Center of Career Development Excellence (CoE) Accreditation Announced at NCDA Conference

by Deneen Pennington

The Workforce Development Professionals Network (WDPN), the National Career Development Association (NCDA), and the Center for Credentialing and Education [(CCE, an affiliate of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)] announced a new accreditation identifying career and workforce development programs meeting high standards and operating with continuous-improvement and customer-focused services. The Center of Career Development Excellence (CoE) process, benchmarks, and accreditation for high-performance career and workforce development program providers was presented by senior representatives from the three collaborating organizations at NCDA's annual conference in Seattle. Topics included organizational/programmatic assessment and training, the three levels of accreditation, training for those who will become facilitators and auditors for organizations/programs/ program networks seeking to do self-assessments and benchmark their scores to others, accreditation options for high scoring programs, step-by-step guides and strategies for program teams to plan improvements, and processes to advance outcomes and win performance-based dollars. Performance-based contracts are now commonly written to reward only those providers who actually place people in high-growth jobs, in positions with wages comparable to their prior income level, or who help customers and companies retain personnel.

"The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) core values and continuous improvement processes are the foundation of the High Performance Career Development Programming (HPCD) model," explained Bill Freed of WDPN, the HPCD and CoE leader, and standards lead author. "The categories derived from the HPCD model define the standards and establish the benchmarks for accreditation levels and lengths now set by CCE and its independent accreditation review team."

"With the increased competition and heightened expectations from customers and funding sources, this high-performance, quality-based accreditation process provides a competitive edge to qualifying programs and, most importantly, ensures better service to individuals and organizations seeking career and workforce development services. The program is comprehensive, examining and assessing all activities directly and indirectly related to the services offered. Knowing that a program has met the benchmarks required for accreditation is important information for discerning customers and funding sources."

An organization or program seeking accreditation will begin with a self-assessment of 222 activities in 22 categories across five domains. The domains are:

  • Pre-program activities (e.g. marketing & recruitment, orientation, and intake and assessment)
  • In-program activities (e.g. customer service for individuals and employers seeking career guidance and skill training)
  • Post-program activities (e.g. job development, retention, advancement, and career ladder transitions)
  • Vision, mission, values, and leadership provided in the organization or program
  • Across-program support functions such as financial systems, collaborative relationships, and IT management affecting the organization or program.

"CoE accreditation is the next logical step in assuring quality services and training in our workforce," CCE Vice-President Shawn O'Brien stated. "Over time, employers and individuals alike will see the benefits of working with CoE accredited entities."

Organizations/programs who do not initially meet the requirements for full accreditation may qualify for conditional or provisional accreditation and continue to use their CoE Continuous Improvement Plans to work towards the goal of full accreditation, supported by subject matter expert facilitators. The next training for HPCD Auditors will take place on September 13-15, 2007, at the National Career Development Association office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It will provide 20 Continuing Education Unit contact hours towards GCDF or CWDP and related professional certification renewals. "NCDA is pleased to assist in the preparation of HPCD Facilitators and Auditors to support the CoE accreditation," says Deneen Pennington, Executive Director. NCDA will maintain the Registry of Certified HPCD Facilitators, Auditors, and CoE Programs. For more information about the upcoming Auditor and Facilitator Training Programs, contact Deneen Pennington at dpenn@ncda.org or call 1.866.367.6232. The registration deadline is August 24, 2007.

Overview materials and details on the CoE program accreditation levels and approaches are available at www.wdpn.net or by calling the Workforce Development Professionals Network (WDPN) at 412-269-9376 ext 2. The CoE application and information on accreditation levels are available at www.cce-global.org or by calling CCE at 336.482.2856.


Bill Freed, President & CEO
207 Windy Hill Drive
Moon Township, PA 15108
Phone: (412) 269-9376 Ext 4
Fax: (412) 269-9375

Email: billfreed@freedlance.com

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