Thought Leadership

Upcoming Presentations

Workcred will present the latest thinking on current workforce issues and trends at the following outside events.

ASME MEEd Conference

ASME MEEd Conference

March 18-21, 2024

Join Workcred on March 20 to hear about “The State of Credentials in Higher Education and Workforce Development.” This session will focus on the state of credentials, their use in higher education, and industry perspectives on their use and value in the workforce.
company-forum-2024

ANSI Company Member Forum Hybrid Meeting

March 21-22, 2024

Join Workcred on March 22 for an interactive session on “Standards – A Foundational Component of Quality Credentials” to learn how comprehensive, balanced, and effective standards guide the development of quality credentialing programs for personnel certifications, assessment-based certificate programs, and workplace learning. This panel session is going to explore the role of standards in forming a quality triangle of non-degree credentials.

Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference

April 13-16, 2024

Workcred will join community college partners on April 14 to discuss “Embedding Certifications within Degrees” as part of a grant to assist institutions in embedding industry-recognized certifications in associate degree programs. Join the session to hear about the roll out of the new programs and lessons learned throughout the process.
Workcred staff welcome invitations to present on workforce credentials and their effectiveness in the marketplace. If you have any ideas for upcoming presentations, please send us a note. Details about our past presentations can be viewed on the Presentations page.

Service and Leadership

Workcred is involved with a number of workforce - and education-focused entities to serve on boards, committees, task forces, and working groups. Further information about the purposes and goals of each are included below.

College of Health Professions Advisory Board
The University of Phoenix’s College of Health Professions is convening a group of experts to engage in discussions around topics of importance to the health professions, including workforce development, to help inform the college’s path forward.

Community College Growth Engine Fund
The Community College Growth Engine Fund has been launched by the Education Design Lab to meet the urgent demand from community college leadership for support to deliver skills-focused, market-driven education as regions struggle to mitigate the growing skills gap.

Competency Standards Commission
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) has formed a Competency Standards Commission to review and evaluate CFP Board’s competency requirements for Education, Examination, Experience, and Continuing Education. CFP Board’s mission is to benefit the public by granting CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical financial planning. The Competency Standards Commission will be tasked with validating current requirements for CFP® professionals and/or recommending changes for improvement to the standard for the profession. The commission’s review will address the competency of candidates for CFP® certification as well as the continued competency of CFP® professionals — in line with best practices for certifying bodies.

The Competency Standards Commission is made up of volunteers consisting of individuals from financial services firms, educators, certification and credentialing professionals, and other stakeholders, including members of the public. Based on its evaluation, the commission may propose changes in competency standards or may recommend that CFP Board maintain current standards.

Competencies SubTask Group, SES Board Certification Task Group
The task group is charged with developing a competencies document for standardization professionals to be used to support the Society for Standards Professionals (SES) education and training programs, as well as the SES certification program.

Council for Credential Innovation Leadership
The Council for Credential Innovation Leadership group will guide the development of the Council and the information post-secondary leaders need to strategize, develop, and deliver non-degree credentialing efforts. Formed by UPCEA in 2021, the Council for Credential Innovation is a special focus body that will support the advancement and development of quality non-degree and alternative credentials in post-secondary education.

Credential As You Go Advisory Board
Funded by Lumina Foundation, SUNY Empire is conducting research to explore the possibility of a nationally-recognized, incremental higher education credentialing system that expands upon existing certificates and degree programs to increase the number of individuals who hold high-quality postsecondary credentials. The advisory board will provide feedback and insights on the research team’s findings and help guide the next steps

The Credential As You Go initiative sponsored a virtual “Summit on Language Used in the Credentialing Space: Big Concepts, Many Terms, Multiple Perspectives, Different Voices” on March 16, 2022. The Summit focused on three troublesome areas of language use: Credentials and Pathways; Equity, Inclusion, Fairness; and Competencies, Skills, Learning Outcomes. The group has turned these into a four-part series to focus on these three areas as well as key takeaways from the summit:

Higher Learning Commission Credential Lab Advisory Board
The HLC Credential Lab is an innovation hub within the Higher Learning Commission that will support institutions and learners in navigating the complex and growing ecosystem of alternative postsecondary credentials and provide necessary quality assurance for external content providers. The Advisory Board, composed of diverse stakeholders and key thought leaders in the credentialing ecosystem, will inform and support the work of the HLC Credential Lab. The Advisory Board will contribute to the development of the Credential Lab mission, will help ensure alignment and service to the field, and will share feedback on and suggestions for specific services and offerings developed by the Credential Lab. Members will contribute to the development of the field of quality assurance for external credential providers and will help to ensure relevancy and leadership across the credential ecosystem.

Learning Technology Standards Committee, Interoperable Learner Records (ILR) Workgroup
The IEEE committee focuses on developing internationally accredited technical standards, recommended practices, and guides for learning technology. The ILR Recommended Practices [1484.2] provides best practice guidance for learner records related to identity and trust; open ontology references; verifiable assertions; and integrated learner record payloads supporting the spectrum of formal or informal education and workplace learning and military learning records.

