On this page:

Introduction

Measurable Skill Gains (MSGs) are a measure of the documented progress (academic, technical, occupational, or other) that a customer makes in a training or education program toward obtaining a recognized postsecondary credential or reaching employment-related performance outcome. This progress is captured in ReHabWorks and reported throughout the life of the case.

Return to Top

A-501: Legal Authority and References

20 CFR Part 677 (and reprinted in 34 CFR Parts 361 and 463)

US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 10-16, issued December 19, 2016, and entitled "Performance Accountability Guidance for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I, Title II, Title III and Title IV Core Programs"

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, §116, Performance Accountability System establishes performance accountability indicators and performance reporting requirements to assess the effectiveness of states and local workforce development areas in achieving positive outcomes for individuals served by the workforce development system's six core programs. Measurable Skill Gains (MSGs) measure the outcomes of WIOA program participants in education or training programs that lead to a recognized postsecondary credential or employment.

Requirements related to the implementation and operation of the performance accountability system are described under WIOA §116, including implementing joint regulations in 20 CFR Part 677 (and reprinted in 34 CFR Parts 361 and 463).

Return to Top

A-502: What Can Be Reported as MSG?

The following are accepted as MSGs for federal reporting:

  • Educational functioning level progress;
  • Secondary diploma or recognized credential;
  • Secondary or postsecondary transcript/report card showing achievement of academic standards;
  • Satisfactory or better progress report toward established milestones; and
  • Passage of an exam required for a specific occupation.

Refer to A-504: Types of Documented Progress for Measurable Skills Gains for additional information on documentation requirements.

Return to Top

A-503: What Cannot be Reported as MSG?

The following are not considered MSG's for federal reporting:

  • Yearly progression in special education courses working toward a Special Education Certificate of Attendance;
  • Transportation skills attainment;
  • Soft skills training; 
  • Pre- and post-tests demonstrating mastery of orientation and mobility training; and
  • Documentation of attainment of Microsoft Office skills in JAWS.

In addition to the above list, pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) will not generally be associated with MSGs. For more information about Pre-ETS, refer to VRSM C-1305-6: Providing Pre-Employment Transition Services.

18+ Programs

Traditional 18+ high school programs, in which students who have completed their academic requirements participate in a variety of work based learning and other job readiness activities that do not qualify as a MSG because the students do not earn credits or meet training milestones. For more information about 18+ programs, refer to VRSM C-1302-4: Local Education Agency.

Return to Top

A-504: Types of Documented Progress for Measurable Skill Gains

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act identifies the following five types of documented progress for Measurable Skill Gains (MSGs):

  1. Achievement of at least one educational functioning level (EFL) by a participant who is receiving instruction below the postsecondary education level. An EFL gain is advancement of an educational level by making measurable improvement in educational attainment as measured by a pretest and posttest or by enrollment in a postsecondary education or training program after completion of a secondary school program.

    An example of an EFL would be moving from a 9th grade reading level to a 10th grade reading level. The tests typically used for this include the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and the Basic English Skills Test (BEST).

    Examples of documentation to confirm an EFL MSG include:

    • results from a TABE or BEST pretest and posttest showing skills gains or academic improvement;
    • an adult high school transcript showing an EFL gain through the awarding of credits; or
    • postsecondary education or training enrollment substantiated by file documentation with notes from program staff after completion of a secondary school program.

      Note: Staff must make at least three attempts to obtain documents that substantiate the MSG from third-party education and training providers before using case notes as the primary source documents. When filing documentation with notes from program staff, or case notes, staff must refer to either paper or electronic statements that identify, at a minimum, the following:

      • A participant's status for a specific MSG
      • The date on which the information was obtained
      • The staff member who obtained the information
  2. Attainment of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

    An example of attainment of a secondary diploma would be graduating from high school or obtaining a GED. Examples of documentation to confirm this MSG would include a:

    • high school transcript;
    • high school diploma or its recognized equivalent; or
    • report card.
  3. Secondary or postsecondary progress toward a recognized credential.

    An example of secondary or postsecondary progress toward a recognized credential would be successfully completing a semester of academic training. Examples of documentation to confirm this MSG would include a:

    • transcript; or
    • report card.

    Note: There must be a sufficient number of credit hours documented to show that the customer is meeting standards identified in the customer's Individualized Plan for Employment.

  4. Satisfactory or better progress toward established milestones.

    An example of satisfactory progress towards established milestones would be completion of On-the-Job-Training (OJT) or completion of one year of an apprenticeship program or similar milestones. Examples of documentation to confirm this MSG would include:

    • progress reports or evaluations from an employer or training provider documenting satisfactory or better progress toward established milestones; or
    • satisfactory completion of a training period.
  5. Successfully passing an exam that is required for an occupation or progress in attaining technical or occupational skills.

    An example of successfully passing an exam that is required for an occupation or progress in attaining technical or occupational skills would be attaining a plumbing apprentice license or some other occupational license or certification. Examples of documentation to confirm this MSG would include:

    • trade-related exam results;
    • documentation from the employer or training provider demonstrating progress in attaining technical or occupational skills;
    • occupational license or certification; or
    • online confirmation of license or certificate.

Return to Top

A-505: Documenting Measurable Skill Gains

MSGs must be clearly documented in ReHabWorks (RHW) and in the paper case file.

MSGs are captured in RHW from the Education History page, Training Information page, and the Semester/Grading Period sections within that page. These fields must be updated throughout the life of the case to ensure accurate reporting to Rehabilitation Services Administration and other stakeholders. For more information, refer to the ReHabWorks Users Guide B-300: Education History.

VR staff must also document MSGs in RHW case notes to provide specific details about the customers progress and the reason for the update to the MSGs information in RHW. This can be captured in the system-generated case note from the comments entered by VR staff when the pages are updated.

Copies of supporting documentation, such as grade reports, transcripts, certificates, and diplomas, should be obtained from the customer as soon as the MSG is achieved but no later than the Joint Annual Review, when RHW is updated. Electronic documents are acceptable but must be printed and maintained in the customer's paper case file. Multiple documents to show proof of the MSG are preferred but not required.

Return to Top

A-506: Calculating Measurable Skill Gains

All VR customers enrolled in education programs that lead to secondary, recognized postsecondary credentials, or employment identified by their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) are counted in the denominator for that program year. This includes customers whose cases are closed during a program year as well as those who continue to receive services.

MSGs are captured and reported throughout the life of the case and at case closure. Customers who continue to receive services as well as those whose cases are closed during the reporting period are included in the measure.

Return to Top