Information for Credentialing Organizations
If you are a representative of a credentialing organization interested in learning more about how credentialing applies to the military and the role you can play to facilitate credentialing of Service members, look here for more information.
About Military Credentialing
The military uses “credentialing” to refer to civilian occupational licensing, certification, and apprenticeship.
- Ninety-nine percent of military occupations have a related civilian credential.
- For some military occupations, credentialing is mandatory – that is, Service members are required to attain a civilian credential (e.g., cyber security and healthcare).
- All of the Military Services promote professional development through voluntary credentialing.
- All Military Services pay for voluntary credentials related to the Service member’s military occupation.
- The military is a microcosm of the civilian workforce and has a wide variety of occupations with related civilian credentials.
- To get a sense of the variety of credentials that have been linked to Marine Corps occupations, use COOL’s Navigator feature (compass icon in upper right corner).
Three scenarios describe the extent to which military training and experience is aligned with civilian credential requirements.
Credentials Included and Funded Through COOL
- Credentials included on COOL are analyzed carefully and must be relevant to a military occupation and meet COOL standards.
- Credentials already on COOL are reviewed on an ongoing basis to determine whether they remain relevant and continue to meet the standards.
The Marine Corps has a voucher program that will pay for eligible credentialing exams, recertification fees, and maintenance fees. It does NOT fund for training, study materials, or exam preparation materials. In general, the Marine Corps will pay for credentialing exam fees under the following circumstances:
- The credential has been approved for Marine Corps funding
- The Marine meets Marine Corps and credentialing agency eligibility requirements
- The credential:
- is appropriate to their MOS or collateral duty/out of billet MOS
- is validated by their Commanding Officer or Command Approving Official E7 or above
- The Marine has a minimum of six months remaining on their enlistment at the time the credential is awarded
- Use COOL’s Credential Search page to determine whether your organization’s credentials are already on COOL.
- If you find your credentials, click on the credential title to view the Credential Snapshot page that shows the information we have collected on that credential. Contact us if you have any questions or comments.
Facilitating Credentialing of Service Members and Veterans
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), through the GI Bill, provides eligible Service members and Veterans financial assistance with licensing and certification.
- If your organization wants to be approved so that Service members and Veterans may receive reimbursement for exam fees, you need to seek approval from the State Approving Agency for the State where the headquarters of your organization is located.
- Use the links below for more information:
Credentialing agencies can do their part to help our Service members and Veterans attain civilian credentials. Some of the key practices credentialing agencies might adopt include:
- Ensure Quality/Value. Service members and Veterans, like the general public, have a right to know that the credentials they pursue are of high quality and hold value to industry. Credentialing agencies can help Service members and Veterans identify these types of credentials by having their credentials accredited by a third party, nationally recognized, accrediting organization. COOL identifies those credentials that have been accredited by one or more of the following organizations. Follow the links to find out more about each agency’s accreditation process.
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accreditation
- National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) Accreditation
- International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC) Accreditation
- Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC)
- International Accreditation Service (IAS)
- Facilitate Payment of Credentials. The GI Bill will pay for credential exam fees up to $2,000 per test. Credentialing agencies should work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to get their credentials approved for payment through the GI Bill.
- Provide Maximum Credit for Military Training and Experience. Credentialing agencies should take steps to assess the equivalency of military training and experience and should explicitly recognize military training in credentialing requirements, when possible.
- Utilize Existing Assessments of Military Training and Experience. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have matched military occupations to civilian credentials and, for some credentials, conducted detailed gap analyses of these credentials. In addition, the American Council on Education (ACE) makes college credit recommendations for military training and experience. Some websites that might be helpful include:
- U.S. Department of Navy (DON) Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (DON COOL)
- U.S. Marine Corps Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (Marine Corps COOL)
- U.S. Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (Navy COOL)
- U.S. Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (Army COOL) – you are here
- U.S. Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL)
- U.S. Coast Guard Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL)
- American Council on Education (ACE) Military Guide
- Use Available Service Documentation to Assess Individual Service Members’ and Veterans’ Unique Qualifications. Credentialing agencies can use standard forms of Service documentation to assess an individual’s military training and experience. More information on Service transcripts and other forms of documentation can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Career One Stop website.
- Accommodate Military Services' Unique Needs. Credentialing agencies can make accommodations for such things as deployments and the geographical dispersion of Service members:
- Make accommodations for deployments – Service members who are deployed may have difficulty meeting recertification requirements (e.g., continuing education units) or the period for which their credential is valid may expire while they are deployed. Credentialing agencies can extend recertification requirements for deployed Service members.
- Ensure exams are widely available – Service members are often geographically dispersed and may not be able to take exams that are offered only periodically throughout the year. Credentialing agencies can consider using national testing companies to make their credentials widely available and can offer credential exams on demand.
Promotional Materials and Downloadable Content
Marine Corps COOL has available a variety of downloadable promotional materials and information to help you understand, promote and present Marine Corps COOL. There are posters, a ready-made Credentialing Overview presentation and other handy graphics and information. Go to the COOL COOL Downloads page to see what is available.