The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is becoming more widely recommended by employers as a stated preference for employment. So if you’ve come across the phrase “NCRC Preferred” on your latest job search, you may have been scratching your head and trying to figure out what that meant. Well let’s break it down for you.
The NCRC is a certification available through ACT. In order to get the certification, you will take a test. The test covers three basic areas: Locating Information, Reading for Information, and Basic Math, and you’re allowed 55 minutes per section. If you score well enough, you receive a medal score in each of the three areas (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum). The lowest of your three scores is the level of certificate that you will receive (i.e. if you scored Gold in Reading, Silver in Basic Math, and Platinum in Locating Information, you would receive a Silver Certificate).
In addition to local employers, you also may have heard about the NCRC through the GAP Tuition program. In order to qualify for GAP Tuition Assistance, you must receive at least a Bronze score on all three sections. GAP Tuition assistance is a program that can help pay for training programs in high demand areas and may be helpful to anyone seeking a new career.
If you’re worried about your testing scores, you can prepare for the test before taking it. IowaWORKS Staff can sign you up for CareerReady101, a program designed to boost your skills in the three tested areas. The program will give you a pretest in each of the three subjects so you can familiarize yourself with the format of test questions, and it will assign you a score based on how you have done. From that score the program will take you through lessons that will increase your knowledge and your score.
The NCRC is a tool that can help you find a great job and only costs around three hours of your time. You can learn more about it by going to www.skillediowa.com or by asking an IowaWORKS representative.