Why Standards?
Industry skill standards benchmark what individuals need to know and perform to be successful on the job. The skill standards describe the primary knowledge, skills, and abilities in which individuals must be proficient to meet performance requirements and expectations in the workplace. National skill standards help maintain consistency, quality, and transparency across industry and academic training programs and help employers measure workforce performance. The standards are the foundation of credentials that give individuals industry-certified, in-demand skills and help employers identify qualified talent.

Developing the standards
The national skill standards are developed and validated by industry. Accredited as a developer of American National Standards by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), NIMS adheres to a rigorous and highly disciplined process to develop and maintain the standards. The 12-month development process includes a series of national review sessions and interviews with employers and employees across industry sectors to document and validate the basic requirements for the majority of skilled positions within the industry.

Basis for Certifying Skills
The NIMS standards serve as the basis for certifying individual skills. NIMS offers multiple credentials within each standard to validate a complete set of skills needed for the particular occupation. The credentials require satisfactory completion of both performance and theory exams based on the standards.