Essential Workforce Skills (EWS) Programmatic Certification

The EWS Programmatic Certification, awarded by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), formally recognizes career education programs of accredited institutions that effectively provide opportunities for development and practice of the essential workforce skills necessary for career success.

Essential Workforce Skills (EWS) Programmatic Certification

What Are Essential Workforce Skills?

Essential workforce skills are the set of skills needed to succeed in any career and empower students to achieve long-term career success. These skills comprise "workforce competency" and are a necessary part of any high-quality career education program.

Examples of Essential Workforce Skills:
Time Management Active Listening Project Management Self-Awareness Problem Solving

ACCSC's Framework for a High-Quality Career Education Program

ACCSC's Mission is to Ensure Quality Education that Enhances Student Success in the Workforce. ACCSC encourages schools to adopt a framework for high-quality career education programs which includes not only technical and academic competencies, but also workforce competency.

Quality Education that Enhances Student Success
Technical Competency

Skills necessary to perform work tasks in a specific job and supported by theory and practical application determined in collaboration with industry representatives.

Academic Competency

Skills that strengthen and support development of technical and workforce competencies that are cultivated in an academic environment.

Workforce Competency

Skills necessary to succeed in any career and to continuously find, attract, and create opportunities for working and learning throughout one's career.

The Need for EWS Programmatic Certification


There is a growing consensus that essential workforce skills needed in the labor market are in high demand. It's imperative that career education institutions close this skills gap to better prepare students to succeed in the workforce.


Employers need candidates with essential workforce skills to power their businesses and the economy. However, they lack reliable signals to identify programs that effectively address the essential workforce skills they need.


Institutions can use EWS Programmatic Certification as a reliable source to identify and define the specific essential workforce skills to address in their programs, establish quality criteria against which to evaluate their practices, and provide a structured process for self-assessment.

ACCSC Certified

Leveraging decades of experience as an accrediting agency focused on vocational and career education, ACCSC has developed the EWS Programmatic Certification to support and advance the needs of students, employers, and institutions.