News & Announcements
Highlights
Join us for live Q&A sessions for ordering and reports!

We have Reports Portal and ordering guides on our website here. If you still have questions, please participate in one of the sessions we are hosting to take your questions.

Register here

Resources

Contact us with questions
800-967-5539 or [email protected]

Questions? Get in touch with us:








X
Important Information
  • Online testing for Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents will be available June 1
    • The three new tests will be available for registration and administration online once customers have completed an updated Standard Agreement
    • Initially there will be just one form available online with no immediate retesting. ACT will notify you as soon as additional forms are active later in the summer.
    • Practice test for both Proctors and Examinees will be available online free of charge starting June 1
  • Paper and Accommodated testing materials for the new tests will be available to order starting August 1
    • You may continue to order materials for the current tests until July 21
    • New online ordering process for test materials and scoring orders will start on August 1
    • All answer documents for the current tests must be postmarked by August 18 to be processed by ACT
    • You may continue to use Express Score for the current answer documents until October 1
  • New ACT WorkKeys NCRC can be earned by examinees taking the three new tests starting June 1
  • PDFs can be generated in RegiSTAR for the new certificates as they are earned starting June 1
    • A sample of the new ACT WorkKeys NCRC is available here. The new certificate has more specific details about the skills reflected in an examinees level scores.
    • If you currently have a co-branded version of the NCRC and would like to continue to include co-branding with the new ACT WorkKeys NCRC, please notify your Account Manager or contact ACT WorkKeys Customer Service.
  • PDFs for all certificates can be generated for free by examinees in MyWorkKeys starting June 1
    • The certificates examinees can create in MyWorkKeys will always be the standard template (no co-branding on our ACT national site)
  • Spanish versions of Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents will be available starting September 1
    • This includes online, paper and accommodated materials in Spanish
  • Online Curriculum for Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents will be available starting September 1




WorkKeys Assessment Agreement
Will a new or updated agreement be required?
A new agreement will be required to access the new platform and assessments. For those customers on the standard, auto-renewed agreement, this new agreement will supersede the old.
  • The new standard agreement will be valid for 3 years and will not auto renew. Instead customers will be prompted via email to review and renew through the same docu-sign process.
  • The new agreement process will initially cover:
    • Access to deliver the new NCRC 2.0 tests on Validus
    • Ability to order the new NCRC 2.0 tests on paper starting August 1
    • Customer opt-in to RegiSTAR system use (or continuation of existing RegiSTAR)
  • Subsequent addendum web form will be sent later in the summer to cover the ACT WorkKeys Local Scan software (Express Score replacement)
Once the new agreement process is complete, the new assessments will be added to their Validus realm(s) and become available for online registration and administration.
Timeline & Transition
What are the key dates for these updates?
There will be a transition period from the current version of WorkKeys assessments, credential and curriculum to the new updates. The key dates are:

June 2017:

Jun 1: New WorkKeys NCRC assessment titles will be added to Validus realm(s) once the new agreement process is complete
Jun 30: Last day to receive paper test materials

August 2017:

Aug 1: Paper and accommodated version of the new assessments available to order through the online portal
Aug 18: Last day for batch scoring of paper tests (legacy)

September 2017:

Sep 1: New Spanish NCRC assessments will be available in online, paper and accommodated formats)

October 2017

Oct 1: Current versions of WorkKeys components no longer available
Oct 1: New ACT WorkKeys Local scan software can be used to scan the new answer documents
What is the last date that I can return answer documents for ACT batch scoring?
Current test booklets may have an expiration date of September 15, 2017, however August 18, 2017 is now the deadline for returning the old answer documents to ACT for batch scoring. They must be post-marked by that date for ACT to be able to process and provide score reports.

The old answer documents can continue to be used with Express Score until October 1, 2017.
What is the last day that ACT will accept orders for the current NCRC paper testing materials?
June 30, 2017
What is the last day for online testing of all current NCRC assessments?
October 1, 2017
When will the Spanish version of the updated assessments be available?
The Spanish version of the new NCRC tests will be available both online and paper ordering starting September 1.
  • Matemáticas Aplicadas - Applied Math
  • Alfabetización Gráfica - Graphic Literacy
  • Documentos de Trabajo - Workplace Documents
Examinees who take all three are eligible for the new ACT WorkKeys NCRC en Espanol

