The case of national apprenticeship standards

The concept of learning ecosystem is becoming reality in many enterprising partnerships. If organizations continue to add and participate in this ecosystem, then national learning standards may be in order; at present, none exist. Without a national standard, an employee will struggle to have some (or all) of their learning events, accomplishments, skills and experience recognized by their employer.

Based on lessons learned from the Talent Development Toolkit case study conducted by the Department of Defense and work completed at the United States Office of Personnel Management, a scaled vision should address the onboarding touchpoints listed below with respect to national standards for apprenticeship programs, which help prepare the future federal workforce, among other things. This list of proposed national learning standards is based on interviews with federal directors of human capital (CHCOs) and directors of learning (CLOs) about their top 10 needs. The list is not in any order of priority.

The 10 main needs of CHCOs/CLOs are:

  • Unique Universal Identification: Protecting Learner Privacy
  • National Register of Certifications and Credentials: One Source for National Certifications
  • Common national catalog of courses: visibility on learning events
  • National learning archiving: data house to track learners
  • National Chancellor for Government Learning: a person responsible for action
  • National Learning Inventory: Better Utilization of Classrooms and Capacities
  • National Learning Data Standards: to enable sharing of data, content and events
  • National Learning Requirements Process: Ensuring Rigor in Content Development
  • National Development Center: a home for these national programs
  • National learning lexicon: to better understand the language of learning
  • National skills inventory: a solid foundation for building learning

Many detailed learning standards exist on technical subjects. It is work that can be built on and taken forward. Standards relating to learning architecture, adaptive teaching systems, data security, teaching strategy, performance progress monitoring, user identification and authorization, to competency-based learning, learning content, access, search, discovery, credentials, learner profile, content types and rubrics are essential . to ensure that employees have access to quality solutions. To make the learning ecosystem a reality in our lifetime, the National Learning Standards will be the catalyst to complete as well as the glue that will maintain and protect the ecosystem.