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Workcred’s Dr. Swift Warns “We are in Credential Chaos”


Clear Terminology Helps Build Careers

Refining credentialing language will help clarify understanding for workers and employers alike. Dr. Roy Swift, executive director of Workcred, amplified this message to construction industry experts at the 5th Annual Industry Forum on Personnel Qualifications presented by the NCCCO Foundation. He also emphasized the need to address differences between certifications and certificates, and spoke about the urgency to better define various types of credentials, as well as regulation on training.

"We are in credential chaos," Dr. Swift noted, explaining that terminology within competency-based credentials is essential to consider when writing standards or regulations. "Just like we're [precise] in defining roles in the crane business, we need to be much more precise about what we're saying about what’s required in the credentialing world, so that the public understands what that credential is,” he stated, “and this is one of my main messages.”

The Industry Forum focused on the latest developments in regulations and best industry practices as they pertain to the qualifications of personnel working in, with, and around cranes and other types of lifting equipment. Dr. Swift joined the segment that highlighted why certifications are important for riggers, signalpersons, lift directors, and others, even when it may not be required.

In his presentation, Dr. Swift shared Workcred's newly released video entitled "Differing Types of Workplace Credentials,” which highlights the differences among credentials and the appropriate uses of each. While the word "credential" is frequently confused with "certification" and "certificate," it is actually an umbrella term that encompasses both and other types of credentials, as the video explains. The video was developed as an educational tool to be used to help organizations better understand and navigate the credentialing system. In fact, Workcred currently has a license agreement with a certification body that provides emerging technology certifications and micro-credentials for business to use the video as part of its course materials.

Access Dr. Swift's presentation on "Certificates, Certifications and Degrees: How to tell the difference and why it’s important," on the NCCCO Foundation's website.

Access the Workcred video "Differing Types of Workplace Credentials” through Workcred’s knowledge center.

About Workcred

Formed in 2014, Workcred is an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Its mission is to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively. Workcred's vision is a labor market that relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.

About the NCCCO Foundation

The NCCCO Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to the promotion of construction industry safety through three major pathways: education, research and workforce development. By facilitating access to training and certification by youth, veterans and underserved communities through scholarships and grants, the Foundation seeks to ensure a safe and skilled workforce now and for the future.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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