Process for Adding new Industry-Recognized Credentials

How the List is Built

In September of 2014, the State Board of Education of Ohio passed a resolution to adopt a framework for determining industry-recognized credentials that qualify students for high school graduation. In addition to providing an alternative pathway to graduation, students benefit from learning job-specific skills that can be used to verify skill mastery and educational attainment. Industry-recognized credentials are also valuable to employers, allowing them to validate the knowledge and skills of potential employees and saving valuable time in assessing the competency of job applicants.

The term ‘‘industry-recognized credential” in this context refers to a certification or license that is approved by a diverse group of industry representatives and is used to some degree in the hiring process for individuals in that industry. Therefore, industry partners play an integral role in how the list is formed and validated.​

Businesses in virtually every industry are struggling to find workers who have the academic, technical and professional skills to consistently excel and succeed in the workplace. The review process relies on industry partners to validate the need of an industry credential in their respective career fields to ensure that students are earning credentials that are valued by Ohio businesses and/or are tied to Ohio’s Top Jobs List. Ohio's Top Jobs List includes both in-demand jobs and critical jobs.

Point Value Determination

Multiple factors are included in determining the point value of a credential. The factors include the following:

  • Industry feedback survey results “This credential shows only foundational skills to perform functions of the job; This credential would be nice for applicants to possess for employment at my company; This credential is preferred for employment at my company; or This credential is required for employment at my company.” 
  • Committee members draw on industry experience to recommend point values for approved industry-recognized credentials. 
  • Point values are not determined by the amount of time and rigor it takes students to complete content but by industry demand for the credential.  


The Ohio Department of Education & Workforce, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, developed an application and review process timeline.

Community stakeholders, including schools, parents, students and businesses may submit credentials to the Ohio Department of Education & Workforce for consideration by completing an application. Resubmission of applications will only be evaluated every six months for addition to the list. 

  • Click here to view the application prior to submitting. It will allow for easy planning prior to beginning the live application.
  • Click here to begin the live application. You will not be able to save and come back to the application prior to submitting.

Application to Request Modification to Approved Industry-Recognized Credentials

An application has been created to request modifications to industry-recognized credentials on the approved list. Changes that may be requested for industry credentials include a point value increase, adding the credential to other career-fields or other changes. Applications for modification of the same request will only be evaluated every six months.  

  • Click here to begin the live application. You will not be able to save and come back to the application prior to submitting.

Application Process Timeline

The application process will cycle four times yearly, but the application will always remain open. The four open application windows will be:

  • March 1, 2024 – May 31, 2024 (credentials available for 2025-2026 school year)
  • June 1, 2024 – July 31, 2024 (credentials available for 2025-2026 school year)
  • August 1, 2024 - October 31, 2024 (credentials available for 2025-2026 school year)
  • November 1, 2024 - January 31, 2025 (credentials available for 2026-2027 school year)

Application Review Process

The application review process takes approximately 10 weeks for each quarterly set of application submissions. The review includes:
  • Research consisting of an Ohio labor market audit using Emsi and information gathered from the credential provider website;
  • Assessment by Office of Career-Technical Education Program Specialists to determine how the requested credential aligns to the Ohio Department of Education & Workforce’s Career Field Technical Content Standards;
  • Analysis of an industry feedback survey distributed to business and industry professionals involved in their company's hiring process;
  • All research and industry feedback survey results will be assembled into a report for review by committee;
  • The committee is tasked with reviewing the report to determine which credentials will be added to the approved graduation list and at what point values.

NOTE: The committee was developed collaboratively with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and consists of representatives from the Ohio Department of Education & Workforce, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and representatives of professional business organizations.

Committee Members

The committee is comprised of representatives from the following associations and companies:

  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio
  • Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Central Ohio Chapter
  • CentraComm
  • Central Ohio Transit Authority 
  • City of Dublin
  • County Engineers Association of Ohio
  • CyberOhio
  • Hilliard Modern Dental
  • Ohio Agribusiness Association
  • Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators
  • Ohio Business Roundtable
  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce
  • Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association 
  • Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Ohio Farm Bureau
  • Ohio Healthcare Association
  • Ohio Hospital Association 
  • Ohio Manufacturer's Association
  • Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy
  • Ohio Restaurant Association 
  • Ohio Retail Merchants
  • Ohio State Board of Cosmetology
  • Ohio Travel Association 
  • OhioX
  • Society for Human Resource Management

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Last Modified: 5/6/2024 8:52:10 AM