This lesson is important for all educators, but particularly for those at secondary or post-secondary programs where the students are not able to accumulate 800 hours of classroom and/or work experience during the program. It may also be of interest to some employers as a “starter” credential for newer employees.
When the WCA first started offering credentials, the Green Level credential was the first one that a candidate could earn. However, at 800 experience hours, that put it out of reach for many students, particularly at the high school level. While students at some schools were able to accumulate 800 hours over their academic career, many were not. In addition, the added cost of Assessment Credits to reach 30 Skill Points can also be a barrier for many high school students. Many of these same schools, however, wanted to participate in the WCA.
To facilitate this, the WCA created the Sawblade Certificate which allows students to participate in the skills testing, and along with a written quiz, provides a path to a certificate recognizing their achievement. If, in the future, a student who has earned a Sawblade Certificate moves on to work for a WCA member company or attends a member post-secondary school, they can build on what they’ve already accomplished to earn a full Green level credential.
To earn the Sawblade Certificate, a candidate must pass the Prerequisite Layout and Measurement operations detailed in the previous lesson, earn 10 skill points (consuming 10 assessment credits), and pass an online 40 question written quiz.
However, unlike the other WCA Credentials, the Sawblade Certificate prescribes a specific set of Tool Operations (shown below) that the student must be assessed on. These tools were selected because they represent a range of skills and are tools commonly found in most high school wood shops. In the event you do not have one of these tools, you may propose a substitute Tool Operation to your Chief Evaluator for their approval in your school only.
Sawblade Required Tool Operations
- Jointer – Edge jointing 1st Edge
- Table Saw – Ripping
- Table Saw – Edge rabbet/single blade or dado set
- Portable Hand Sander – Sand solid lumber
- Drill Press – Drill holes to specified location and depth
Note that each Individual Membership comes with 10 free assessment credits, which means there is no additional cost for the candidate to pursue a Sawblade Certificate.
Assessing the Sawblade Certificate
Assessing the Tool Operations for the Sawblade Certificate is no different from performing assessments for any other credential. The big difference is that there is an online written quiz required to qualify for the certificate. The quiz consists of 40 random questions and the candidate must achieve a score of 80% or better to pass. The test questions and answer key can be found in the Evaluator Documents and Forms under the Evaluator menu on this website in a folder called Sawblade Quickstart. You should review the questions to make sure the appropriate material to pass the test is being covered in your curriculum.
The candidate must log into the website before being given access to access the quiz; they should have received a temporary password via email after purchasing the Individual Membership. However, if they have misplaced their password, they can use the “Forgot Password” function on the login page to reset their password.
Results of the assessments for the Tool Operations are entered in the Registry as normal. For your convenience, there is an assessment group already setup in the Registry with the required Tool Operations for you to use. This process is covered in the Registry videos that you will watch later in your training. However, the online quiz results will not show up in the Registry; the results will be emailed to the WCA and we will verify that the candidate passed before issuing the certificate. The candidate will also have the opportunity to print a certificate with their results when the pass the quiz, which they shouldsubmit to you so that you are aware of their score. If they fail the quiz, they will be allowed to take it again until they pass.
Very Important Note:
Do not enter the candidate’s assessment results into the Registry until they have passed the online test.