ERIC Number: ED371137
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jun-24
Occupational Standards and Certification: Past-Current-Future Trends in the United States.
Fretwell, David; Pritz, Sandra
The heritage and history of the United States have influenced its consistent tendency toward voluntary adoption of standards achieved by consensus and toward guidelines rather than regulations. Major initiatives have continued to move toward a systematic, if not a centralized or standardized, approach. Over the past 20 years, varying degrees of emphasis have been put on one or another of the skills--occupational, basic or general education, and general employability--that are combined in "work." The trend toward competency-based education makes it possible for occupational standards and certifications to be placed within a consistent theoretical framework. Such programs are flexible, amenable to change, and accessible; they incorporate a mix of skills. Current initiatives continue to address and integrate development of occupational, basic, and employability skills in an outcome-based approach that relates a standard to the desired outcome and provides for realistic flexibility in how the outcome is achieved. Occupational standards are the accountability tool that can drive a very adaptable system and keep it on target. Current initiatives include industry's responses to demographic and structural change, government involvement of all stakeholders through grants to develop national skill standards, and critical interrelated federal legislative initiatives. Economic progress is dependent not only on the setting of the standards but on their acceptance and implementation. (Contains 16 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference of the International Research Network for Training and Development (3rd, Milan, Italy, June 24, 1994).