What’s the same?
  • The Spanish tests will still have Spanish score reports for both online and paper testing.
  • As with the current NCRC Spanish, ACT does not state that the scores are comparable to the English versions. The tests measure the same skill, but for native Spanish speakers taking the test in their language.
What’s different?
  • Accommodations materials will be available in Spanish in November 2017
    • Large Print
    • Reader Script
    • Audio DVD
    • Braille (Spanish American Braille)
  • The new certificate will include skill description summaries for the Level scores in both English and Spanish so that it can presented by the Certificate holder to both English and Spanish speaking employers.
  • Clients will be able to request a co-branded certificate template through the same RegiSTAR process
  • Due to the very low volume of data from Spanish test takers, ACT will note that the scale scores presented are technically interim until such time that additional data is obtained to better validate Spanish level scores. This is a precautionary approach to be transparent with our clients on the potential for future adjustments in ACT level cut scores. However, ACT will stand behind all scores and certificates earned starting September 1, and will not revise those after that interim period (outside of significant test event irregularities or processing errors)
What steps will ACT take to provide customers a glide path for transition to the new WorkKeys products and services?
ACT will take specific steps to ease the transition for our customers and stakeholders:
  • ACT will continue to verify the authenticity of the current versions of the certificate for four years via the MyWorkKeys or a portal with equivalent functionality.
  • Similarly, ACT will continue to count current versions of the certificate toward the participation goals established for the ACT Work Ready Communities (WRC) initiative for four years.
ACT will also provide comparison tables where possible that will help provide a bridge between the different versions. While not a substitute for the updated versions, experience suggests that even partial comparison tables* are helpful to customers.

*Comparison tables for Graphic Literacy are likely to be partial given the scope of the updates to the assessment, while those for Applied Math and Reading for Information will be more complete.
Will state high school testing in 2017 and 2018 be with the new tests?
Yes. The new tests will be administered in all state testing windows during Fall and Spring of next academic year.
What is the final date to use the current WorkKeys NCRC assessments (Reading for Information, Locating Information, & Applied Mathematics)?
All customers have through October 1, 2017 to use the current WorkKeys NCRC assessments. Please note that in order to obtain a WorkKeys NCRC credential all three assessments need to be taken. If someone has completed one or more of the current assessments, the other assessment(s) must be the same version. Both the current and updated versions of the WorkKeys NCRC Assessments will be available online between June 1 and October 1. All orders for paper versions of the current WorkKeys NCRC assessments must be placed by June 30, 2017 and ACT will accept current paper versions for scoring through April 18, 2017 (postmarked).
Will new answer documents be required?
Yes, new answer documents are required for the updated WorkKeys NCRC assessments. It's important to note that the new tests must be taken with the new answer documents. If you return answer documents for the new tests taken on the old answer documents, ACT will not be able to score them. Examinees will have to retest.
WorkKeys National Answer Folder

These tests must be taken using this answer document:
  • WorkKeys Applied Math
  • WorkKeys Graphic Literacy
  • WorkKeys Workplace Documents
These tests can be taken with the new answer document as of August 1, 2017:
  • Applied Tech
  • Observation
WorkKeys National – Spanish Answer Folder These tests must be taken using this answer document starting September 1, 2017
  • Matemáticas Aplicadas - Applied Math
  • Alfabetización Gráfica - Graphic Literacy
  • Documentos de Trabajo - Workplace Documents
WorkKeys State Testing

New answer documents will also be provided to support state testing administrations in 2017-2018
How will I access reports for the new assessments?
The WorkKeys Reports Portal is now the source for on-demand reports access.

What is staying the same?

Customers will still be able to order ACT printed/shipped reports for WorkKeys paper-based testing. The reports package will include:
  • Individual Score Report (same information as old “Memo to Examinee” but now the same format and style as the online Individual Score Report)
  • Individual Summary Report (all tests taken by an Examinee on the answer document returned for scoring)
  • Roster Report
What is new?
  • Paper Score Reports Available On-Demand Online - All tests taken with the new WorkKeys Answer Document result in score reports that are available on-demand through the WorkKeys Reports Portal. WorkKeys Online users are familiar with this system, but accessing results this way will be new to paper-only customers.
    • We are monitoring all material orders and when a paper-only customer places a material order, we will create a new Validus Realm for this customer. Upon setup the customer will receive an email detailing access to Validus and the WorkKeys Reports Portal. A customer does not need to go through Validus to access the portal, but they will have access to both sites, and be able to start delivering tests online if they wish to do so in the future.

