WIOA Title I-A & I-B Policy & Procedure Manual Ch. 11) Performance Accountability and Reporting
11.16 Credential Policy
Effective date: August 7, 2017
The Credential Attainment Rate Indicator measures the attainment of two types of credentials:
Recognized postsecondary credential
Secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent
The definitions in this section only determine which "credentials" are allowable for inclusions
to satisfy WIOA Performance reporting. The definitions do not validate the quality nor the utility
of certificates for non-WIOA reporting purposes.
Table 11.16.1: Types of Recognized Credentials
The following are acceptable types of credentials that count toward the credential attainment indicator.
Secondary school diploma or recognized equivalent
Occupational licensure, certification, and certificate (includes Registered Apprenticeship, Career and Technical Education educational certificates, and technical diplomas)
Other recognized certificates of industry/occupational skills completion sufficient to qualify for entry-level or advancement in employment.
What is a "Recognized Postsecondary Credential"?
A recognized postsecondary credential is awarded in recognition of an individual's attainment of measurable
technical or industry/occupation skills necessary to obtain employment or advance within an industry/occupation.
These technical skills or industry/occupational skills generally are based on standards developed or endorsed by
employers or industry associations. Neither certificates awarded by workforce development boards (WDBs), nor
work readiness certificates, are included in this definition because neither type of certificate documents the
measurable technical or industry/occupational skills necessary to gain employment or advance within an occupation.
Likewise, such certificates must recognize technological or industry/occupational skills for the specific
industry/occupational rather than general skills related to safety, hygiene, etc., even if such general skills
certificates are broadly required to qualify for entry-level employment or advancement in employment.
Who can award a recognized postsecondary credential?
A variety of different public and private entities issue recognized postsecondary credentials. Below is a list
of the types of organizations and institutions that award recognized postsecondary credentials (not all credentials
by these entities meet the definition of recognized postsecondary credential).
A state educational agency or a state agency responsible for administering vocational and technical
education within a state;
An institution of higher education described in Section 102 of the
Higher Education Act (20 USC 1002) that is qualified to participate in the student financial assistance
programs authorized by title IV of that Act. This includes community colleges, proprietary schools, and all
other institutions of higher education that are eligible to participate in federal student financial aid programs;
An institution of higher education that is formally controlled, or has been formally sanctioned
or chartered, by the governing body of an Indian tribe or tribes.
A professional, industry, or employer organization. Examples include:
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification
National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Inc.,
Machining Level I credential, or
Product manufacturer or developer using a valid and reliable assessment of an individual's knowledge,
skills and abilities. Examples include:
Recognized Microsoft Information Technology certificates, such as Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
Certified Novell Engineer,
Sun Certified Java Programmer, etc.
ETA's Office of Apprenticeship or a State Apprenticeship Agency;
A public regulatory agency, which awards a credential upon an individual's fulfillment of educational,
work experience, or skill requirements that are legally necessary for an individual to use an occupational
or professional title or to practice an occupation or profession (e.g., Federal Aviation Administration
aviation mechanic license, or a state-licensed asbestos inspector); Examples are Wisconsin DSPS, DHS, DOA.
A program that has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer education benefits to
veterans and other eligible persons.
Job Corps, which issues certificates for completing career training programs that are based on industry
skills standards and certification requirements.
For purposes of the credential attainment performance indicator, a secondary school diploma (or alternate diploma)
(commonly referred to as high school diploma) is one that is recognized by a state and that is included for
accountability purposes under the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A secondary school equivalency certification signifies that a student has
completed the requirements for a high school education. The types of recognized equivalents, for those not covered
under ESEA, that would satisfy this performance indicator are those recognized by a state. Examples of secondary school
diplomas, alternate diplomas, and recognized equivalents recognized by individual states include:
Obtaining certification of attaining passing scores on a state-recognized high school equivalency test.
Earning a secondary school diploma or state-recognized equivalent through a credit bearing secondary
education program sanctioned by state law, code, or regulation.
Wisconsin's Title I Workforce Development System may request confirmation if a certificate is valid for inclusion
in WIOA Performance Indicators by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests will be reviewed by Performance Advisory Committee with an answer provided to the requestor and documented
in a repository.