Employability Skills Framework

Planning for Assessment Selection

Taking an informed and deliberate approach to employability skills assessment selection, whether statewide, regional, or local, can increase the value to, and buy-in from, students, educators, employers, and other partners and better ensure that the assessments you select meet your needs.

It is important to understand which employability skills have been adopted by your state or local program, the extent to which they are integrated into current teaching and assessment practices, and their value to students and education and workforce partners. For states or local programs that have not yet adopted employability skills or an employability skills assessment, this information illustrates important planning considerations that will influence your assessment selection and implementation.

You can use the questions below to think through important issues related to employability skills assessment policy and implementation. They summarize a more comprehensive planning process and should be used to supplement, but not replace, that process. These questions are intended to complement the Assessment Selection Criteria by first having you clearly define the knowledge and skills you want to assess and your purpose in assessing them.

Before selecting an employability skills assessment: questions to consider
Definition of Employability Skills
  • What are the employability skills adopted by your state or local program?
  • How clearly are the skills defined? Do they describe specific knowledge and skills that are observable and measurable with real-world applications?
Assessment Policy Considerations
  • Who is the target population for the assessment?
  • What is the purpose of the assessment? How will assessment results be used and who will use them?
  • What is the value of the assessment results to students, instructors, employers, and other stakeholders?
  • Should the assessment lead to a specific credential (i.e., a locally, state, or nationally recognized certificate)?
  • Which partners are involved in planning and implementing the assessment?
Assessment Implementation Consideration
  • How and to what extent are employability skills currently being assessed? Are both formative and summative assessments used?
  • In what other ways are the skills being demonstrated?
  • Which employability skills are not being assessed currently?
  • How are employability skills assessments integrated into the teaching and learning process? Do they inform basic skills, academic, or technical instruction? Are they aligned to current standards and curriculum?
  • How are instruction and assessment of employability skills integrated into other state initiatives (e.g., Common Core State Standards, Programs of Study, career pathways)?
  • Would your goals best be met by formative or summative assessments—or both?