      The existing documentation for the WorkKeys Reports Portal is available here. Updates are being made to these documents, and they will continue to be revised based on customer feedback.
What’s no longer available?
  • Next Day Paper Batch Processing – Due to current restrictions in our new system for processing answer documents we are not able to provide this service.
  • PDF Delivery via Partner Connect Sharepoint – Since all reports for tests taken on the new answer document will be available on-demand from the WorkKeys Reports Portal, this file share exchange process is no longer needed.
Assessment Details
What are the new assessments?

Test

Items

Time

Replaces

Improvements

WorkKeys Applied Math

34

55 minutes

 

(both paper and online)

Applied Mathematics

·        New and updated item content to better match today's job skills

·        Increased emphasis on specific skills

·        Addition of new skills

 

WorkKeys Graphic Literacy

38

55 minutes

 

(both paper and online)

Locating Information

·        New and updated item content to better match today's job skills

·        Addition of new skills

·        Addition of new types of item stimuli

·        New score scale

·        Items have four response options instead of five

·        Fewer total number of graphics in test reduces cognitive load

 

WorkKeys Workplace Documents

35

55 minutes

 

(both paper and online)

Reading for Information

·        New and updated item content to better match today's job skills

·        Addition of new types of item stimuli

 

All are delivered on the new assessments delivery platform with secure browser testing features.
What formats will be available for the WorkKeys Assessments?
  • Assessments will be available in both paper-and-pencil and online versions
  • Online versions will be available on a new delivery platform for stability, security and a better user experience
What’s the same between the current and new versions of the ACT WorkKeys suite of products?
Critical core continuity will exist between the versions, both in terms of their fundamental and assessment-specific features.

The Fundamentals:
  • Focus on broadly relevant career readiness skills
  • Research-based assessments
  • Assessment-based and nationally portable credential
  • Relevant to multiple education and career pathways
  • Benefits for multiple audiences
  • Complementary ‘readiness’ measure to The ACT
Key Features:
  • Criterion-referenced assessments
  • Multiple-choice format
  • Scenario-based items
  • Authentic workplace stimuli
  • Level tests based on skill hierarchies
  • Certificate issued at multiple levels
What kind of technical data and validity evidence will be available at launch of the updated products?
As part of its test development process, ACT’s research team will conduct multiple research studies to ensure the quality and validity of the updated assessments and credential. These include:
  • Timing study – Results will be used to determine the appropriate amount of time that candidates have to complete each assessment.
  • Cognitive Lab Study
  • Scaling Study – Results will be used to develop initial scale scores and to conduct analysis to detect subgroup (gender, race/ethnicity) differences in testing.
  • Cut Score Study
  • Linking Study – Results will be used to develop a concordance table to link the old and the new versions of the assessments.
  • Mode Study – Study will evaluate any potential differences between examinee scores for online vs. paper and pencil assessments.
  • Fairness Study – Study will evaluate any potential subgroup (gender, race/ethnicity) differences in examinee scores on the assessments.
Results from these studies will be included in new WorkKeys Technical Manuals that will be released for each updated assessment as part of the June 2017 launch. Technical manuals will be available online at no cost to customers.
What supports will be available for paper and pencil delivery and when?
All WorkKeys materials orders for the new NCRC tests must be placed through the online ordering portal.

Starting August 1, any tests returned to ACT for scoring will still require a scoring order. However this order must be completed through the online ordering portal, with a printed copy returned with the answer documents.

