Terms of the Industry

As we continue to work on changing the image of the construction industry, and make it an industry of choice, it is critical to evaluate the language we use to describe it. Many words have unintended, negative connotations, and therefore we have established replacements for these terms.

Words of Choice:

Career and Technical Education (instead of vocational education or shop class): The practice of teaching specific career skills to students. This term replaced vocational education in the nineties in an effort to enhance the image of hands-on learning and skilled professions.

Craft (instead of trade): Indicates the skill and knowledge in developing and building things with one’s hands.

Craft professional/skilled professional (instead of tradesman): Professionals are characterized by conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession. By using craft professional or skilled professional to describe those working in the construction industry, we show the respect deserved by these individuals and the skills and knowledge required in those careers.

High Skills or Highly Skilled (instead of middle skills): Craft professionals undergo rigorous training, receive credentials and certifications and have a strong work ethic.

Options (instead of alternative): Option is associated with a choice whereas alternative is associated with something less than. Construction is a career of choice and not an alternative.

Stop_white

Stop using these terms!

Blue Collar: Portrayed as a less desirable choice and as a career that does not require education or skills.

Middle Skills: Evokes thoughts of mediocrity instead of the high skills craft professionals learn.

Trade: An antiqued term that, while not negative in itself, fails to evoke the same level of skill mastery as learning a craft.

White Collar: Using this term automatically makes people think of the term blue collar and poses the two as opposite.


NCCER Terms and Definitions

Jump to a section:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A

Academic Career Tests – Pre/post-tests created for secondary career and technical education. These tests align with industry skill standards based upon NCCER’s curricula.

Accreditation
– Confirmation and recognition by NCCER of training and assessment programs that meet established minimum standards and criteria for program administration.

Accreditation Process – A voluntary process whereby an Accredited Training Sponsor’s training program is evaluated for adherence to NCCER accreditation standards and criteria.

Accredited Assessment Center (AAC) – An entity accredited by NCCER to deliver the National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP).

Accredited Training and Education Facility (ATEF) – A secondary or postsecondary school (high school, college, university, etc.) working in partnership with an Accredited Training Sponsor that has successfully completed an approval process for recognition of its training program.

Accredited Training and Education Facility Representative – An individual selected by the Sponsor Representative to assist in the administration and oversight of the ATEF. Certification is not required to fill this role. 

Accredited Training Sponsor (ATS) – An entity accredited by NCCER to deliver NCCER training programs and receive industry-recognized credentials.

Accredited Training Unit (ATU) – A training unit under an Accredited Training Sponsor that has successfully completed an approval process for recognition of its training program.

Administrator – An individual certified in accordance with NCCER’s Administrator Certification Training Program (ACTP) and able to assist in the delivery and oversight of the organization’s assessment program.

Administrator Certification Training Program (ACTP) – One-day training program conducted by NCCER to certify individuals, approved by an accredited organization, to become Assessment Administrators.

Annual Maintenance Fee – Invoiced annually, the fee provides funding to support the NCCER Audit Program. 

Appeal Process – A required written process established to resolve conflicts in accordance with NCCER accreditation procedures. 

Assessment – The knowledge component of the National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP) that verifies an individual’s journey-level knowledge. 

Assessment Administrator – An individual certified in accordance with NCCER’s Administrator Certification Training Program (ACTP) to assist in administering the National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP). 

Assessment Performance Evaluator – Individual trained by a certified Master Trainer to administer journey-level performance verifications only. 

Assessment Platform – A web-based testing platform used for journey-level assessment and practical exam delivery. The assessment platform automatically creates, scores and stores journey-level assessments and practical exams and reports completions to the Registry System for credentialing. 

Assessment Proctor – Individual trained by a certified Administrator who can administer and monitor journey-level assessments and may act as an Authorized Assessment Site (AAS) Representative. 

Audit – A systematic and independent examination to determine whether the accredited organization is compliant with NCCER policies and procedures.

Authorized Assessment Site (AAS) – A location that is registered under an Accredited Assessment Center to deliver the National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP).

