Information for Credentialing Organizations

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 Navy 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:

Alignment Between Military Training and Civilian Credential Exam Objectives

These scenarios are addressed on Rating Summary page credential tables with the Most, Some, and Other icons.

Related as MostCredential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%).

Related as SomeCredential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation).

Related as OtherCredential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

When Navy training does not completely prepare a Service member for a credential, they have a number of options to fill in the learning gaps.

Key Methods to Fill Credentialing Gaps

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 Navy 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 Navy will pay for credentialing exam fees under the following circumstances:

  • The credential has been approved for Navy funding
  • The Sailor meets Navy and credentialing agency eligibility requirements
  • The credential:
    • Rating
    • Designator
    • Collateral Duty
    • Related Academic Degrees or Semester Courses
    • Previous Rating
    • Previous Designator
    • On-Duty, Off-Duty, or Command-Sponsored Training
    • Civilian Occupation for Navy Reservists
    • Prior Other-Service Enlisted or Officer Occupation
    • Credentials Earned and Maintained Prior to Joining the Navy
  • The Sailor 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:

Promotional Materials and Downloadable Content

Navy COOL has available a variety of downloadable promotional materials and information to help you understand, promote and present COOL. There are posters, ready-made COOL presentations (with instructor's guide) and other handy graphics and information. Go to the COOL Promotional Materials page to see what is available.

This is an official U.S. Navy website
Updated: March 2, 2020