George Washington University (GWU)'s George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) recently announced that it has received a $369,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to fund a study examining how the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) can work to coordinate standards and conformity assessment systems to improve transparency and trust in U.S. labor market credentialing. Under the project, all types of credentials will be studied, including industry and professional certifications, postsecondary degrees, certificates, badges, and other related documents.
As labor market credentials have grown significantly in both number and variety over the past ten years, uncertainty about the quality and value of these credentials and how they relate to each other has caused serious confusion in the labor market. This has resulted in worsening skill shortages and rising costs for employers, job seekers, and public funders alike. These issues are largely derived from the lack of needed public-private standards that could support transparency and trust in the credentialing marketplace.
"Widely accepted standards would provide a common framework and language for describing key aspects of credentials, including competencies, assessments, scopes of application, relationships with other credentials, and market value," said Dr. Stephen Crawford, project director and a research professor at GWU.
The project is expected to be bolstered by GWIPP's contractual partnership with ANSI, the coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment systems and a growing force in the field of workforce credentialing, where it serves as an accreditor of certificate programs and personnel certification bodies. In its role as the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, through the U.S. National Committee (USNC), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), as well as a U.S. member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), ANSI serves to link the GWIPP study to global standards and conformity assessment initiatives, including several major ones in credentialing. Dr. Roy Swift, ANSI senior director of personnel credentialing accreditation programs, and Dr. Vijay Krishna, ANSI director of personnel certification accreditation programs, will provide the technical knowledge regarding credentialing for this project.
GWIPP is a research institute at George Washington University that engages in and supports a wide range of high quality policy research. GWIPP research professor Dr. Stephen Crawford is the project director. The project leadership includes Dr. Robert Sheets, a long-time thought-leader in education and workforce development policy. Dr. Sheets is the senior director of research at Business Innovation Services, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina's outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive, and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action.