ACT WorkKeys Paper and Accoms Material Ordering

Before customers can order ACT WorkKeys test materials, they must first have a signed contract with ACT that includes the new WorkKeys NCRC test titles. If they do not yet have a signed contract:
  • Current national agreement customers should go to Ordering ACT WorkKeys
  • Current State contract or Partner contract customers should work through their account manager to update their contract.
    • NOTE: Some state contracts have pre-defined processes for ordering paper tests and accommodated materials and may not be placing material orders at the site level through the online portal.
  • New customers should go to Get Started with ACT Workforce Solutions
Materials Ordering Help Documents and Videos Scoring Ordering Help Documents and Videos
What is the impact of these WorkKeys changes on The ACT and ACT Aspire Progress Toward Career Readiness indicators?
ACT Aspire and The ACT will continue to be linked to the NCRC via the ‘Progress Toward Career Readiness’ indicator introduced in 2014. For the 2017-2018 school year, the indicator will be based on our current concordance data. This data ties the indicator to today’s version of the NCRC. Concordance data will be updated for the 2018-2019 school year based on analysis of examinee data collected over the course of the 2017-2018 school year. At that point, ACT will provide guidance on how to bridge the two versions.
Will examinees still be able to utilize their own scratch pad and calculator?
Yes.
What support materials will be available for the updated assessments?
Certificate/Credential Details
What’s new with the updated version of the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)?
  • New downloadable PDF format
  • No additional fee for certificate issuance
  • The overall certificate level is still determined by the lowest level score among the three tests.
  • Graphic Literacy now has 6 levels (< 3 to 7) compared to Locating Information’s 5 levels (< 3 to 6). The new test was improved so that we could effectively measure more difficult skills without increasing the overall difficulty of the test.
  • Because of the improvements to the assessments, a Platinum certificate may be more attainable.
  • The back of the certificate now functions as a summary report, providing the specific skill description for each test based on the certificate holder’s level score.
  • The skill descriptions provided are positive summaries of what skills the certificate holder has demonstrated they possess compared to previous negative summaries in score reports of what a person needed to work on.
What happens to the value of the current ACT WorkKeys NCRC certificate when the new version is launched in June 2017?
Current versions of the assessments are no less valid measures of the skills these assessments measure. By extension, the current credential is a no less valid indicator of skills measured by these assessments.
Therefore:
  • Current versions will continue to provide relevant information about career readiness skills
  • Over time, the new NCRC will become the new and preferred standard for signaling career readiness in the market
ACT will continue to support issuance of new ACT NCRC’s for examinees who take the 1.0 test titles through October 1, 2017.

Certificate registration ID’s for the ACT NCRC will continue to work with the online employer verification system for four years after official sunset (10/1/2021). www.act.org/certificate/verify.html