Authorized Assessment Site Representative – An individual selected by the Primary Administrator to assist in administration and oversight of the Authorized Assessment Site (AAS). The AAS Representative must be a certified Assessment Administrator or Assessment Proctor. 


B

Board of Trustees – The governing body of NCCER. 

Build Your Future (BYF) – NCCER’s national image enhancement and recruitment initiative for the construction industry. Build Your Future aims to be the catalyst for recruiting the next generation of craft professionals. 


C

Career and Technical Education – The practice of teaching specific career skills to students. This term replaced vocational education in the nineties in an effort to enhance the image of hands-on learning and skilled professions. 

Certified
– NCCER certification that recognizes an individual who has successfully completed both the journey-level (knowledge) assessment and (hands-on) performance verification components of the National Craft Assessment and Certification Program in a given craft.

Construction Career Pathways – NCCER’s initiative to provide successful career paths to America’s youth through construction industry and education partnerships. The goal of the initiative is to drive industry and education collaboration by highlighting best practices and providing practical resources. 

Craft – Indicates the skill and knowledge in developing and building things with one’s hands. 

Craft Professional – Professionals are characterized by conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession. By using craft professional or skilled professional to describe those working in the construction industry, we show the respect deserved by these individuals and the skills and knowledge required in those careers. 

Craft Training for College Credit (CTCC)
– Craft trainees and students can earn college credit for successful completions of standardized craft training through an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor and university that has an signed an agreement with NCCER. 

Credential – Recognition from NCCER that demonstrates competency in a given topic area (module written tests and performance profile testing completions).

Curriculum Performance Evaluator – Individual trained by a certified Master Trainer to conduct performance profiles only. 

Curriculum Proctor – Individual trained by a certified Master Trainer to deliver and monitor module tests. 

Cut-Score
– Minimum score required for a candidate to pass a journey-level assessment. 


E

Endorsement Accreditation offered by NCCER for Assessment Centers to deliver the Mobile Crane Operator, Tower Crane Operator and/or Rigger & Signal Person certification programs. 


H

Hard Hat Heroes  –  Build Your Future's military initiative which includes a credentialing portal that allows veterans to receive NCCER credit for skills and training they already received while in the service. 


I

Instructor – Individual certified in accordance with the NCCER Instructor Certification Training Program (ICTP) and authorized to teach the NCCER curricula.

Instructor Certification Training Program (ICTP) – Training program, conducted by an NCCER master trainer, for qualified individuals interested in teaching the NCCER curricula and offering the accompanying credentials. 

Instructor Resource Center (IRC) – A password-protected, secure website for instructors to access static paper module tests, performance profile sheets, lesson plans and PowerPoints.

Intellectual Property – All module tests and performance profile materials are the copyrighted, intellectual property of NCCER and are exclusively owned by NCCER. 

Interim Credential – Recognition from NCCER that demonstrates competency of specific components in an occupational area within a given topic.


K

Knowledge Verified – NCCER credential that recognizes someone who has successfully completed a journey-level (knowledge) assessment.


L

Level – A predetermined number of NCCER curricula modules designed and sequenced to form approximately one year of training and/or minimum of 144 hours of instruction.


M

Master Trainer – An individual certified in accordance with NCCER’s Master Trainer Instructor Certification Training Program (MTICTP) to assist in administration and oversight of the training program.  

Master Trainer Instructor Certification Training Program (MTICTP) – A four-day training program provided by NCCER to certify individuals approved by an accredited organization. 

Module – The smallest instructional unit in the NCCER curricula that can be completed and recognized under NCCER’s Standardized Training Process. Module completion requires successful completion of a (knowledge) module test and a (hands-on) performance profile (where applicable).

Module Test – A test that evaluates the trainee’s knowledge of an NCCER curriculum module.


N

National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP) A program developed by NCCER to assess the journey-level knowledge and skills of craft professionals. Successful completion of testing allows individuals to received industry-recognized credentials. 