Non-Degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN) Advisory Committee
The advisory committee works to expand the NCRN and implement new programs. The NCRN is a project funded through a grant from Lumina Foundation and managed by the George Washington Institute of Public Policy. The NCRN is a small and by-invitation only group of leading researchers and key stakeholders that works to clarify what is currently known about non-degree credentials (certificates, certifications, apprenticeships, licenses, micro-credentials, etc.) and their place in the broader credentialing ecosystem; determine what new research is needed; identify lessons learned in the course of the project and their implications for policy and practice; and share the project’s findings with practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

PATHS-UP Advisory Board
Hosted by the Texas A&M University Engineering Research Center, the Precise Advanced Technologies and Health Systems for Underserved Populations (PATHS-UP) advisory board is working to target underserved communities and integrate engineering research and education with technological innovation to transform national prosperity, health, and security. The advisory board will provide guidance as the project progresses and revolutionary and cost-effective changes are made to the paradigm for the health of underserved populations.

Retail Opportunity Network Leadership Council
The Retail Opportunity Network is a community of leaders focused on upskilling and learning, job success, and economic mobility for the 44 million Americans working in the retail and service sectors. The leadership council will guide the network as it navigates to dismantle barriers to economic mobility and opportunity across America.

Strada Education Network Advisory Group
Over the past year, Strada Education Network has been immersed in long-term planning for the efforts to ensure postsecondary education and training provide equitable pathways to opportunity for all individuals—improving their lives, strengthening their communities, and advancing regional economies. Throughout 2023, the advisory group will serve to guide Strada in the creation of a framework to track progress against their priorities and the development of an annual progress report. The group will meet virtually to provide guidance on strategic considerations, specific metrics, initial findings, and the prototype report.


Past Service and Leadership

Learning and Employment Records for Greater Equity Technical Working Group [2022-2023]
Digital Promise launched a project to establish a professional learning community of LER end-users to better understand what is needed to achieve equitable adoption and use of LERs, especially among historically and systematically excluded communities. The Technical Working Group guided this work by co-generating a framework for engaging LER end-users in research to capture perspectives, learning, challenges, and experiences in actually using this technology; advising on methods for identifying the digital literacy skills and technical terms that learners need to access and use LER technology; advising on the development of an onboarding and orientation toolkit for current and potential end users; ensuring collaboration, alignment, and integration of LER end-user perspectives; and supporting the promotion of research findings and other key deliverables.

Stakeholder Roundtable [2020-2022]
Launched by the Higher Learning Commission, the Stakeholder Roundtable convened workforce and higher education leaders as part of a critical project and strategic planning initiative funded through a grant from Lumina Foundation. The group considered the current gaps between the needs in the workforce and higher education; how the respective groups are responding to the gaps; what are the implications for higher learning, equity, and access; and what is the role of regional accreditors.

The Roundtable has developed the following publication to help guide HLC on identifying workforce needs in relation to higher education:

Quality Assurance Practices Workgroup [2022]
Hosted by the Competency-Based Education Network, this group sought to identify common federal and state policy barriers that currently prevent competency-based education (CBE) from realizing its full potential and created an agenda for how members can work together to systemically ensure that CBE options are more accessible to learners.

U.S. Qualifications Framework Advisory Council [2022]
The Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) convened a group of experts to develop a national qualifications framework to help U.S. learners apply their education for further studies, employment, and other goals.

Defining Competencies Working Group [2021-2022]
This Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) group supports IEEE 1484.20.1, which is a technical standard for competency definitions data, providing recommended practices for defining the kinds of data that defines a skill, knowledge, ability, attitude, habit of practice, behavior, or learning outcome of competency-based education and training, to enable common, shareable competency definitions.

Learners Working Group [2021-2022]
The purpose of this working group was to help end users of blockchain technology understand and engage with the technology. The working group provided recommendations to strategically engage these stakeholder groups in the development of LER/blockchain solutions, and identified specific end-user needs.

Build Our Way Out Advisory Board [2021-2022]
Build Our Way Out is an industry-driven training initiative seeking to diversify America’s workforce, rebuild America’s infrastructure, and return manufacturing to the U.S. The advisory board contains industry experts who can both guide the policy, fund the campaign, and lead development of federal legislative pathways/vehicles by engaging early potential elected champions.

Job Data Exchange TM (JDX) Advisory Committee [2018-2022]
The JDX initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation aims to improve how employers communicate their hiring needs to workforce development partners and educators across the country. The committee provides recommendations and feedback on the design, data integration, pilot, evaluation, adoption, and future use of the JDX initiative.

Certification and Licensure Advisory Group [2017-2022]
The group brings together leaders from across the certification and licensure industries to inform and guide Credential Engine’s work around credentialing issues and trends and ensure that the organization’s efforts incorporate the best practices and pertinent data that will help the certification and licensure community meet current and future needs.

