Benefits of Third-Party Development & Program Management

03.26.2021 | Why NOCTI

Working with a third-party to develop a credentialing assessment or certification program comes with some significant advantages. Enlisting a third-party’s help expands your organization’s resources and expertise, helps maintain program integrity, and ensures credentials meet defined standards for reliability and validity.

Rely on an Expert

Not all organizations have the resources or capabilities to develop and manage credentialing assessments in-house. An experienced third-party can expand your current resources while providing the needed expertise and services to offset any knowledge gaps.

A first-party certification is considered a self-declaration. A second-party certification is described as a company or training provider creating its own verification program for candidate certification. A third-party certification verifies that a product, process, or service meets a defined standard.

Developing a credentialing assessment with a third-party organization involves independent development and verification, thus reducing actual or perceived conflict of interest. While it is important for an individual to prove their skill level by obtaining a third-party certification, it is equally as important for the organization developing the certification assessment to be an independent and accredited organization. The ISO 17024 standards are considered the “gold standard” for organizations certifying individuals.

Additionally, credible organizations place a strong emphasis on creating a valid, reliable, and legally defensible credentialing assessment. Psychometricians analyze procedures used to develop the credential, and conduct bias reviews, demographic analysis, item reviews, task analyses, and more.


Work with an organization with proven expertise in developing custom credentials and assessment solutions to meet the specific needs of a school, district, college, state, organization, or association. These high quality organizations follow recognized industry development standards to ensure validity and reliability for every credential, utilize subject matter experts for development teams, and report out on the project with data and information through technical manuals.

Maintain Program Integrity

A third-party can assist with the credential delivery and scoring services. Some organizations, including NOCTI, have developed an online testing system capable of quickly and securely delivering assessments and providing granular-level data for instructional and program improvement. The system is available 24/7, is capable of multiple-session administration, and has built-in accommodations (e.g., text-to-speech and extended time). Additionally, an accreditation such as NOCTI’s full accreditation from the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC) is another indicator of an organization’s expertise and credibility. This type of accreditation ensures a neutral third party has properly evaluated the organization alongside international standards. NOCTI’s ICAC accreditation signifies that its CTE credentials follow the best international industry practices and standards outlined in ISO 17024.

For each development, NOCTI works with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) team provided by the organization to identify core competencies needed to verify skills for individuals becoming certified in a particular industry. Another key factor to consider is that a third-party also serves as the disinterested party of who becomes certified. Their only stake in the process is to ensure that those meeting the certification’s minimum requirements have the skills determined by the SMEs to be successful in the industry.

Integrated Systems

A third-party can help align your program with organizational requirements and offer seamless ways to integrate with other systems.

For example, Pennsylvania partners with NOCTI to help manage their statewide CTE assessment program. Together, the organizations developed customized assessments, reporting tools, and other online tools to meet the requirements of the program. A dedicated NOCTI project manager works with state and local leaders to provide all stakeholders with needed support and to ensure all professional development, resources, and technical support are available.

Certification Program Management with NOCTI

NOCTI is a trusted resource for guiding and assisting schools and organizations with credentialing programs. Those who partner with us to manage their credentialing programs have access to industry-leading services and resources, as well as decades of credentialing experience. From administering online credentials to psychometric services and digital badging, our technical expertise supports a wide range of educational programs and models.

By partnering with NOCTI, organizations can focus on what they do best and rely on NOCTI’s expertise to help them along the way. We’ve been developing, managing, and delivering assessments for over 50 years and we’ve gained a lot of experience in helping customers develop and manage a program that will meet their needs.

Contact us to learn which services would best meet your needs. Until then, we have other resources you may be interested in: