How Standards and Interoperability Are Enabling Credential Curation, Dynamic Credentials and Learner Agency

In this conversation style interview, Dan McFadyen and Nicholas Robert, Co-Founder and CEO of Learning Vault, explore how standards and interoperability are enabling credential curation, dynamic credentials and learner agency.

Watch on Channel Edalex (YouTube)

Chapters

00:49 – Learning Vault’s Journey and Mission
03:29 – The Digital Credential and Digital Badging Landscape and Drivers of Future Growth
08:06 – How Wider Awareness of Digital Credentials and Adhering to Standards is Supporting Learner Agency
12:28 – The Critical Elements of Truly Portable, Internationally Verifiable Credentials
17:02 – How Lifelong Skills Recognition and Credential Curation is Becoming the New Hiring Signal
23:47 – How Different Sectors and Organisations Credential the Soft and Domain Specific Skills Mix
28:27 – How QVault Maximised Interoperability and Enabled Dynamic Digital Credential Creation
33:53 – Upcoming Projects – Making Skills Accessible and Meaningful to Empower Learners on a Global Scale

Chapter videos

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Transcript

(This transcript has been lightly edited for readability)

Dan McFadyen – Hi, I’m Dan McFadyen – Managing Director of Edalex and I’m pleased to be joined today by Nicholas Roberts. