Work Readiness

Capital Workforce Partners Career Competency Work Readiness Certification Standards:

The Career Competency Work Readiness Certification Standards Tools that follow are based on alignment with specific competencies. These tools have already been researched and proven reliable and valid including: CASAS, National Retail Federation Foundation (NRF) National Professional Certification in Customer Service, Certiport-Microsoft Office Systems and Learning Resources Inc. – Workforce Readiness Skills Assessment.

Criteria for reviewing assessments:

  • Reliability and validity
  • Target Groups-appropriateness for age/tier level
  • User friendly
  • Cost effectiveness (manuals, equipment, test booklets, answer sheets, etc.)
  • Addressed multiple competency areas
  • Administration/training requirements & fees
  • On-line version

Standards by Tier Levels:

The national certification standardized assessments (i.e. Certiport-Microsoft Office Systems assessment for Computer Literacy Competency) will be introduced in specific tier levels.  For example, a student should “pass” the Certiport-Microsoft Assessment to move on to Tier III since that particular competency should be mastered before a student enters the internship phase of programming (and is not part of the Tier III Competency Learning Plan) in addition to the Tier II Post Test.  (Please refer to The Career Competency Rubric for tiered implementation and delivery of other certification standardized assessment tools).

Basic Skills Competency

CASAS (Reading and Math):

Recommended Training Materials

QuickSearch Online is an easy-to-use database of 2,300+ instructional material titles coded to skill levels, CASAS Competencies, and skill areas. It provides an essential link between assessment and instruction in the CASAS system.

QuickSearch Online lists print, audio, visual and computer-based instructional materials, and correlates them to the CASAS Competencies. Through the competencies, educators and trainers can identify curriculum materials that target specific learning needs at appropriate instructional levels.

The materials referenced in QuickSearch Online are recommended by practitioners and reviewed by curriculum specialists. Each title is correlated to CASAS Competencies, instructional level, type of learner, mode of instruction, and is linked within the database to selected CASAS pre- and post assessments.


CASAS has several evaluation tools.  In this case, youth are assessed using the CASAS Employability Competency System (ECS).  The ECS evaluates an individual’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to employability competencies. This allows the instructor to match the youth’s abilities to appropriate programs and levels of instruction and to set employment and learning goals.

Job Readiness Competency

Employer Portfolio Checklist
The Portfolio Checklist should be completed during the course of the work site placement. There are work readiness competencies, with specific objectives detailed for each. There is a column provided for the date of completion for each of the competency activities listed.

Harrington O’Shea

Pearson Assessments

Recommended Training Materials:

The Harrington O’Shea Career Decision Making assesses users’ interests and helps them to self-assess their abilities, work values, and school subject preferences. Once career clusters are identified, the CDM-R provides a decision-making process for exploring specific occupations and learning about the education and training requirements.


CDM-R provides a self-scored assessment that helps students and other career planners identify their occupational interests, values, and abilities – and match these dimensions to career options. This contemporary tool pinpoints career clusters and yields results that can be linked to future job area interests and opportunities.


CMD-R can be delivered over the internet and paper formats.

Career Scope

Career Scope Assessment:

Recommended Training Materials

Measures both aptitude and interest in a completely “user-friendly” environment
CareerScopeANZ® takes career and educational planning to a new level. The proven career assessment and reporting system from Vocational Research Institute is a powerful, yet easy-to-use program.


The aptitudes measured by CareerScope are the most critical for today’s high growth and high replacement rate occupations, as well as for the emerging careers of the 21st century. The aptitudes measured are:
General Learning Ability
Verbal Aptitude
Numerical Aptitude
Spatial Aptitude
Form Perception Clerical Perception


Career Scope can only be delivered via on-line.

Customer Service Competency:

National Retail Federation (NRF) National Professional Certification in Customer Service

Recommended Training Materials

Retailing Smarts Series Learner Workbooks: Books 1-4 are used by many programs to prepare students for the customer service exam, and Books 5-8 prepare for the sales exam. These books contain activities that are highly interactive and scenario-based, much like the tests. There is a teacher’s guide to the workbooks that can be ordered separately.

Get to Know Your Customer (Workbook 1), Meet Your Customers’ Needs (Workbook 2), Build a Continuous Relationship (Workbook 3), Go the Extra Mile (Workbook 4), Explaining Features and Benefits (Workbook 5), Building the Sale (Workbook 6), Closing the Sale (Workbook 7), Completing the Sales Transaction (Workbook 8), Preventing Loss (Workbook 9), Promoting Safety (Workbook 10), Stocking the Shelves (Workbook 11), and Keeping Up Appearances (Workbook 12)

Workbooks are $12.95 each, and the leader’s guides are $57.00 each. More information about these resources can be found at the online bookstore.


There is a one-time, site set-up fee of $250, to cover proctor training and ongoing IT support from CASTLE. New sites are also required to purchase a minimum of 25 vouchers at the time of set-up. Test vouchers give candidates access to the certification exam. Cost of the customer service and sales test vouchers is $50/per test; retail management is $80/per test. Test vouchers are good for one year from the month issued. The vouchers need to be prepaid, or we need a copy of a signed purchase order before we can issue. Retakes are $20/per test.


Eligible test takers must be at least 16 years old and/or in 11th grade. Test is computer-based, 75 questions; 2 hours are allotted.

Computer Literacy Competency

Recommended Training Materials
Certiport has a list of approved course ware, that can be found at  Some materials have to be purchased, but OPP staff developed an in-house curriculum.


Must be registered as a testing site or use an existing testing site. There is no fee to be set up; one has to make sure that they meet all the technical requirements before being able to set up. Each exam must be proctored by someone who has been registered to do so.

We are currently charged for each exam (MOS Word/ MOS Excel/ MOS PowerPoint) $52.92 with an additional $10 for re-takes in the event that a participant doesn’t pass the MOS exam. Instructors obviously must have tested and passed all the core exams and at least one of the expert exams.

Soft Skills Competencies:

  • Problem Solving and Decision Making Skills Competency
  • Personal Qualities Competency
  • Interpersonal Skills Competency

Learning Resources, Inc.

Work Readiness Skills (WRS) Assessment

Recommended Training Materials

The WRS assessment modules are comprised of: Personal Qualities is 40 minutes of video during which viewer responds to 28 work related questions; Customer Care is 37 minutes of video and 28 Questions; and Listening is 28 minutes of video and 20 questions. Personal Qualities and Customer Care tapes are recorded in English and Spanish; open-caption in both languages is available.


WRS is an employer-validated and simulation-based soft skills assessment program that measures the competencies required by employers for a wide range of first jobs. The program identifies both the competencies and the developmental needs of assessed individuals. When skill development is needed, strategies are identified to support the attainment of those skills. Because of its validity, WRS is also used in support of hiring and promotional decisions.


WRS can only be delivered over the Internet and via DVD or VHS formats.

Supplemental Resources: