Industry Skill Standards & Competencies
Industry skill standards identify what people need to know to successfully perform work-related functions within an industry.
Customer Service and Sales Skill Standards
In coordination with the Sales & Service Voluntary Partnership (S&SVP), the National Skill Standards Board, and the participation of more than 800 U.S.-based retail companies, NRF Foundation identified Customer Service and Sales Skill Standards. These industry developed standards identify what employees need to know and be able to do in entry-level through first-line supervisor customer service and sales positions at high performance workplaces.
Thousands of employers, employees, and industry experts from the retail, wholesale, personal services, and real estate industries helped to identify the standards. They participated in review of labor market information to determine which jobs should be studied to develop standards that would be portable and applicable across industry segments; development sessions with highly effective workers; skills forums with work analysts, human resource managers, trainers, and educators; research on existing standards and training curricula; and national surveys of the work functions of sales and service employees. This rigorous process to identify and validate skills is in-line with career opportunities in and across industry segments.
Customer Service and Sales Critical Work Functions include:
- Learns about products or services
- Assesses customer needs
- Educates customer
- Meets customers' needs and provides ongoing support
- Prepares for selling
- Gains customer commitment and closes the sale
- Develops and implements a sales follow-up plan
The first four critical work functions are the basis for the National Professional Certification in Customer Service. The last three critical work functions are the foundation for the National Professional Certification in Sales.
Retail Management Skill Standards
With support from the U.S. Department of Labor and American Express Foundation, NRF Foundation developed retail management skill standards based on competency statements and input from numerous retail companies. The retail management competencies have been identified to describe work in a best practice, high-performance company at the level of a Retail Manager with 3-5 years of experience. Experts and industry professionals with first-hand knowledge of the retail workplace indentified five major work/domain areas.
Retail Management Work Areas/Domains include:
- Selling & Service
- Human Resources
- Administrative & Financial Accountability
These retail management domain areas are the basis for the National Professional Certification in Retail Management.
Retail Business Competencies
The Professional Retail Business Credential was developed by NRF Foundation, with support from Infosys Technologies, Ltd. The retail business competencies measure non-retailers' understanding of key retail disciplines. Industry subject matter experts identified seven core areas to foster deeper industry familiarity among business consulting professionals and others who work with the retail industry.
Retail Business Competencies include:
- Retail Operations
- Sales & Marketing
- Retail Management & Planning
- The Retail Context & Customer
- The Retail Organization & People/HR
- Warehousing & Logistics
These seven retail business competencies are the basis for the Professional Retail Business Credential.