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 Industry Certification Standards

 Download: Industry Certification Checklist​

CTAE Industry Certification Initiative

When a program became industry certified, it received a "stamp of excellence", which represents the apex of program quality. Only those programs that have successfully undergone rigorous reviews by leaders from business and industry are recognized with this distinction.


The State Department of Education is committed to the industry certification process as a part of its effort to strengthen technical and academic standards for all Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs.

This formal process strengthens all program components, including: 

  • Classrooms and labs which are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology;
  • CTAE and academic performance standards that are aligned to national standards;
  • In-depth, project-based instruction in all curriculum areas;
  • Appropriate and varied Career Related Education (CRE) instruction, including school-based enterprises and entrepreneurial ventures;
  • Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) which offer co-curricular competitive events on the local, state and national level and provide leadership development skills for personal and professional growth; and,
  • Business, industry and community involvement in all aspects of the program.  

Industry certified programs not only offer outstanding opportunities to students who receive instruction through such programs; but they also offer positive benefits for schools as well as employers.

How do students benefit?

  • The student is ensured participation in a program that has been carefully interfaced with current industry standards thus helping to increase their qualifications toward successful employment.
  • The curriculum and the delivery method for that curriculum taught to students are improved and updated enabling the student to receive high quality instruction. 

How does the community view a school where programs have undergone the industry certification process?

  • The school is viewed as having exceptional programs. Through the industry certification process, schools are better able to align curriculum with recognized standards to aid with providing better career opportunities for students.
  • Communities understand that schools which pursue this distinction are committed to improving student preparation and ensuring that Georgia’s workforce meets the demands of the 21st century. 

What does certification represent to the business community/employers in the school’s service area?

  • It represents that they will receive qualified students who will make productive employees.
  • It represents that they have had meaningful involvement in public education and have contributed to the development of a highly-skilled, future workforce for Georgia.

Schools that pursue the industry certification process receive a special grant provided there is support from the Georgia Legislature. Schools which receive funding are expected to have programs certified by the end of the fiscal year in which grant funding was received.


Programs are typically certified for a period of five years. During that time, the school conducts an annual review to ensure that the program continues to meet certification criteria. At the end of the certification period, programs may apply for re-certification.


Industry certification standards are developed collaboratively by the Georgia Department of Education Program Specialists and the state-level business associations noted below. Input is also sought from CTAE instructors throughout the state.

Standards are in place for the following CTAE program areas:

  • Agriculture Education
  • Architectural Drawing and Design
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Business and Computer Science
  • Broadcast/Video Production
  • Construction
  • Culinary Arts
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Graphic Communications
  • Healthcare Science
  • Law and Public Safety
  • Marketing, Sales & Services
  • Metalworking

The state-level business/industry associations which serve as co-sponsors (along with the Georgia Department of Education) of the industry certification process are as follows:

  • Georgia Farm Bureau
  • Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA)
  • American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF)
  • National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)
  • Georgia Early Childhood Education Foundation
  • Graphic Arts Education Research Foundation (GAERF)
  • International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA)
  • Law and Public Safety Resource Network (LAPSEN)
  • New Media Education Foundation of Georgia
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
  • American Marketing Association
  • Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Hometown Health

 Contact Information

Mamie Hanson
Program Specialist, Career, Technical and Agricultural Education
Phone: 470-728-6052