About The Certificate

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is an industry-recognized, portable, research-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success.

This credential is used across all sectors of the economy and documents 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 ACT 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.


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

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.

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