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Commonwealth of Virginia Career Readiness Certificate

Matching the RIGHT PEOPLE in the RIGHT JOBS

What is the Virginia Career Readiness Certificate?

The Virginia Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) is endorsed and signed by the current governor of Virginia. Three WorkKeys® assessments are included in the Virginia CRC:

  • Reading for Information measures the skill needed to comprehend and use written text in order to do a job. The written texts include memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations.
  • Applied Mathematics measures the skill needed to apply mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques to work-related problems. The test questions present the types of problems and require the types of calculations that actually occur in the workplace.
  • Locating Information measures the skill needed to work with workplace graphics, such as finding information in a graphic and comparing, summarizing, and analyzing information found in related graphics.

What is WorkKeys?

WorkKeys® is a job skills assessment system measuring “real-world” skills that employers believe are critical to job success. The WorkKeys® Assessment System allows these skills to be quantitatively assessed in both individual persons and in actual jobs. The WorkKeys System allows employers to identify individuals who have the basic skills required to be successful in a given position or career path. When properly used, employers can make hiring and promotion decisions based on WorkKeys with confidence and security since it complies with ADA & EEOC guidelines.

For Students

How Does It Work?

Students should allow approximately three hours for testing for the CRC. After explaining the on-line test process and creating a user profile, students have 45 minutes to complete each component of the test (for a total of three hours). Scores are available upon completion. Assessments specifically designed for the healthcare industry are available upon request. Tutoring assistance, using KeyTrain® software is available upon request.

What Does It Mean – Work Readiness?

The CRC provides a portable credential that demonstrates “work readiness”.
A “work ready” individual possesses the foundational skills needed to be minimally qualified for a specific occupation as determined through a job analysis or occupational profile. The skills needed for work readiness:

  1. Are both foundational and occupation specific,
  2. vary in both importance and level for different occupations, and
  3. depend on the critical tasks identified via a job analysis or an occupational profile.

The WorkKeys System deals with the foundational skills required by all jobs, such as reading, mathematics, critical problem-solving skills and others. These skills are required by essentially all jobs, from entry-level positions to white-collar professionals, although to different degrees in each job. The Work Keys System does not deal with job-specific training; however it can be used to determine minimum requirements for job sectors(see Table 1 for minimum scores for job sector examples). For instance, it would not train or measure the performance of a person to be a printing press operator. However WorkKeys assessments do ensure that a prospective employee could read and understand a typical press operation manual, read the gauges and dials on the machine, work with others in the company, and with the proper guidance become a successful press operator. Without first knowing that a person possesses these basic abilities, efforts to train a potential press operator could be wasted. In this way, WorkKeys assessments help a business to avoid mistakes in hiring and training a person who is not ready to absorb the information presented in the training.

CRC Results

There are three levels of CRC awarded: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The certificate level is determined by the lowest score out of the three assessments taken. To achieve a Gold certificate, an individual must score at least a 5 on all three; for Silver , an individual must score at least a 4 on all assessment, and for Bronze, an individual must score at least a 3 on all three assessments.

Skill Area Bronze Level Silver Level Gold Level
Reading for Information 3
Applied Mathematics 3
Locating Information 3
Recipient possesses % of skills for 15,000 jobs profiled 25-30% 60-65% 85%


The table above shows how these skill levels apply for over 15,000 nationwide jobs that have been profiled by ACT Work Keys. Work Keys compares the skills needed to perform a job well with the skills an individual currently possesses. Gold certificate recipients qualify for over 85% of the jobs listed in the national profile, while a Silver level recipient qualifies for 60-65% of the jobs listed.

For Employers: Recognize – Request – Require

Employers can Recognize the CRC

With the increase in awareness and availability of the CRC for job seekers, employers are educating their human resource professionals about the skills the CRC signifies, the information it provides, and the value it adds to the hiring decisions. Some of these employers may use language in their job postings or classified ads such as “We welcome Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificate”.

Employers can Request or prefer the CRC

Employers may choose to encourage candidates to submit the CRC as part of their application packets along with documents such as resumes, applications, work histories, technical certifications, and educational credentials. Employers who request or prefer the CRC tend to use language in their job postings or classified ads, such “Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificate preferred or requested”.

Employers can Require the CRC

Employers can require the CRC as part of the application process. If an employer requires the CRC regardless of level, (Bronze, Silver, or Gold) they would be well advised to have documentation in place to confirm that the minimum required skills are at least those defined by a Bronze level certificate. Employers that require that job candidates submit the CRC: at a specified level need to complete a formal analysis of the skill areas and levels that are relevant to a specific job to establish a specified certificate level as a requirement for that job. This can be accomplished using a job analysis tool (job profile or Occupational Profiles) offered by ACT as part of the Work Keys assessment system, which serves as the foundation for the CRC.

Sample Job Title Applied Mathematics Reading for Information Locating Information
Child, Family and School Social Workers 4 4 4
Childcare Workers 3 4 3
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics 3 5 4
Dental Hygienists 3 5 4
Medical Secretaries 3 4 4
Cashiers 3 4 3
Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks 3 3 4
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 4 5 5
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 5 5 5
Sales Engineers 6 6 5
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 3 3 4
Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail and Farm Products 3 4 4
Bill and Account Collectors 3 4 4
Financial Analysts 5 3 4
Credit Analysts 4 5 4
Budget Analysts 6 5 5
Claims Adjusters, Examiners and Investigators 5 5 4
Computer Programmers 4 4 4
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 5 5 5
Electricians 5 5 5
Helpers-Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Workers 4 4 4
Industrial Maintenance Technician (3 in Applied Technology) 3 3 3
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 3 4 4
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers 4 4 4
Manufacturing Production Technicians (5 in Applied Technology) 3 3 3
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators 3 4 5
Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 4 4 5
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists 4 4 4
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