CRC Frequently Asked Questions

Durham Tech partners with the NC Community College System, the Durham and Regional Partnership Workforce Development Boards, and the Durham and Orange County JobLink Centers, to offer the North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate (CRC).

The Career Readiness Certificate provides existing and potential job candidates with a credential that proves their skill level to enhance employability. This certification allows employers a more efficient way to assess work skills.

What is the CRC?

Anyone over 18 who is interested in being able to prove his or her skills and abilities to an employer is eligible. The CRC proves that you have the skills to do the job! There are no minimum or maximum educational requirements.

Why is the certificate based on the Reading for Information, Locating Information, and Applied Mathematics assessments?

ACT has profiled more than 12,000 individual jobs across the country to determine the skills and skill levels necessary for success. According to their findings, a solid foundation in these three skill sets is essential for a well-qualified employee in most jobs.

Reading for Information – comprehending work-related reading materials, from memos and bulletins to policy manuals and governmental regulations

Applied Mathematics – applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems.

Locating Information – using information from such materials as diagrams, floor plans, tables, forms, graphs, and charts.

How are these assessments different from the SAT or ACT tests?

WorkKeys is a series of applied knowledge assessments. The SAT and ACT tests rely on what you learned and memorized in school, while the WorkKeys assessments validate that you have the foundational skills to apply your knowledge in the workplace.

Why is the CRC a prerequisite for the Continuing Education program I want to enroll in?

Many courses require extensive reading and mathematical calculations. Using the CRC as a prerequisite enables program directors to determine if a student is likely to be successful in a course. Not only does this ensure that retention in courses will be improved but also that students are spending their tuition money wisely.

If you can’t meet the prerequisites the first time, there are opportunities to work on building the skills you need to be successful. See the information below about Go for the Gold and Job Seeker’s KeyTrain Lab and ACES.

How much does the certificate cost?

The total cost of the three required WorkKeys assessments is $37.50. The certificate is free, although there is a $7 charge to replace a lost certificate. You can retake any of the three assessments for $12.50 per assessment. If you are sponsored by an agency such as WIA, they may pay for the assessments. You will need a referral from the agency.

What does ACES offer?

ACES labs also use KeyTrain software, which offers self-paced tutorials that will help you address the gaps in your skills. In addition, you can use lab time to work with the instructor to revise your resume. Once enrolled, you can use this open entry/open exit lab whenever it is open.

When can I take the WorkKeys assessments to earn my CRC?

The assessments are offered every other Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Durham Tech’s Corporate Education Center, room 609. Review the current schedule on the CRC Certificate website. To reserve your seat in a session, email

How do I get a certificate? Are there different certificate levels?

Individuals who score at certain levels on the three WorkKeys assessments will qualify for a certificate.

Bronze Certificate Level

Scores of at least 3’s and above on all three WorkKeys assessments

Silver Certificate Level

Scores of at least 4’s and above on all three WorkKeys assessments

Gold Certificate Level

Scores of at least 5’s and above on all three WorkKeys assessments


Where can I take the assessments?

Assessments are given at the Corporate Education Center on Main Campus. Assessments are also given at the Orange County JobLink Centers. Employers and nonprofit organizations may arrange special assessment sessions for hiring, promotion, or training purposes.

How do I get my scores?

If you take the online assessment, you will receive your scores the same day. If you take the paper and pencil version, you will receive your scores in about a week.

I have taken the assessments but don’t have my certificate yet. Why not?

The certificates take 30 days to prepare and mail out. You can use your score report to show an employer until you receive the certificate.

What if I am not happy with my score and want to try again?

You can Go for the Gold with the instructor-led course and/or use the KeyTrain self-paced tutorials in our Job Seeker’s labs. Either of these options is available free of charge to anyone who wants to improve his or her skills and enhance his or her potential to achieve a higher-level certificate.

Do I have to retake all the assessments?

You can retake any or all of the three WorkKeys assessments in order to improve your scores. You must wait 30 days between assessments.

When and where are Go for the Gold and ACES courses offered?

These courses are offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. ACES is offered twice a week in the evenings from 5:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. Please check the current semester’s schedule for dates. All classes are held in the Corporate Education Center unless otherwise posted. These are open entry/open exit classes that you can start and attend anytime. Registration is held on the first day of the course.

What is covered in the Go for the Gold course?

In addition to offering practice assessment materials, the instructor rotates topics as needed.

Math Review – includes fractions, percentages, geometry, algebra (solving one-, two-, and three-step problems), proportions, and conversions

Locating Information Review – includes charts and graphs, diagrams, complex documents, identifying distracting information, extracting data, and using multiple documents

Reading for Information Review – includes recognizing meaning, finding details, identifying topics, making inferences, technical jargon and acronyms, and cause and effect

What is the Job Seeker’s KeyTrain Lab?

The Job Seeker’s labs use KeyTrain software, which offers self-paced tutorials that will help you address the gaps in your skills. Once enrolled, you can use this open entry/open exit lab whenever it is open.

How much do ACES, Go for the Gold and Job Seeker’s KeyTrain Lab cost?

These three courses are part of the Human Resources Development (HRD)/Workplace Preparation program and are free to those that that are working part time, are unemployed, have been notified of a layoff, and/or are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Be sure to check out the other free HRD courses that are available this semester across Durham and Orange counties!

How will the CRC help me get a job?

The CRC will be another tool in your job search toolkit, one that confirms to an employer that you have the skills necessary to do the job now. We recommend including it as another credential on your résumé and taking it to the interview to show the employer you are motivated, proactive, and ready to take on new challenges.

In addition, many national employers use the CRC as a job skills credential for hiring, promotion, and training purposes.