NCCER Curricula – Standardized, competency-based and modular curricula developed by NCCER and published in partnership with Pearson. The NCCER curricula has measurable objectives and meets the Department of Labor’s office in apprenticeship requirements for time-based training.


O

Options – Use option(s) in place of alternative when discussing construction careers. Option is associated with a choice whereas alternative is associated with something less than. Construction is a career of choice and not an alternative.


P

Performance Evaluator – Individual certified to evaluate performance only (curriculum performance evaluator or assessment performance evaluator) and must meet minimum certification requirements as outlined in the NCCER Accreditation Guidelines. 

Performance Profile – A hands-on demonstration that measures the trainee’s ability to perform the skills covered in an NCCER curriculum module. 

Performance Verification (PV) – The hands-on, skill component of the National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP) that measures the craft professional’s ability to perform journey-level tasks. 

Performance Verified – NCCER credential that recognizes someone who has successfully completed a journey-level (hands-on) performance verification. 

Practical Examination – The performance component of the NCCER Mobile Crane Operator, Tower Crane Operator and/or Rigger & Signal Person certification programs. 

Practical Examiner – An individual certified by NCCER to administer practical examinations for the NCCER Mobile Crane Operator, Tower Crane Operator and/or Rigger & Signal Person certification programs.

Primary Administrator – Individual certified as a Master Trainer and Assessment Administrator who is the primary liaison between an Accredited Assessment Center (AAC) and NCCER.

Proctor – An individual certified to administer the (knowledge) module test (Curriculum Proctor) and/or the (knowledge) assessment (Assessment Proctor). 


R

Registration & Release Form A form releasing and holding NCCER harmless for the disclosure of any information in connection with the verification process of the individual’s training and/or assessment records. If the individual is under 18 years of age, parent/guardian signature on a paper form is required. 

Registry System
– Database maintained by NCCER which records training and testing completions and issues appropriate credentials. 

Revoked – A status of accreditation or credentials rescinded by NCCER. 


S

Secondary Administrator – An individual certified as an Assessment Administrator and selected by the Primary Administrator to assist in the administration and oversight of the NCACP. 

Sponsor
Representative – Individual certified as a Master Trainer who is the primary liaison between an Accredited Training Sponsor (ATS) and NCCER. 

Subject Matter Expert (SME)
– Instructors and industry professionals with journey-level or technician-level experience who share their knowledge and experience with NCCER for the development of NCCER’s standardized craft training programs.  

Support Role – A role that can be assigned by the Sponsor Representative and Primary Administrator that gives an individual the ability to provide assistance from within the NCCER Registry and Testing Systems. 

Suspended – Accreditation privileges are deactivated. No activity can occur until deficiencies are corrected. 


T

Terminated – Organization or NCCER chooses to end their accreditation or pursuit of accredited status. Upon termination, organization must reapply and pay all fees to become accredited again.

Testing System
– Web-based testing platform used for module tests delivery and recording of completed performance profiles. The Testing System automatically creates, scores and stores module tests and reports successful completion of module tests and performance profiles to the NCCER Registry for credentialing. 

Test
-Out –  Experienced individuals may successfully complete a module by passing both the module test and performance profile in accordance with NCCER’s policies and procedures. 

Training Prescription – Document that provides information and linkage to NCCER curriculum for focused remediation training. 

Training Recommended – Status received on a (knowledge) module test or (knowledge) assessment for an individual who does not meet the required passing score. 

Training Unit (TU) – A location that is registered under an Accredited Training Sponsor to deliver NCCER training. 

Training Unit Representative – Individual selected by the Sponsor Representative to assist in the administration and oversight of the Training Unit (TU). Certification is not required to fill this role.

Transcript – Official document which records successful completion of NCCER training. 


W

Watch List – A list of individuals, companies or organizations that have been expelled or suspended from NCCER training and/or assessment programs upon failure to comply with the responsibilities and policies outlined in the NCCER Accreditation Guidelines. 

Withdrawn – Accreditation Application withdrawn by NCCER or applicant organization prior to going into Candidate status.