Skill standards provide measurable benchmarks of skill and performance achievement.
They answer two critical questions:
- What do workers need to know and be able to do to succeed in today's workplace?
- And, How do we know when workers are performing well?
Without this fundamental information,employers do not know whom to hire or where to focus their limited training dollars; employees and new entrants to the workforce do not know what they need to do to improve their performance; educators do not know how to prepare students for the challenge of the workplace.
Voluntary, industry-based skill standards should be:
- Responsive to changing work organizations,technologies and marketstructure.
- Benchmarked to world-class levels of industry performance and free from gender, racial, or other forms of bias.
- Tied to measurable,competency-based outcomes that can be readily assessed.
- Inclusive of basic reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
- Useful for qualifying new hires and continuously upgrading employees' skills.
- Applicable to a wide variety of education and training providers,both work and school-based.
- Based on a relatively simple structure to make the system user-friendly.
- A cooperative effort among all stakeholders.
- Developed independently of any single training/education provider or type of education/training provider.