Data for the ACT NCRC will also still be available through customer RegiSTAR reports through that same four year period.
What is the same between the old National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and the new ACT WorkKeys NCRC?
  • The overall certificate level is still determined by the lowest level score among the three tests.
  • Examinees will still need to complete the three new assessments (Applied Math, Workplace Documents, Graphic Literacy) to earn the ACT WorkKeys NCRC.
  • The older NCRC certificates still remain a valid measure of workplace skills that those tests assessed. ACT will continue to support issuance of certificates for examinees that take all three of the old versions through October 1, 2017.
  • Certificate registration IDs for the old version will continue to work with the online employer verification system for four years after official sunset (through 10/1/2021).
  • Data for the older versions will still be available through the customer RegiSTAR reports through that same four year period.
Will certificates be available to download for those that obtained their NCRC on the old platform?
Yes, all individual examinees will be able to generate and print an ACT NCRC certificate through myworkkeys.com whether they tested through the old or new platform. The ability to download and print the certificate will be available at the time of launch June 1, 2017.
How soon will the pdf of the certificate be available after testing?
The pdf of the certificate will be available within 24-hours of the three NCRC assessments being submitted, validated, and scored.
I take care of the CRC for multiple campuses. How will the certificates work? Will instructors receive the certificates at their campus?
Users will have the same permissions and access certificates as they currently do.
Will a student be able to pull individual test scores rather than NCRC level?
Yes, students will be available to pull individual test scores and NCRC scores.
Can students take the assessments more than once and use the best score for the NCRC?
Yes. They will access to and be able to use the best score of the new tests when examinees take them more than once.
Will there be an updated co-branded certificate? How will this be designed?
The updated version of the certificate template will be available soon. As with the current version, the template will provide space for a customer name, logo and two signatures. Co-branding will be available on RegiSTAR and step-by-step instructions will be provided. Our creative team will work with you at no additional cost to format your co-branded certificate.
What is a co-branded certificate? Who can use the co-branded version?
The ACT contract allows customers the option of customizing the NCRC to present customer-specific branding on the certificate. ACT has established a template with identified areas and elements of the certificate that can be modified to meet specific and local needs of the customer. The final cobranded NCRC—produced by the customer or produced by ACT—is subject to ACT approval prior to its use. The co-branding option is not available to individuals through myworkkeys.com.
Will MyWorkKeys offer the co-branded certs to job seekers?
No, There is no co-branding available in the myworkkeys site.
Can students do 1 or 2 tests and come back the next day to finish last test?
Yes – Tests are registered for and taken individually.
Can examinees combine assessments from the old versions and new versions to obtain an ACT WorkKeys NCRC?
No, only the three new tests (Applied Math, Graphic Literacy and Workplace Documents) contribute to earning an ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate. Examinees need to take all three of the new tests.
Sunset/Discontinued Assessments
What assessments are being sunset (discontinued) in June 2017?
The following assessments will be discontinued June 1, 2017:
  • Listening for Understanding
  • Listening and Writing
  • Performance
  • Teamwork
Will there be replacements for the assessments being sunset?
ACT is not planning any replacement or alternative assessments for the assessments being sunset. In the future, all new assessments are anticipated. Areas of exploration include 21st century skills like Information and Communication Technology and Collaborative Problem Solving. We will continue to maintain close communication with you, our partners, through all changes.
What is the date I have to return all surplus materials for the assessments being sunset in June 2017?
All surplus materials need to be shipped and arrive at ACT by June 1, 2017 for the following assessments:
  • Listening for Understanding
  • Listening and Writing
  • Performance
  • Teamwork
What is the last date for scoring the assessments (paper) that are being sunset in June 2017?
All assessments must be received at ACT by April 1, 2017 for batch scoring for the following assessments:
  • Listening for Understanding
  • Listening and Writing
  • Performance
  • Teamwork
What is the last date I can order the assessments (paper) being sunset in June 2017?
Orders must be placed by March 1, 2017 for the following assessments being discontinued in June:
  • Listening for Understanding
  • Listening and Writing
  • Performance
  • Teamwork
What assessments are being sunset (discontinued) in June 2018?
The following assessment will be discontinued June 1, 2018:
  • Observation
Benefits
What are the benefits of the updated WorkKeys NCRC to my organization?
  • Off-the-shelf base layer for stackable credentials
  • Facilitates skill standardization of labor pipeline
  • Facilitates benchmarking of skills for remediation
  • Helps equip displaced workers for re-entry into the workforce
  • Nationally trusted indicator of a skilled workforce
  • Attracts business and industry to local communities
  • Critical component of career readiness standards and metrics
  • Often part of ROI for federally or state funded programs
What are some key benefits from the WorkKeys Assessment updates?
  • Assessments keep pace with impacts of new technology on the workplace
  • Item content is more contemporary to today’s workplace
  • Speeded-ness concerns associated with Locating Information are addressed
  • More stable, secure, and scalable assessment delivery platform
  • Delivery on student owned and/or school issued devices
What are some key benefits from the ACT WorkKeys NCRC certificate updates?
  • Certificate is a robust indicator of an individual’s total skill set as measured by the NCRC assessments
  • Report format makes it easier to share electronically or to print locally
  • Simplified fee structure
Job Profiling
What are the impacts of these changes to job profilers and job profile-related products and services?
Several steps will be taken to ease the transition for ACT-authorized job profilers and the customers of job profile-related services:
  • The ACT job profiler tool kits will be updated to reflect the new assessment constructs
  • ACT-authorized job profilers will be trained on the new skill constructs at no additional cost to the profiler
  • Services provided by our own job profiler team will likewise be aligned to the new constructs
  • To every extent possible, profiles currently in the job profile database will be cross walked to the new assessments prior to the launch of those assessments
  • If ACT-authorized job profilers need to re-profile a job there will be a convenient way for them to add this data to the ACT job profile database
For employers who currently use the job profiles, how will the new tests work? Will they only need to assess for the changes?
Several steps will be taken to ease the transition for ACT-authorized job profilers and the customers of job profile-related services:
  • The ACT job profiler tool kits will be updated to reflect the new assessment constructs
  • ACT-authorized job profilers will be trained on the new skill constructs at no additional cost to the profiler
  • Services provided by our own job profiler team will likewise be aligned to the new constructs
  • To every extent possible, profiles currently in the job profile database will be cross walked to the new assessments prior to the launch of those assessments
  • If ACT-authorized job profilers need to re-profile a job there will be a convenient way for them to add this data to the ACT job profile database
Pricing
Will there be any price changes as a result of the changes to the ACT WorkKeys Suite?
Yes, with the launch of the new versions, there will no longer be an additional fee for the ACT NCRC certificate issuance. This means that: in the future when an examinee earns a certificate it will be available within the RegiSTAR system at no cost* to the customer.

*ACT-printed versions will still be available at an additional cost for printing and shipping.




Deadline Extension: The deadline for all US customers to transition to the new ACT WorkKeys NCRC assessments has been extended beyond Oct 1. Click here to update your agreement.

Are you an international customer? Your products will not change. Please contact Customer Care with questions at 800-967-5539 or [email protected].

Educators Frequently Asked Questions