About the ACT NCRC®

A nationally recognized work skills credential

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRC) is an assessment-based credential powered by ACT WorkKeys®. Issued at four levels, the ACT NCRC measures and certifies the essential work skills needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations.

The ACT NCRC is widely used by employers, educators, workforce developers, and others with a stake in the success of the economy. More than 2.8 million ACT NCRCs have been issued nationwide since the credential was introduced in 2006.

Based on ACT WorkKeys foundational skills assessments

The ACT NCRC is based on ACT WorkKeys research-based work skills assessments. To earn an ACT NCRC, an examinee must successfully complete three ACT WorkKeys assessments: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information. These assessments measure a range of essential work skills, including the ability to:

  • Perform basic mathematic operations relevant to the workplace
  • Read and understand documents commonly found in the workplace
  • Find information presented in common workplace graphics
  • Set up and solve complex work-related math problems
  • Determine the relevance of written information to work-related tasks
  • Apply information derived from graphics to work-related problems

Four levels of proficiency

The ACT NCRC is awarded at four levels, based on the scores achieved on the component assessments.

  • Platinum: Scores of Level 6 or higher on all three exams
  • Gold: Scores of Level 5 or higher on all three exams
  • Silver: Scores of Level 4 or higher on all three exams
  • Bronze: Scores of Level 3 or higher on all three exams

Benefits of the ACT NCRC

  • Job seekers and incumbents: A valuable work skills credential with the potential to improve career outcomes.
  • Employers and human resources professionals: A trusted indicator that, in combination with other selection tools, can improve hiring, training, or promotion decisions.
  • Students and educators: A credential that helps students succeed in a variety of career pathways.
  • Workforce developers: A tool that helps displaced workers reenter the job market.
  • Economic developers: Evidence of a skilled workforce that helps attract business and industry to states and local communities.
  • Industry associations: A foundation for industry- and occupation-specific stackable credentials.
  • Policymakers and legislators: A component of policy and legislative solutions to the nation’s economic and educational challenges.