What NCCER Certification Is and Why It Is Critical For The Industrial Workforce
One of the largest components of productivity, quality, and safety during an industrial maintenance or construction project is having a staff of highly trained, knowledgeable workers. Poorly trained workers bog down a project’s progress, deliver questionable or subpar output, and ultimately put themselves, their coworkers, and the worksite in danger. One of the best tools in the industrial markets for determining whether or not a worker is qualified and trained is to check his or her NCCER credentials.
What Is NCCER?
NCCER, an acronym for The National Center for Construction Education and Research, is a not-for-profit education foundation that was founded in 1996. It was created as a collaboration of more than 125 construction CEOs, association leaders, and academic professionals who strongly believed in the importance of safety, productivity, and education within the construction and maintenance industry. These professionals came together with the goal of developing a curriculum of standardized training and credentials.
The NCCER’s mission is to build a sustainable workforce of safe and productive craft professionals. Their vision is to position themselves as an entity universally recognized by both private industries and public government as setting the standard for the training, assessment, certification, and career development of construction and maintenance craftsmen.
NCCER emphasizes a set of 8 key core values which include:
- Industry Support
- Customer Focus
- Sustainable Career Opportunities
To help accomplish its mission, NCCER is partnered with 40 different national associations and organizations across the country that share the same goals and objectives.
NCCER is funded in part by the National Training Service Agreement (NTSA). There are over 100 participants in the NTSA comprising of contractors and associations who are committed to supporting NCCER’s workforce development efforts. These participants contribute 15 cents per craft-labor hour into an account established by NCCER. NCCER then reimburses 13 cents for all expenditures that are for approved training or workforce development. The remaining 2 cents goes to NCCER to help support its workforce development, training, and advancement activities. Some companies contribute an extra 1 cent per craft-labor hour to industry recruitment and image enhancement initiatives.
NCCER’s Credentials and National Registry
One of the major services that NCCER provides is its National Registry. The National Registry is maintained and updated by NCCER and is a secure database which tracks the credentials of all the craftsmen who participate in NCCER’s training and assessment programs. It tracks certificates, transcripts, and performance verification. The National Registry can be accessed by companies and organizations who wish to check a current employee’s record or who wish to evaluate the qualifications of a potential new hire. The registry also provides a way for the individual craftsmen to demonstrate and maintain their own qualifications, skills, and experience which in turn will aid them with career development. It also provides those who have completed training and assessment requirements with wallet cards which can be used as a quick and easy method of showing their credentials.
NCCER’s Training Curriculum
NCCER has developed a training curriculum for more than 70 different craft areas. This curriculum is taught by accredited contractors, associations, and construction users worldwide. The curriculum was developed by subject matter experts in both industrial and academic settings throughout the United States and is published by Pearson.
The craft areas are extremely relative to oil and gas companies, plants and manufacturers, and others in the industrial sector. For example a small sampling of craft areas offered by NCCER include:
- Field Safety
- Fundamentals of Crew Leadership
- Heavy Equipment Operations
- Industrial Maintenance Electrical & Instrumentation Technician
- Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
- Gas Pipeline Operations
- Pipeline Corrosion Control
- Pipeline Maintenance
- Pipeline Mechanical
- Project Management
- Project Supervision
- Safety Orientation
- Safety Technology
NCCER’s Assessments and Certification
NCCER also offers assessments and certification based on its curriculum. The assessments are available for both entry-level and journey-level craftsmen through NCCER’s National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP). The written assessments tests the individual’s knowledge of the specific craft area and when necessary offers a recommendation for upgraded training. NCCER also does a series of assessments for foremen and supevisors to certify these highly experienced craftsmen. Additionally NCCER provides a test series for secondary career and technical education. This is designed to assist states with implementing a statewide accountability system.
NCCER’s assessment and certification program also incorporates a performance element. These tests are referred to as Performance Verifications and they assess a craftsman’s skill level on a given area by having him or her demonstrate that skill in a controlled environment where it can be carefully observed and measured. The Performance Verifications are administered by qualified performance evaluators.
NCCER awards certification based on completion of these two categories of assessment for each craft area. If the individual successfully completes the written assessment then he or she receives the “Knowledge Verified” certification. If the individual successfully completes the performance section of the assessment then a “Performance Verified” certificate is awarded. If the craftsman successfully completes both the written and performance assessments then NCCER awards the “Certified Plus” certification.
STI Group believes in the importance of employing NCCER certified craftsmen. In fact one of our 13 Pillars Of Safety includes NCCER Certification & Craft Testing. The work being performed by STI Group is executed by laborers who have met knowledge and training standards in their particular craft.