Q1: What is the Career Readiness Certificate program?
A 1: Designed by ACT, the company that developed the ACT assessment college entrance exam, Career Readiness measures workplace literacy and represents a widely accepted common language for skills definition among employers, educators/trainers, and potential/incumbent employees.
With a database of more than 12,000 job profiles, Career Readiness identifies skills needed on the job, assesses your skill level, and helps identify training needed to close any gaps.
Q 2: How does Career Readiness work?
A 2: Each Career Readiness assessment has a score level range. Career Readiness scores indicate your ability to perform more complex skills as the score levels increase. By comparing your skill levels with the skill levels required for the job, you and the employer can determine whether or not you are a good fit for that particular job.
Q 3: What is the difference between the Career Readiness Certificate program and WorkKeys?
A 3: The WorkKeys assessment system is an ACT nationally recognized program locally branded as Oklahoma's Career Readiness program.
Q 4: What are Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificates?
A 4: Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificates are portable credentials that confirm your possession of certain fundamental skills needed in the workplace. The Career Readiness assessment system is used to determine those skill levels. Depending on the scores, potential or incumbent employees receive one of these certificates:
Platinum: awarded to those who score at or above a level 6 in each of the core areas
Gold: awarded to those who score at or above a level 5 in each of the core areas.
Silver: awarded to those who score at or above a level 4 in each of the core areas.
Bronze: awarded to those who score at or above a level 3 in each of the core areas.
Certificates come in two different formats--an 8 by 10 certificate signed by the governor and a wallet-sized version. Each certificate is assigned a number for security and tracking purposes.
When you complete an ACT registration form, you also create an account in the Oklahoma Job Link (Workforce Oklahoma) system. The Career Readiness information is uploaded into Oklahoma Job Link. An employer can place job openings and search for qualified candidates in Oklahoma Job Link.
Q 5: What format is used for the assessments, and how long do they take?
A 5: Since you can see your scores instantly, the preferred assessment method is on a computer. However, if absolutely necessary, you can take the assessments with pencil and paper. In this case, it will take 10 days to receive your scores. The assessments take about 45 to 55 minutes each.
Q 6: Where are the assessments administered?
A 6:There are over 100 Oklahoma Career Readiness Assessment Sites across the state. To find the center closest to you click the link above or call 405-809-3582.
Q 7: Can an employer use Career Readiness exclusively and no other tools to hire for their company?
A 7: If the employer has had his company's specific job position profiled the answer is yes. If the employer is using a general profile not specific to their company, the answer is no. The job profiling component of the WorkKeys system is designed so that, when appropriately used, WorkKeys assessments will be job-related and meet the validity and fairness requirements described in the federal government's Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978) and enforced by the EEOC.
Q 8: How can Workkeys be used if a company is using a generic profile?
A 8: Using the WorkKeys library of occupational profiles rather than profiling the employer's specific job is appropriate and legal when the employer also uses additional hiring tools such as an interview, background check, application, resume review, etc. on the job candidate as part of the hiring decision. When using the generic profiles Workkeys cannot be used as the sole tool in making the hiring decision.
Q 9: Does the Career Readiness Certificate replace the need for other credentials like a high school diploma, GED, or college degree?
A 9: Absolutely not. The certificate is a supplemental credential, and isn't intended to be used as a substitute for a high school diploma, GED, or college degree. However, for those who don't have any other credentials, the certificate represents a solid start toward future training and educational attainment.
Q 10: Who is driving Oklahoma's Career Readiness initiative?
A 10: This is an initiative of the Governor's Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), and their partners: Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Office of Handicapped Concerns, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, and Workforce Oklahoma Centers.
Q 11: What are the core areas or skills being assessed for the Career Readiness Certificates, and why those particular skills?
A 11: The Career Readiness assessments are as follows:
Reading for Information: measures the skills used when people read and use written text on the job. Texts include memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations.
The test is made up of multiple-choice questions based on reading passages that reflect actual reading demands of the workplace. The reading materials at level 3 are short and direct. The material becomes longer, denser, and more difficult as readers move toward level 5.
Locating Information: measures the skills people use when they work with workplace graphics such as charts, graphs, tables, forms, flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, maps, and instrument gauges. You will be asked to find information in a graphic or insert information into a graphic. You must also compare, summarize, and analyze information found in related graphics.
At level 3, the graphics are simple, and you'll be asked to fill in missing information. At level 5, you will use the information in one or more complex graphics to draw conclusions and make decisions.
You can use a calculator, and the formula sheet that includes all formulas required for the assessment is provided.
Of the thousands of jobs profiled nationally using Career Readiness, about 80% of them use these three core areas.
Q 12: What if I want to determine whether I have any gaps in my skill levels before taking the actual assessments?
A 12: Pre-assessment, which is an abbreviated version of the actual assessments, can be taken to determine current skill levels and if additional training is necessary. Individuals can pre-assess at Oklahoma Career Readiness Assessment Sites.
Q 13: What types of training will be offered?
A 13: Skills upgrade training will be provided using ACT approved curriculum. Also, OKWorks and Adult Education in Oklahoma will offer ACT approved curriculum for skills upgrade.
Q 14: What costs are involved, and who pays?
A 14: At this time, there is no charge for taking the three assessments for the Career Readiness Certificate.
Q 15: How will having an Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate benefit me?
A 15: A portable skills credential that's easily and nationally recognized facilitates job placement, retention, and advancement in our mobile society. For high school and college students, this assessment and certification process provides them with an objective view of what they can do and what they need to improve upon in order to maximize their chances of having successful careers. Other benefits include:
Confidence that your skills meet the needs of employers in Oklahoma and across the country.A clear road map for skill improvement and training and education needs.
Improved opportunities for career changes and advancement.