The number of workforce credentials available today has grown significantly over the last three decades, leading to market confusion and an erosion of trust in the value of some credentials. Because credentials play a valuable role in global, regional, and local economies, several entities have undertaken efforts to help reduce confusion and increase trust. Today, the Association of Test Publishers (ATP) announces the launch of two new publications designed to promote greater trust in workforce credentials.
ATP’s Workforce Skills Credentialing Security Framework Report provides a holistic framework for discussing and evaluating workforce credentials. Designed to be used as a standalone guide or in connection with other frameworks, such as those put forth by Connecting Credentials and the European Commission, the Credentialing Security Framework enables employers and employees to more effectively determine which workforce credentials are appropriate for their business or career needs.
Every country has a need to reduce existing skills gaps. Developing and demonstrating skill acquisition is an attainable objective, in part, through the use of assessment-based credentials that document necessary skills, attitudes, and behaviors. While most efforts to bring greater transparency have focused on competency levels, ATP also recognizes that the utility of credentials is greatly enhanced by ensuring they are reliable, valid, and securely issued.
“Security and authentication of credentials have a clear impact on the trustworthiness and usefulness of a credential. ATP set out to bring greater clarity to that aspect of credentialing by providing for common understandings of the different security levels available,” stated Rachel Schoenig, Vice Chair of ATP’s Workforce Skills Division and leader of the committee responsible for the publications. “This information will enable stakeholders to make better informed decisions about the use of credentials in their own business or profession.”
ATP’s Workforce Skills Credentialing Security Survey Report summarizes survey responses of over 280 employers, employees, credential issuers and test publishers across the globe regarding the security and validity of workforce skills credentials. The report offers a unique perspective concerning the importance of valid credentials to all stakeholders and highlights opportunities to enhance the security of credentials. The report underscores opportunities for education and the need for a common security framework to help increase understanding of assessment-based credentialing across stakeholders.
According to Schoenig, “Both the survey and resulting credentialing security framework are intended to spark dialogue and improve understanding of assessment-based credentials, increase trust in credentials, and benefit all stakeholders within the global credentialing space.”
These publications were developed with input across the industry. They are intended to increase trust in, and meaningful use of, workforce credentials for the benefit of the global workforce.
The Association of Test Publishers (“ATP”) is an international non-profit organization representing providers of tests and assessment tools and/or assessment-related services used in clinical, employment, certification, licensure, credentialing, and educational settings. The ATP’s membership is comprised of the leading publishers and assessment services providers in today’s testing industry. The ATP’s mission is to promote and preserve the general welfare of testing and its value to society, in all its forms and uses; to organize test publishers into a permanent body to foster and maintain collegial relations among themselves and to establish, through the Association, working relationships with other professional and business groups whose interests and activities affect the test publishing community; to encourage a high level of professionalism and business ethics throughout the testing community; to serve as the principal organization that monitors and responds to regulatory and legal rulings as well as legislative, regulatory, and judicial initiatives that pertain to the business of publishing and applying test and assessment instruments; and to increase the strength and cohesiveness of the test publisher community by providing programs of education, training, and exchanges of ideas on operations and industry trends. Additional information about ATP can be accessed at www.testpublishers.org.