Best Practices for Facilitating Credentialing
Credentialing in the Military
- The military uses the term ‘credentialing’ to refer to civilian occupational licensing, certification, and apprenticeship.
- For some military occupations, credentialing is mandatory—Service members are required to attain a civilian credential (e.g. cyber security and some healthcare occupations) — but all military Services pay for voluntary credentials related to the Service member’s military occupation.
- When taking into the consideration all of the skills attained through military training and experience, all military occupations have at least one related civilian credential. In some cases there is a one for one relationship between the military occupation and the certification, and at other times a certification might be aligned to underlying skillset.
- Credentialing agencies can help our Service members and veterans attain civilian credentials and find successful careers in the civilian workforce. Guidelines, steps, and links to resources are all available to assist you in this process on the DoD Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) website.
Best Practices Overview
Credentialing agencies can play a significant role in helping Service members and veterans apply their military training and experience to professional credentials by making even small changes to meet their unique needs. Some key practices credentialing agencies might adopt to facilitate credentialing for this population include:
- Ensure Quality/Value. Service members and veterans, like the general public, have a right to know that the credentials they pursue are of high quality and hold value to industry. Credentialing agencies can help Service members and veterans identify these types of credentials by having their credentials accredited by a third party, nationally recognized, accrediting organization.
- Facilitate Payment of Credentials. The GI Bill will pay for credential exam fees up to $2,000 per test. Credentialing agencies should work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to get their credentials approved for payment through the GI Bill.
- Provide Maximum Credit for Military Training and Experience. Credentialing agencies should take steps to assess the equivalency of military training and experience and should explicitly recognize military training in credentialing requirements, when possible.
- Utilize Existing Assessments of Military Training and Experience.
- DoD COOL DoD COOL provides links to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard COOL websites where you can see how military occupations are mapped to civilian credential and how many federal civilian service occupations relate to specific civilian credentials.
- American Council on Education (ACE) Military Guide – provides college credit recommendations for military training and experience.
- Use Available Service Documentation to Assess Individual Service Members’ and Veterans’ Unique Qualifications. Credentialing agencies can use standard forms of Service documentation to assess an individual’s military training and experience. More information on Service transcripts and other forms of documentation can be found on the US Department of Labor’s Career One Stop.
- Accommodate Military Service members' Unique Needs. Credentialing agencies can make accommodations for such things as deployments and the geographical dispersion of Service members.
- Make accommodations for deployments – Service members who are deployed may have difficulty meeting recertification requirements (e.g., continuing education units) or the period for which their credential is valid may expire while they are deployed. Credentialing agencies can extend recertification requirements for deployed Service members.
- Ensure exams are widely available – Service members are often geographically dispersed and may not be able to take exams that are offered only periodically throughout the year. Credentialing agencies can consider using national testing companies to make their credentials widely available and can offer credential exams on demand.