Planning Committee for the National Academy of Engineering [2021]
Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the committee assisted in the developed of a workshop on “Connecting Efforts to Support Minorities in Engineering Education.” The goal of this activity was to provide actionable insights to the engineering education community regarding existing and potential new approaches for increasing coordination and communication among the various levels of the engineering education system to boost the number of underrepresented minority engineering undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students and faculty in U.S. colleges and universities. The workshop explored existing and potential collaborations between extramural initiatives that support engineering student success and universities seeking to recruit and retain these students in undergraduate and advanced engineering education, including as faculty.

Direct Credit Assessment Task Force [2021]
Established by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training, this task force reviewed military education, training, and experience and identified practical application of existing and additional opportunity for incremental credentialing and academic progression toward short and long-term career goals.

Future of Work and Learning Working Group [2021]
The Stanford Graduate School of Education convened a group of researchers, practitioners, workforce advocates, and business leaders in applied sciences to evaluate how best to provide opportunities for the millions of American adults seeking to improve their lives through learning. The output of the work will be a coherent vision to inform research and service programs in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors, with the ultimate goal of making lifelong learning opportunities more effective, engaging, equitable, and rewarding than ever before.

Non-Degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN) [2018-2021]
Funded by Lumina Foundation, the research network brings together a community of scholars who have been conducting research on non-degree credentials, map the existing knowledge, and assess current and needed research.

T3 Innovation Network, Public-Private Standards Development and Use By Government Working Group [2018-2021]
Building off of existing initiatives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s T3 Innovation Network is exploring the emerging technologies and standards in the talent marketplace to better align student, workforce, and credentialing data with current needs. Working group tasks included reviewing current policies and practices for, and barriers to, developing and adopting consensus-driven public-private data sharing standards; drafting a set of guiding principles and processes; conducting meetings with standards bodies and federal and state agencies to review and revise the draft guiding principles and processes; discussing recommendations for federal and state implementation; and preparing a report on guiding principles and processes as well as recommendations for implementation.

National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Planning Committee [2020]
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine established a committee to develop a virtual workshop series on “Meeting Regional STEMM Workforce Needs in the Wake of COVID-19.” The series sought to foster nationwide conversations about shifts in the U.S. workforce as a result of the pandemic and strategies and partnerships for aligning displaced workers with regional STEMM workforce needs.

C-BEN (Competency-Based Education Network) [2019-2020]
As a member of C-BEN, Workcred shared ideas and expertise on competency-based education.

Apprenticeship Powered by Industry Leadership Committee [2018-2019]
The Department of Labor Apprenticeship Powered by Industry (API) Leadership Committee was a cross-sector group that supported API’s goals by helping to identify ongoing workforce efforts that are providing solutions to employers’ talent needs and helping to elevate apprenticeship as a leading talent solution; providing expertise to help drive rapid expansion of apprenticeship in priority industries; and connecting API staff to networks and individuals that could help advance API’s objectives.

Executive Advisory Council [2018-2019]
The Rosalind Franklin Interprofessional Healthcare Workforce Institute's Executive Advisory Council addressed the development of job standards, apprenticeships, and careers pathways, as well as the impacts of eHealth for the health care sector.

Transcript Working Group [2018-2019]
Group members provided input and feedback on decisions to help the American Council on Education and Credly align their work with other efforts to promote transparency, quality, and portability of credentials, through an initiative to enable a more systematic recognition of learning and skills development using digital credentials.

State of Credentialing of Service Members and Veterans: Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities [2017]
Workcred’s executive director, Dr. Roy Swift, participated as a reviewer of this paper, produced by the American Legion, that outlines the difficulties faced by transitioning troops in translating their experience from military occupational specialties into credits for credentials and licensing in such fields as truck driving, auto mechanics, and information technology. Accordingly, a key step moving forward is to ensure that service members’ and veterans’ needs are represented in the many efforts underway to enhance the civilian credentialing system.

Quality in the Undergraduate Experience: What is It? How Is It Measured? Who Decides?, Summary of a Workshop [2016]
Workcred participated in a workshop hosted by a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Higher Education and Workforce that helped to inform this report, which highlights expert recommendations on enhancing the quality of undergraduate education, underscores the importance of building stronger relationships between educators and industry, and addresses major initiatives that serve as solutions for quality education.

Creating the Workcred Health Delivery Competency Collaborative [2014]
The health care industry is a critical and growing sector of the U.S. economy. But shortages of qualified workers have increased for ten occupational groups, and new and emerging occupations continue to evolve with no national standards in place to measure and assess competency. The establishment of a collaborative focused on health care competency created a forum for key health care employers, standards developing organizations (SDOs), trade associations, government officials, health care workforce experts, and education/training providers to develop a system for best practice exchange and agree on competency models for the health care sector in validating competencies, developing competency-based curriculum, and performing competency-based assessments.