Where to start with micro-credentials and digital badges

There is a growing trend toward skills-based, short-form and alternative education which was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While you may recognise that your organisation needs to be in this space to compete, it can be difficult to know where to get started with the skills economy, micro-credentials and digital badges. Below is a range of information and resources you may find of interest. 

Frequently asked questions

What are micro-credentials?

While there is as yet no universally agreed definition of ‘micro-credential’, a widely accepted definition by Emeritus Professor Beverley Oliver reads: A micro-credential is a certification of assessed learning that is additional, alternate, complementary to or a component part of a formal qualification.

Read Micro-Credentials - What They Are and Why They're Valuable

What are digital badges?

The digital badge is a visual representation of the achievement gained from the micro-credential. Digital badges have embedded metadata that provide richer validation of qualifications. They contain shareable information about the badge issuer, receiver, criteria for issuing, issue date, expiration date, standards adhered to and evidence of achievement.

Read Digital Badges - What They Are, How They Work and What They Mean

What are workplace skills and competencies?

Workplace skills comprise a mix of soft skills (such as teamwork, leadership) and domain specific skills (such as digital literacy, programming or first aid). Competencies represent the knowledge and behaviours required to perform the skill.

Read 21st-Century Skills - What They Are and Why They’re Important

How do you assess attainment of workplace skills?

Unlike traditional assessments, where there is a definitive right and wrong answer, workplace and transferable skills are far more intangible to measure against. Performance-based or authentic assessments ask learners to utilise their workplace skills to problem solve typical workplace challenges and are scored against grading rubrics that allow educators to assess without bias.

Watch Authentic Assessment of Critical Skills and Career Readiness

Why is evidence important to learners and employers?

As learners participate in micro-credentials, alternative learning and non-formal learning activities, the evidence of that learning, in a verifiable digital badge, can be collected in a digital backpack or passport and ‘stacked’ together. This provides learners and employers with a secure and flexible way for both parties to address the skills-gap with confidence.

Read 2021 Employability Outcomes Survey Whitepaper

Why is it important for micro-credentials to align to frameworks?

If micro-credentials, alternative learning courses and non-formal activities are aligned to existing frameworks, they have the opportunity to be credited towards the attainment of a formal-learning credential, such as a 2- or 4-year degree.

Read Frameworks - Proving Capability, Skill and Competency

Why is the link between micro-credentials and skills important?

For micro-credentials to be aligned to frameworks, the course curriculum must first be mapped to skills and competencies. Ultimately, and in an ideal world, the skills and competency data would then be aligned to labour market data, providing visibility and transparency of the end-to-end education to employment to lifelong learning journey.

Read Integrating Industry, Educators and Skills-Based Curricula

Where do I start planning for micro-credentials and digital badges?

Developing a short course and connecting it to a platform that can issue digital badges (a badging agent) is only the start of the journey - while it will get you on the path, without a greater investment in strategy and planning, they are unlikely to deliver on your needs, the needs of your learners, employers or industry. That’s because without aligning micro-credentials to skills and frameworks, the digital badge won’t hold much meaning in employment markets. (Credentialate is the only platform to offer Skills-First Evidence Alignment)

Watch Creating an Industry-Aligned Micro-Credentials Framework

How do I implement an evidence-based micro-credentials program?

Start with Credentialate to:

  • collect and aggregate learner data from multiple sources into a centralised system
  • align it to in-demand skills and competencies, frameworks and labour market data
  • issue a personalised evidence record with qualitative and quantitative detail
  • track and manage competency achievement outside of course silos

More than that, Credentialate:

  • utilises automation and templates to reduce human workload and enables scale
  • integrates non-formal and formal education into a single, framework-aligned evidence record
  • reduces the time and cost of launching skills-based micro-credentials

Go to the Credentialate home page

Access informative resources

Transformative change is happening quickly. We have a range of informative resouces in a variety of mediums that are updated regularly, exploring this space as it evolves. We invite you to join us on the journey:

Resources for Higher Education

Learn from your peers

Watch Jo Pyne, Chief Academic Officer, TAFE Queensland and Dan McFadyen, Managing Director of Edalex discuss the development of a robust, industry-aligned and scalable micro-credentials framework for the Queensland State Technical and Further Education System (TAFE QLD).

Looking for a planning tool to get you started?

The Micro-Credential Maturity Model is a tool to help you assess current offerings, explore organisational aspirations and map out potential steps towards implementing a micro-credential program.

  • Learn the 5 key stages of micro-credential deployment 
  • Discover important factors, segmented into 7 facets
  • Review sample scenarios and guidance on completing the model
  • Learn the critical success factors that will short-cut your learning
Download the Micro-Credential Maturity Model

Introducing Credentialate

Credentialate is the Skills Core - the connective tissue - that binds together the segments of the evolving skills and credentials ecosystem. It sits at the center of the ecosystem, aligning the skills in your curriculum to frameworks. It enables rich evidence that supports mobility and learner agency. Automation shortcuts the journey and allows you to scale fast.   

Get in touch for a confidential discussion

We’d love to help you on your skills journey - simply submit your details and we'll make a time to discuss your unique situation and what next steps look like for you.

Quick links to further resources

Next steps

Explore Credentialate Features
Credentialate Skills-First Evidence Alignment