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Becoming an Assessment Site for the National Work Readiness Credential

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How to Apply
How to Apply

In September 2006 the National Work Readiness Council (NWRC) will begin a targeted launch of the National Work Readiness Credential (WRC) in approximately 50 sites around the country. During this ‘soft’ launch, which will extend through December 2006, it is estimated that up to 10,000 individuals will take the assessment. We are now accepting applications to participate in the soft launch.

The full launch of the WRC will begin in January 2007. We will begin to accept site applications for the full launch in December 2006. Businesses and organizations accepted as soft launch sites will not need to reapply.

This Guide will help you determine if your business or organization is appropriate to be an assessment site during the soft launch or full launch.

>> Read below or download a PDF of this guide:


Becoming an Assessment Site
:: Start-up Checklist
:: Requirements and Resources
:: Technical Requirements

:: National Work Readiness Council (NWRC) Specifications and Fees
:: NWRC Founding Partners

Start-up Checklist
This simple checklist outlines the steps to complete in order to offer the assessments leading to the National Work Readiness Credential.

- Say “YES” to offering the National Work Readiness Credential.
- Identify the appropriate assessment location. See the technical requirements for more detailed information. System setup consultation is delivered by our partner, CASTLE Worldwide, for this computer-based assessment.
- Complete and submit the National Work Readiness Credential Assessment Site Application.
- Meet requirements in this guide and become a certified assessment site.
- Promote the opportunity to earn the National Work Readiness Credential.
- Recruit candidates for the National Work Readiness Credential assessment.
- Offer assessment sessions for the National Work Readiness Credential.

Requirements and Resources
All sites will be required to meet minimum specifications for equipment, procedures, staffing, physical space, and other characteristics that are important to the particular assessment. Additionally, sites will be required to meet specified security and delivery standards. Potential assessment sites will follow application procedures established by the NWRC.

Please review the minimum hardware, software, and other requirements listed on the following pages.

Technical Resources
Technical consultation from CASTLE Worldwide is available to any site location that offers the assessment. A first-time affiliation/installation fee of $300, plus $25 per proctor, will apply.

Registration and Fee Management Resources
CASTLE Worldwide offers great flexibility to manage assessment registration and payment. Candidates may register for the assessment at the test site immediately prior to test delivery, and the following payment options will be available:
- Credit card payment (Visa or MasterCard) by individual candidates prior to testing using CASTLE’s secure e-commerce capabilities.
- Pre-pay vouchers which may be ordered through CASTLE’s web site by credit card (Visa or MasterCard). If your site wishes to purchase vouchers on behalf of your candidates, you may do so through CASTLE’s web site at the following URL address: www.castleworldwide.com/nwrc.
- Post-pay vouchers for pre-approved organizations/institutions. (May require a guaranteed minimum number of candidates per year.)

Technical Requirements for Becoming a Testing Center
The following information indicates the basic requirements for a testing center. These requirements specify the minimum hardware and software setup that is necessary.

Minimum Setup Required
- Internet access with either Microsoft Internet Explorer (6.0 or higher) or Netscape (7.1 or higher)
- High-speed Internet connection (recommended)
- Sound cards (to hear the audio)
- Media player (such as Microsoft Media Player 9)
- Mouse with mouse pad
- USB stereo headset/microphone
- Headphones must be provided for each candidate
- Keyboard
- 15” or 17” SVGA color monitor (or larger)
- Printer
* Please note that there are no RAM or memory requirements for your computer.

Connectivity, Minimum Requirements
Reliable and fast Internet access is required. Preferred connections include:
- Minimum 56K connection (128 kbps or faster greatly preferred) to a reliable Internet service provider

Testing Stations, Minimum Requirements
- Individual testing stations allow candidates to log into the testing system and complete their test registration.
- Individual testing stations are at least three to four feet apart, allowing adequate room for spacing candidates.
- Testing area has good lighting and is free from outside noise.

