Today National Healthcareer Association (NHA) will be represented at the Military to Healthcare Credentialing Roundtable convened by The American Legion to address the employment challenges currently facing America’s service members and veterans in healthcare. This selective group will collaborate with other key stakeholders, such as representatives from each military branch and the Credential Engine, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve transparency in the credentialing marketplace, to discuss the unique challenges veterans face when it comes to credential attainment.A newly released American Legion report, “The State of Credentialing of Service Members and Veterans: Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities,” outlined the following challenges:
- Complexity of the nation’s civilian credentialing system
- Lack of consensus in defining basic credentialing terminology
- Absence of agreement on the standard to be applied to ensure the quality of credentials
- Scarcity of research on the labor market demand for credentials
This shared goal has not gone unheard and has resulted in a unique collaborative initiative calledthe Credential Engine. The Credential Engine grew out of the Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI), which began in 2013. Supported by Lumina Foundation, CTI was led by the George Washington University’s Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP), Workcred (an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute), and Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development. CTI worked closely with an Executive Committee, a Technical Advisory Committee and hundreds of diverse stakeholders in credentialing that provided feedback focused on three components: (1) development of the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL), (2) development of a prototype Credential Registry and (3) development of a prototype app built on the registry (WorkitTM).
In early 2015, Lumina Foundation, in partnership with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, called for a national dialogue on post-secondary credentialing, inviting other organizations to join the effort as co-sponsors. NHA and more than 200 other sponsoring organizations committed to take action toward a shared vision of developing a 21st Century Credentialing System.
The major problem facing not only veterans, but civilians as well, is that the credentialing marketplace is a confusing maze. The progress toward achieving the three components listed above is underway and making great progress. For example, NHA and more than 100 participants are actively engaged in creating and populating a voluntary, web-based credential registry and search application that contains credential issuers, quality assurance bodies and competency frameworks. This technology will add value to what already exists in the credentialing community and be useful to employers, higher education institutions, the general public, state and federal agencies and quality assurance organizations.
NHA provides NCCA-accredited, nationally recognized, credential attainment opportunities to active duty, transitioning, and veteran status servicemen and women who have military medical training. We recognize military experience as a pathway to participate in certification testing and do not require additional civilian diplomas or degrees to participate in credential attainment opportunities. It is our goal to help ease the transition from a service healthcare career to a civilian healthcare career. We are honored to be engaged in an initiative at the forefront of groundbreaking technology that is ultimately driving a new credentialing ecosystem. More importantly, we pride ourselves in helping to empower veterans to attain national industry credentials and to promote access to all individuals searching for credential transparency.