Customer Service and Sales

Recognized Skill Standards
May 15, 2012


The Customer Service and Sales skill standards were developed nationally by the sales & service voluntary partnership in conjunction with the National Skill Standards Board, with more than 600 members from industry, labor, education, government, and community organizations.

The skill standards are based on extensive work to identify and validate the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in sales and service positions in retail, wholesale, personal services, real estate, and beyond. Hundreds of first line workers, managers, and experts participated directly in the development of the skill standards.

Importance to Texas

The purpose for the recognition of these nationally developed skill standards is to help build a professional and competitive workforce for the state’s retail industry. Skill standards are available for educators and trainers for the development of skills-based training and education.

In June 2002, Cochran, Blair & Potts, a family owned department store in Belton, TX, recommended recognition of the Customer Service and Sales skill standards on behalf of the retail industry in Texas. A representative of J.C. Penney Company, Inc., who served as the chair person of the sales & service voluntary partnership, also requested recognition of the standards.

The retail industry employs the greatest number of individuals in the state. Current Texas Workforce Commission occupational wage and projections data indicates that Texas will employ over 728,000 retail salespersons and cashiers by 2018. In addition, the data projects that over 267,000 customer service representatives will be employed in the state by 2018.

The retail industry’s continued growth depends on a professional and well-trained workforce. These skill standards serve as a basis on which workers can increase their employment options in Texas and in other states, and on which industry can train a strong and competent workforce that will help support and fuel the industry’s growth potential.


The skill standards were initially recognized in July 2002. The skill standards recognition was extended in May 2007 and again in May 2012 for another five years based on requests from the National Retail Federation Foundation (NRFF). The NRFF now maintains and promotes the skill standards to the retail industry at the national level.