Technical Skills Attainment & Industry Recognized Credential

Industry Recognized Credential (IRC) and Stackable Credential Applications

The window for submitting an IRC or Stackable Credential application will be open from March through May 31, 2021.

An IRC is defined as a portable, recognized credential that validates an individual has successfully demonstrated skill competencies in a core set of content and performance standards in a specific set of work-related tasks, single occupational area, or a cluster of related occupational areas. A student does not have to be a concentrator to take an IRC.

The IRC application is available at

Beginning in school year 2020-2021,students earning two stackable credentials in a program area will have the same effect on a district's Perkins V reporting as earning an IRC.

A stackable credential is defined as a series of aligned, recognized, preferred, and/or required credentials (stackable) within an industry or sector that support an individual’s ability to obtain related, career employment.

Examples of a stackable credential might include Basic Life Support (BLS), OSHA 10, ServSafe®, Forklift Operator or Commercial Driver's License (CDL). These credentials alone do not indicate concentration in a CTE program, but two or more of these types of credentials indicate the student has earned preferred credentials.

The stackable credential application is available at

Guidance for Selecting IRCs and TSAs

New IRC and TSA Guidance (Updated 4/19/2021)

Career Clusters

The National Career Clusters® Framework provides an organizational structure for framing CTE programs through well-developed programs of study. There are 16 Career Clusters and 79 Career Pathways in the National Career Clusters® Framework. The Career Clusters include:

  • Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Education & Training
  • Finance
  • Government & Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

More information can be found on the National Career Clusters® Framework website.