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Certificates of Qualification for Employment (CQEs)

Smart relief from criminal-record-based job barriers

1 in 6 Ohioans—around 1.9 million people—has a criminal record. Otherwise qualified workers are excluded by over-restrictive criminal-record-based barriers. For many years, the only legal tool for overcoming these barriers was criminal-record sealing or “expungement.” The 2012 state legislation creating Certificates of Qualification for Employment (CQEs) reintegrates these forgotten workers into our economy, contributing to our shared prosperity. Read below or click here to get OJPC’s CQE overview.


What do CQEs do?

A certification for qualification of employment (or CQE). While some people think that the only way to get a job after receiving a felony is to settle for a job they don’t want, or to expunge their records, CQEs offer a different route. CQEs do not expunge any record, what they do is create relief from mandatory restrictions that stem from laws that prevent  people with specific criminal records from working or being licensed in certain fields.

What don’t CQEs do?

The CQE does not guarantee a job. It also can only remove specific barriers that it is explicitly asked to remove.

How do I get a CQE?

In order to apply for a CQE you must first go through the CIVICC database to discover and identify which offenses are holding you back from getting the job you deserve. It also requires you to bravely tell your story and follow the steps outlines in our CQE workbook.