Determining Basic Skills Deficiency

Issuance No: P8
Issuance Date: July 3, 2017
Subject: Determining Basic Skills Deficiency

In accordance with DWD Issuance 14-2016

Local Workforce Development Boards (WDB) are required to assess the basic skills of workforce applicants for Youth eligibility and for an objective assessment of academic levels, skill levels, and service needs of each participant, which includes a review of basic skills. 

WIOA Section 3(5) defines a participant who is “basic skills deficient:”
(5) BASIC SKILLS DEFICIENT.—The term ‘‘basic skills deficient’’ means, with respect to an individual—
(A) who is a youth, that the individual has English reading, writing, or computing skills at or below the 8th grade level on a generally accepted standardized test; or
(B) who is a youth or adult, that the individual is unable to compute or solve problems, or read, write, or speak English, at a level necessary to function on the job, in the individual’s family, or in society.

The NW WDB Region will determine basic skills levels by utilizing the following methods:

  • In-School Youth basic skills will be assessed by utilizing records from the educational institution;
  • Out-of-School Youth without a High School diploma or equivalent will be TABE® or CASAS tested and referred to AEL. WIOA Youth may use previous TABE® or CASAS scores if the test was conducted within the past six (6) months;
  • Out-of-School Youth with a High School diploma or equivalent can be assessed using ACT® scores administered within the past six (6) months; or
  • Out-of-School Youth with a High School diploma or equivalent can be assessed using the Wonderlic General Assessment of Instructional Needs (GAIN®).

The NW WDB will provide reasonable accommodations, if needed, for the assessment of individuals with disabilities.

Complaints about this policy should be made by following the NWWDB’s Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity WIOA Complaint and Grievance Policy.