National Work Readiness Council (NWRC) Specifications and Fees
NWRC Soft Launch
In September 2006 the National Work Readiness Council will begin a targeted launch of the National Work Readiness Credential in approximately 50 sites around the country.
The purpose of this targeted access ‘soft’ launch is to enable the NWRC and CASTLE Worldwide, its assessment delivery partner, to ensure that all systems are in place and working properly and to begin to collect operational data on test takers in order to confirm that candidates that score high enough to pass all four assessments and earn the National Work Readiness Credential are more likely to: carry out their work competently; be retained; be judged as competent workers by their supervisors; easily learn new tasks on the job; and therefore, advance on the job or in their career.

Sites that meet one or more of the following criteria will be given preference in the soft launch:
- Businesses/Organizations in NWRC partner states that have been selected by the partnering lead agency. (See partner list on page 9.)
- Businesses/Organizations that have participated in the NWRC field test.
- Businesses/Organizations that are willing to participate in NWRC data collection associated with ongoing validation.

NWRC reserves the right to approve all sites for delivery of the assessment.

To be certified, a site must:
- Provide delivery of the assessment in an environment conducive to testing, such as a training facility, conference room, or other area dedicated to this purpose, with appropriate equipment.
- Be able to meet all technical requirements (hardware, software, connectivity).
- Be able to meet all other physical site requirements.
- Be handicap accessible with appropriate restroom facilities and a water fountain. Sites must also be able to provide accommodations to individuals with disabilities.
- Train at least 2 individuals to serve as proctors. (Note: There must be 1 proctor per exam room for up to 12 candidates. If there are more than 12 candidates per room, an additional proctor is required for each group of 12 test takers. Proctors must be at least 18 years old and trained by CASTLE Worldwide.)
- Submit site certification fees*:
--> $300 for site certification
--> $25 for each proctor trained

* Each site will be billed upon acceptance of the site application, completed trial run, and completed proctor training.

Site Recertification**
Sites may need to be recertified under the following conditions:
a. Changes in the delivery system that require changes in hardware, software, or other fixtures of the site.
b. Failure to meet the following criteria for quality performance:
- At least 1 proctor is present in the exam room for every 12 candidates.
- The environment is conducive for test taking.
- Equipment is properly configured and operates correctly.
- Proctors are well-trained, familiar with the test delivery system, and able to troubleshoot candidate problems.
- Safety measures are in place and adhered to.

c. Receipt by CASTLE Worldwide or NWRC of 5 or more complaints from test takers (within a 6-month period), including:
- Proctors leaving the candidates unsupervised and being unavailable to assist candidates during the exam
- Consistent environmental issues (dim lighting, noisy, bad climate control)
- Consistent hardware and/or equipment issues (PCs not configured correctly, not enough headsets, etc.)
- Proctors who are not familiar with logging into the test delivery system
- Proctors who are unable to troubleshoot efficiently (i.e., when there is a temporary Internet connection failure, the candidate accidentally unplugs hardware connections, etc.)
- Proctors who are not enforcing security measures (checking IDs, supervising candidates, storing cell phones and personal belongings away from candidates’ desks, preventing cheating, etc.)
** Any site needing recertification will be required to submit a $300 recertification fee.

Per Candidate Credentialing/Testing Fees

All four assessment components (first-time and retake candidates)...
$65
Oral Language assessment (per retake)...................................
$25
Situational Judgment assessment (per retake)...........................
$15
Reading assessment (per retake)...........................................
$15
Math assessment (per retake)...............................................
$15

Application Submission
After reviewing all of the requirements listed in the previous pages, please complete and submit the National Work Readiness Credential Assessment Site Application available at the following location: http://www.castleworldwide.com/nwrc/asp/nwrc_site_application.asp

NWRC Founding Partners (January 2003-July 2006)

District of Columbia
DC State Agency for Adult Education

Florida
Workforce Florida, Inc.

JA Worldwide

New Jersey
New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

New York
New York State Workforce Investment Board
New York State Department of Labor

Rhode Island
Rhode Island Economic Policy Council

Washington
Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board

National Advisors
Institute for Educational Leadership Center for Workforce Development
National Association of Manufacturers Center for Workforce Success
National Association of Workforce Boards
National Governors Association
National Retail Federation Foundation
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Workforce Preparation


National Work Readiness Council
Phone 800.761.0907| Fax: 850.385.8546