensure
  • Design quality credentialing programs that meet national and international standards
  • Determine the need for new credentials
  • Conduct research related to credentialing
  • Build working relationships with industry, credentialing bodies, and other key players in the credentialing system



Credentialing Organizations


  • Advance the industry of certification and certificates through research and educational activities
  • Raise awareness of the value of quality credentials for employers and workers
  • Build quality credentials that are effective and have market value
  • Define competencies and align assessment tools with learning outcomes
  • Evaluate methods for assessing learning to ensure that competencies have been measured and achieved
  • Create conceptual frameworks for curricula that lead to industry-endorsed programs and validated credentials
  • Build working relationships with educators, industry, and other key players in the credentialing system



Education and Training Providers


  • Strengthen partnerships with industry that increase learning and employment prospects through quality work-based learning opportunities
  • Create conceptual frameworks for curricula that lead to industry-endorsed programs and validated credentials
  • Define competencies and align assessment tools with learning outcomes
  • Evaluate methods for assessing learning to ensure that competencies have been measured and achieved
  • Develop working relationships with credentialing bodies, industry, and other key players in the credentialing system