SC Work Ready Communities

Assess Your Workforce

Employers across the country report that they are often overwhelmed by stacks of applications for only a handful of open positions. Sifting through these applications is time-consuming and inefficient. You need a way to quickly pinpoint individuals with essential, verifiable workplace skills. The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is your solution.


Ask your applicants to earn the NCRC. It’s that simple. Once you do, you’ll be on your way to finding qualified applicants for your job openings. The National Career Readiness Certificate, issued by ACT, is a portable, evidence-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success. This credential is used across all sectors of the economy and verifies the following cognitive skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Reading and using work-related text
  • Applying information from workplace documents to solve problems
  • Applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems
  • Setting up and performing work-related mathematical calculations
  • Locating, synthesizing, and applying information that is presented graphically
  • Comparing, summarizing, and analyzing information presented in multiple related graphics


Take that first important step toward certifying your workforce by asking for the NCRC.


Foundational knowledge and skills related to job tasks are the most valid predictors of work performance. Combining measures of cognitive skills with measures of work-related behaviors—or soft skills—brings even greater accuracy to predictions about an individual’s success at work or in training. In addition to the cognitive skills listed previously, the NCRC Plus ranks individuals in the following soft skills categories:

  • Work Discipline—Productivity and dependability
  • Teamwork—Tolerance, communication, and attitude
  • Customer Service Orientation—Interpersonal skills and perseverance
  • Managerial Potential—Persuasion, enthusiasm, and problem solving


Individuals can earn the NCRC Plus by taking the WorkKeys Talent assessment. The Talent assessment is not required to qualify for a National Career Readiness Certificate. The foundational skills certified by the NCRC and the NCRC Plus are recognized by thousands of employers as essential for workplace success and career advancement.


Once you have decided to use the NCRC at your organization, follow these four steps for a faster, more effective implementation.

  • 1. PREPARE

    •  Learn to explain the program to others with clear, consistent statements
    • Get the appropriate people at your company involved
    • Executive level (program sponsor, decision maker)
    • Human Resources staff
    • Heads or representatives of major departments
  • 2. PLAN

    • Decide how your company will use the NCRC
    • Recommend for some or all positions
    • Use for hiring and/or promoting
    • Assign tasks to appropriate team members
    • Review key steps and prepare to implement
  • 3. LAUNCH

    • Communicate with internal and external audiences
    • Train internal stakeholders who will work with the program
    • Integrate the credential into job postings and descriptions: “We recommend a National Career Readiness Certificate for all applicants to this position.”
  • 4. BUILD

    • Help applicants earn the National Career Readiness Certificate. Find a test center near you.
    • Build a pool of qualified applicants

* Businesses cannot require that an individual applying for an open position have a specific WorkKeys score for the three basic assessments unless a job profile has been conducted that outlines the necessary skills needed for a specific position. Businesses could be subject to EEOC and other employment laws if this is misrepresented.