Centers of Career Development Excellence
Excellence and quality credentialing processes have become an increasing part of the global business and service-industry landscape. As more and more organizations seek a competitive edge to improve their ability to access customers and funding, they are turning to credentialing (certifications and accreditations) as a way of demonstrating adherence to quality standards and of improving organizational performance.
For providers of career and workforce development services, funders are increasing performance standards and for once "safe" grants are going to organizations that are able to demonstrate higher return on investment, better bottom-line customer impact and satisfaction, community outcomes, and continuous improvements. In addition, increased customer choice and accessible outcome data means that customers can determine for themselves (by provider choice), which organizations in their local one-stop system provide the highest quality services and will seek services only from those organizations that provide consistent high quality services.
One of the primary goals of the new Centers of Career Development Excellence Program Accreditation (CoE) process is to help build quality-based, high performing career development programming capacity in national and regional workforce development systems and their provider networks, especially for those serving educationally or economically disadvantaged populations and entry-level incumbent workers. The Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) and the Workforce Development Professionals Network (WDPN) — partners in this process — realize work they do now in support of individual staff member professional development and credentialing is a step in the right direction to help customers in career transition receive the best possible services. (WDPN is an approved CCE provider for the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) credential, and both WDPN and CCE have roles and capacities in staff level certifications as well as this program accreditation model.) However, based on ongoing demands, career and workforce development professionals also seek ways to help ensure their career and workforce programs also meet the highest standards of quality, and best practices of customer service integrated with continuous improvement methodologies across all operations and work-tasks.
How Does The Accreditation Process Work?
A wide variety of career and workforce intermediary organizations all operate and spend public, philanthropic, or private dollars on career and workforce development programs designed to help people articulate and then move along their education and career development plans. The CoE process of CCE and WDPN is designed to help an intermediary organization or human resource (HR) program reposition its developmental path towards programming excellence and improved outcomes. We give you a road map, all you have to do is apply it and follow the path initiated in the CoE Accreditation Application and Self Assessment process.
As such, the CoE Application process, with its use of the High Performance Career Development Programming standards (HPCD), and a team-based self-assessment are designed to provide:
- A rigorous framework for evaluating the programs and services you provide that is based on best practices in the career and workforce development field and applying continuous quality improvement principles designed to enhance organizational performance.
- Verification that you are providing the highest possible level of career and workforce development services to your customers (job seekers, employers, and industry clusters) and funders.
- An opportunity to identify and address key performance improvement opportunities within an organization and its programs.
- Access to expert technical assistance and training that specifically addresses the key performance issues faced by career and workforce development provider staff, HR and training departments, and one-stop service systems.
- Peer-to-peer networking, benchmarking, and relationship building opportunities to dozens of other similar programs or projects like your own, and learning from their documented best practice customer service tasks, business practices, career resource centers, and job placement and retention/ advancement service strategies.
- Systematic performance evidence for use in communicating about and marketing your services to funders and customers and in priority setting and planning.
Who Provides the Accreditation?
The Center for Credentialing and Education, Inc. (CCE®) is the CoE accreditation body. CCE is a corporate affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC®), the global leader in the professional counseling credentialing field. In 2004-2005, a new global Centers of Excellence Accreditation Review Team was formed by CCE and WDPN and helped shape the process and standards of the CoE process.
Using the effective practices and models of a 5-year program accreditation pilot of the Workforce Development Professionals Network, CCE and WDPN now jointly administer the CoE process today. WDPN provides the core HPCD standards as they are developed and refined with the Accreditation Review Team, and supports a network of certified HPCD Auditor Professionals offering interested CoE applicants all the training and consulting supports needed to complete the required self- assessment and CoE application process in several formats and service delivery options.
What Is Examined in The Self-Assessment?
Organizational teams examine their present services and administrative structures against the detailed 5- dimension High Performance Career Development programming model (HPCD), grounded in - and based upon, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA). The HPCD model today is made up of 222 individual work-task standards across programming areas of:
- Vision, Mission and Values — As implied, starting at core questions/standards, such as why do we exist?; how is the delivery of career and workforce services related to our vision, mission, and values?; what are our values and our strategic planning processes? Etc.
- Pre-Program Service Areas — such as marketing, recruitment, intake, assessment, and suitability for career and workforce services
- In-Program Career Development Interventions, Education and Training — included here is career development workshops or employability, basic skill remediation, career resource center best practices and services, social supports, training and/or training referrals, and business services
- Post Programming — Job Search, Transitions Into Employment, Job Development, Retention and Advancement, Industry & Employer Services, etc.
- Across Programming Areas — Finance and Administration, Continuous Quality Improvement, Human Resource Focus, Collaboration, Results Focus, and more
What Are the Time Commitments and Costs?
Between 50 to a hundred plus staff hours are needed to do a thorough evidence and team based self-assessment. Unlike other processes and accreditations, teams are fully empowered and engaged here, and then also able to run with the process for years for an ongoing and active system of continuous quality improvement (CQI). Even with the intense time commitment, most participants from the 5-year HPCD program accreditation pilots reported incredibly high satisfaction with the process and its impacts on their teams. It is possible to have an inhouse staff member trained on how to lead the self-assessment and application process, initiate the CoE selfassessment process, get a site review and audit completed, and have the accreditation review team application submission to CCE reviewed and processed in as little as five to eight months. The HPCD self-assessment of the accreditation process includes ongoing support and technical assistance from WDPN and a program can get started for as little as $5,000 to get baseline HPCD scores for both MBNQA standard benchmarking and peer-to-peer outcomes based benchmarking. The entire CCE and WDPN Centers Of Excellence accreditation review process can cost as little as $11,500 in total to an average size career or workforce program in a program accreditation application (Average size being 3 to 5 staff, $250,000 program budget min., and serving at least 25 to 50 career transition clients - or more).
How Does One Get Started?
Overview materials and details on the CoE program accreditation levels and approaches by calling us at (412) 269-9376 ext 2.