The summit, Paving the Way Ahead, brought together stakeholders to examine licensing and credentialing in the private sector and to discuss what can be done to help U.S. veterans use their military experience to qualify for civilian jobs.
According to a 2010 survey from by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 60 percent of employers cited translating military skills to civilian job experience as a challenge to hiring jobseekers with military experience. To help address this problem head on, the summit sought to identify ways of improving credentialing opportunities for transitioning service members and veterans, and to develop a long-term plan to promote the transferability of military skills through credentialing.
Setting the stage for the summit's discussions, Dr. Swift provided a keynote presentation on the opening day on the value that accreditation adds to the credentialing process. According to Dr. Swift, an estimated 700,000 certificates were issued nationwide in 2010.
With regard to personnel certification, only 10 percent of approximately 4,000 certifications are accredited. This leads to a "buyer beware" environment. This lack of third-party review causes a disconnect between industry and the labor market. Third-party review, Dr. Swift contended, helps to ensure that a credential has market value, is recognized by industry, and prevents buying a "credential to nowhere." Accreditation helps to evaluate instructor qualifications, measurable learning objectives, as well as the source and process of validated learning outcomes.
In his presentation with Lisa Lutz, president and CEO of SOLID, LLC (Solutions for Information Design) on February 22, Dr. Swift discussed the myriad benefits of credentialing service members and veterans, both to the service members themselves and the U.S. Army.
According to Dr. Swift and Ms. Lutz, credentialing contributes to personal and professional career development and enhances the potential of promotion for service members on active duty. While in the service, credentialing results in additional technical and/or managerial competencies that can enhance soldiers' performance.
After military service, credentialing helps demonstrate to civilian employers that training and skills attained in the military are on par with those gained through traditional civilian pathways. Credentialing can also be an incentive for soldiers to stay in the Army.