Credentials play a key role in workforce development. For employers, credentials can assist in identifying qualified workers, upskilling their current workforce, and competing in the marketplace. For job seekers, obtaining industry-recognized credentials can improve employability and lead to career advancement and higher wages. For these reasons, credential attainment is one of the critical outcomes tracked and reported by Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded programs.
Registered Apprenticeship leads to a portable, nationally-recognized credential upon completion, often with interim certifications along the way – making apprenticeship a good fit for WIOA-funding.
Stackable credentials are those that can be credited toward another higher credential or degree. Many Registered Apprenticeships provide college credits that lead to or can be counted towards a degree. Some sponsors are stacking Registered Apprenticeship programs, creating pathways from entry-level to more advanced or specialized occupations.
These resources can help you better understand what credentials are available; the characteristics of quality credentials; the concepts of stackable credentials and stackable Registered Apprenticeship programs; and when and how credentials are tracked, reported, and counted for WIOA reporting purposes.
A key resource for information on credentials is the Credential Attainment Resource Page on Workforce GPS, which serves as a landing page for technical assistance related to the WIOA credential attainment performance indicator, including:
Additional information on credentials includes:
The July 2021 webinar Credentials: What They Are, Where to Find Them, and What Counts for Performance webinar gives an overview of the characteristics of quality credentials, the types of credentials available, and resources and tools to locate relevant credentials and help determine credentials that count towards grant performance outcomes
- A related resource sheet compiles a wide range of helpful materials, including DOL guidance on credentials; information on accreditation and accrediting bodies; and resources to help you identify relevant credentials
This Stackable Credentials Backgrounder from Higher Learning Advocates and the National Skills Coalition Stackable Credential Policy Toolkit provides an orientation to stackable credentials and policies that can support their growth
JFF’s Apprenticeships: The Next Stackable Credential? report explores how establishing relationships between shorter apprenticeships might combine the benefits of longer-term apprenticeships and modular approaches