FAQs

Why is the NCRC important to employers?
As an employer, you know the importance of hiring the right person. You want to start by drawing from a pool of qualified applicants with assurance that they will have the skills needed for successful job performance. After all, the success of your organization hinges on the strength of your workforce.

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is a nationally recognized certificate providing objective documentation of employees’ skills. It delivers assurance to employers that workers have the foundational skills needed to succeed in today’s jobs. It also gives job applicants a tangible way to verify the skills they need to stand out to employers.

Employers who recognize the certificate attract qualified employees. It can be incorporated into existing hiring practices.

 

Who developed WorkKeys and the National Career Readiness Certificate?
ACT, an internationally recognized assessment and research company, developed WorkKeys and the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). ACT is committed to helping people build their skills to increase global competitiveness and develop successful career pathways using WorkKeys. To learn more about the WorkKeys test, visit www.workkeys.com.

 

Why is the NCRC based on skills related to APPLIED MATH, GRAPHIC LITERACY, AND WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS?
In today’s economy, foundational skills are critical to employment success because learning job-specific skills and other types of advanced learning are dependent on whether an individual can read and comprehend workplace documents, understand and interpret information presented in graphic formats, and solve applied mathematical problems.

  • Applied Math: measures critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, and problem solving techniques for situations that actually occur in today’s workplace.
  • Graphic Literacy: measures the skill needed to locate, synthesize, and use information from workplace graphics (charts, graphs, diagrams, etc.).
  • Workplace Documents: measures the skills people use when they read and use written text such as memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations on the job.

The identification of these three skills as foundationally critical to a wide array of jobs in areas ranging from manufacturing to health care to information technology is supported by over 20 years of research conducted by ACT’s job profiling services and the evaluation of the skill requirements for a wide variety of industries and occupations.

 

What are the certificate skill levels?
The WorkKeys job profiling process has generated a database with occupational profiles for thousands of jobs across the country. A majority of the jobs in the database correlate to certain skill levels in the three core areas: Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. The higher a candidate’s skill level, the more jobs for which the candidate is suited.

Certificates are awarded at four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Certificate levels are based on achieving a minimum score on each of the three core WorkKeys assessments.

 

How are the certificate skill levels related to job skill requirements?
Individuals who have earned the ACT NCRC have demonstrated that they have the core foundational skills to be successful in a job. Individuals with a Silver ACT NCRC, for example, have the essential foundational skills needed for 69% of jobs.* An ACT WorkKeys score indicates the ability to perform skills associated with a specific skill level and all of the levels that precede it.

The following table shows a breakdown of jobs for which the NCRC-holder has the essential foundational skills:

  • Bronze Level NCRC – 17% of jobs
  • Silver Level NCRC – 69% of jobs
  • Gold Level NCRC – 93% of jobs
  • Platinum Level NCRC – 99% of jobs

*”Jobs” are O*NET-defined occupations identified within the ACT JobPro database.

 

What are WORK READINESS skills?
A “work ready” individual possesses the foundational skills needed to be minimally qualified for a specific occupation as determined through a job analysis or occupational profile. Work readiness skills include both foundational cognitive skills such as problem solving and critical thinking and noncognitive skills, or soft skills, which are defined as personal characteristics and behavioral skills that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance, and career prospects such as adaptability, integrity, cooperation, and workplace discipline.

 

How does our business get involved in the Work Ready Communities initiative?
The easiest way to get started is simply to prefer the NCRC - as well as other education credentials, prior experience and personality references - in job postings and interviews.

 

Where can individuals take the WorkKeys test?
The WorkKeys assessments are offered at many locations throughout Clark County and around the State of Nevada. Unemployed or underemployed individuals may qualify for free assessments and should contact their local One-Stop Career Center at www.nvcareercenter.org. Businesses interested in conducting testing existing employees can contact Nevada Work Ready Communities through our Contact Page.

 

How can applicants access their NCRC AND SCORES?
If applicants would like to access their NCRC Certificate, they can visit www.myworkkeys.com
or call 1-800-WorkKeys (1-800-967-5539).