The summit, to be held November 5-7, 2013, at the Capital Hilton, is presented by Innovate + Educate, a non-profit organization focused on addressing the national skills gap. The event is intended to bring together leaders in the fields of human resources, workforce policy, personnel certification accreditation, and other related subject areas to explore approaches to reduce issues related to mismatches between job-seekers' skills and employers' needs. Participants will take part in a varied schedule of events during the two-day event, including presentations, panels, and working group sessions.
In a recent Huffington Post blog post, "Working, Learning and Life: Artificial Schisms," Dr. Swift and Dr. Parminder Jassal, executive director of the ACT Foundation, used horseracing as a metaphor to discuss the current state of workforce training and education in the United States. Noting that in horseracing, the performance of a given horse is more important than the horse's pedigree, Dr. Jassal and Dr. Swift wrote:
"We care too much about where people have gained their skills, what degree or credential they have, and even who they know. We put the focus on everything else but the central issue of performance. This has resulted in a worsening skills gap, a disconnect between educational output and the human capital demands of industry, and a culture focused on getting kids into college rather than providing learners with what they need to be successful in their careers and lives."
The blog post discusses the role that personnel credentialing play in complementing academic programs and other traditional career-preparatory paths. Dr. Swift and Dr. Jassal argue that the demands of the modern U.S. economy and the needs of U.S. workers, who represent a variety of different learning styles and career-related interests, necessitate the development and maintenance of a dynamic, multifaceted workforce training, credentialing and learning ecosystem.
The full blog post is available online.
In its role as the coordinator of the U.S. voluntary consensus standardization system and as a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), ANSI has longstanding involvement in efforts to use accreditation to bolster the legitimacy and validation of personnel credentials in a variety of different fields and sectors.
The ANSI accreditation process for bodies operating certification programs for individuals is based on the international standard ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024, Conformity assessment - General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons, the benchmark for personnel certification. This process is designed to provide assurance that accredited personnel certifiers are accurately assessing the knowledge and skills possessed by professionals, bolstering the mobility of these professionals and industry confidence in the legitimacy and accuracy of these certifications. Since the launch of ANSI's Personnel Certification Accreditation Program in 2003, the Institute has accredited 43 personnel certification bodies across a range of industry sectors involving more than 5 million workers.
ANSI also carries out important work in this area through the ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP), which accredits organizations that issue education and training assessment based certificates to the U.S. workforce. Launched in 2009, ANSI-CAP provides neutral, third-party attestation that a given certificate program meets ASTM E2659-09, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs, an American National Standard developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International. By demonstrating compliance to this standard, accredited certificate programs further the development of a well-educated and qualified workforce.