Broad Field Family & Consumer Sciences

Description of the Assessment & Certification

The Broad Field Family and Consumer Sciences Assessment and Certification are
  • driven by business and industry standards;
  • based on relevant content standards and consistent with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education and the National Career Clusters Initiative;
  • appropriate to validate achievement of competencies across the broad field of family and consumer sciences;
  • useful in a broad range of education and employment settings, such as secondary and post-secondary education, community-based education programs, and employer-based human resource and staff development programs; and
  • advantaged to utilize a gold-standard, computer-based testing platform format that provides for valid and reliable competency measurement, and a reporting mechanism for data-driven program improvement, accountability, and individual remediation and acceleration. 

Uses of the Assessment & Certification

The assessment and certification will be used to:
  • document exit-level achievement in rigorous secondary programs and lower division post-secondary courses;
  • satisfy federal accountability reporting mandates required by Perkins IV legislation;
  • facilitate seamless articulation, placement, and credit-by exam within post-secondary institutions;
  • validate competencies required for employment at the pre-professional and/or paraprofessional level; and
  • provide an industry-recognized certification. 

Assessment and Certification Resources

Alignment Matrices
21st Century Student Outcomes Career Ready Practices (CCTC) Employability Skills Framework

* Bulletin includes detailed information on assessment design, scoring, content, sample test items, and resources)


The Broad Field FCS assessment/certification will be at a knowledge and skill level associated with early career employment opportunities and rigorous education programs that prepare for this level of the career ladder. The knowledge and skills validated span across a broad range of Family and Consumer Sciences content areas and are central to career areas involving: 
  • human services,
  • consumer services, protection, and advising,
  • education and training (public and community-based), or
  • social and community services.


Once the assessment is submitted, results are immediately available to the test candidate. The results provide an overall percentage score, a breakdown of scores corresponding to domains, and the indication whether pre-professional certification was achieved. The national cut score for pre-professional certification eligibility is established annually by AAFCS. Scores can be used to demonstrate competency, pinpoint weaknesses or gaps in performance, improve programs and curricula, and demonstrate accountability to stakeholders. Through articulation agreements, scores may be used as the basis for advanced placement and/or credit-by-exam at post-secondary institutions. Thus, local and state entities have latitude for independently establishing passing or qualifying scores for other purposes.

Pre-Professional Certification Score:  Click here for the list of current certification scores

Developed by National Family and Consumer Sciences Professionals

AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed family and consumer sciences professionals and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and develop the assessment instrument. Recognizing the value of a solid assessment tool in assuring that programs are effectively preparing individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume roles as family member, consumer, and community leader and for pre-professional careers requiring those skills, the following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the assessment and certification:
  • Susie Brown, Child Care, Inc., New York, NY
  • Marcia Copeland (Retired), General Mills, Plymouth, MN
  • Juanita Mendenhall, Teen Health Promotion Coalition, Ridgeway, SC
  • Jan Strand (Retired), Human Services Nonprofits, Santa Fe, NM
  • Kay Wilder, San Diego Rescue Mission, San Diego, CA
  • Luann Alemao, Columnist and Communications Specialist, Cedar Falls, IA
  • Tina Morrow, Community Action Services, San Marcos, TX
  • Toni Crouch, American Chamber of Commerce Executives, Alexandria, VA
  • Sandy Markwood, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Washington, DC
  • Don Bower, Extension Human Development Specialist, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • Carol Kellett, Former Dean and Teacher Educator, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • Karen Tanner Oliphant, Abraham Clark High School, Roselle, NJ
  • Melissa Dittman, Butler Tech, Hamilton, OH

Further Information:
Contact: AAFCS at 703-636-7641 or 

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