About The Certificate

The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is an industry-recognized, 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
Individuals can earn the NCRC by taking three WorkKeys® assessments:

WorkKeys assessments measure “real world” skills that employers believe are critical to job success. Test questions are based on situations in the everyday work world.

Introducing the NCRC Plus

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 above, 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

The NCRC Plus ranks individuals with 1–4 stars in each of the categories listed above. Higher numbers of stars reflect personal characteristics that indicate stronger inclination for success. Individuals can earn the NCRC Plus by taking the WorkKeys Talent assessment.
View an example of the certificate.

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.

The Certificate is only one of many selection criteria employers use when hiring and promoting. Earning the National Career Readiness Certificate is not a substitute for meeting other job requirements. Employers who require specific levels of WorkKeys scores are encouraged to perform a job analysis. Learn more on the WorkKeys Job Analysis page.


Career Seekers
Provide employers with verifiable evidence of their job skills
Screen applicants and find the right workers for jobs at all levels, as well as make decisions about training and advancement of current employees
Ensure that their students are ready for meaningful careers
Industry Associations
Adopt the NCRC as the foundational credential of their skills certification systems
Economic Developers
Inform businesses’ decisions about where to locate or expand by demonstrating the skill level of regional labor sheds
Workforce Developers
Help to supply employers with workers possessing the necessary skills to meet demand