National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)

School Application Form
NCRC Introduction Letter
NCRC Policy

The South Dakota Department of Education (DOE) and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) offer juniors and seniors the opportunity to participate in the ACT® National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) program.

The NCRC is an industry-recognized, portable credential certifying essential skills needed for workplace success. To earn certification, students must attain at least the lowest certification level on three ACT® WorkKeys assessments: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. This vital initiative is part of the Department of Education’s goal to ensure that, “All students graduate college, career, and life ready.”

DLR staff will assist in assessing the students on-site at local schools and the cost of one test per student is covered by the State. School staff need to supply the space and one computer per student, as this is a computer based test. Students are allowed 55 minutes each for the three assessments.

The number of students assessed is a local decision, and the initial cost is covered by the State. The assessments are a great way to support existing class curricula, and schools may incorporate this assessment into specific classes. Schools can also offer the assessments to the general junior and senior student population to verify their real world workplace skills.

The NCRC is also incorporated into the College and Career Readiness (CCR) indicator for the School Performance Index (SPI). The CCR SPI measure can have up to 30 points, 15 points each for the subject areas of Math and English/Language Arts if the NCRC is not taken by students. However, if students take the NCRC, Math, English/Language Arts, and the NCRC each have up to 10 points

Options for CCR SPI points

Option A Option B
Math- 15 points
ELA- 15 points
Math- 10 points
ELA- 10 points
NCRC- 10 points
Total 30 points 30 points

This initiative can help students demonstrate they are ready for the workplace as they enter the workforce immediately after graduation or pursue further post-secondary education.

For further information on NCRC, including how to schedule a testing session, please visit the DLR website at

Useful links:

SD Department of Labor, National Career Readiness Certificate
South Dakota Wins
ACT National Career Readiness Certificate