MAY 21, 2014

CSW joined policy leaders in other organizations in calling upon key stakeholders in our nation’s postsecondary education and workforce credentialing system to come together to increase transparency, trust, and portability in the credentialing marketplace.

CSW and the other signatories of the Call for a National Conversation on Creating a Competency-Based Credentialing Ecosystem believe that the time has come for large scale expansion of the use of credentials that recognize an individual’s competencies – regardless of means of acquisition – to improve employer competitiveness, reduce skill shortages, expand career advancement opportunities for workers, reduce time to credential for workers and students, and improve returns of accredited credentialing systems relative to costs.

The paper describes the crisis of credibility in our complex and highly fragmented credentialing system and outlines the components of what a fully functioning, competency-based credentialing ecosystem would include.

It concludes by posing questions to each of the key stakeholder groups regarding issues and strategies that will be needed to move this action agenda forward. The authoring partners know that competency-based credentials are already in use in many settings and can serve as important building blocks in developing a large scale, interconnected credentialing ecosystem that is understandable and works well for all involved. Stakeholders whose involvement in developing the needed ecosystem include leaders from the federal and state government, education and training providers, accreditation and certification bodies, employer associations, and professional societies.

CSW has made contributing to this promising collective effort a top organizational priority. Our recently published paper, Making a Market for Competency-Based Credentials, offers some further thoughts on the actions required to moving this from a limited practice to large scale application.

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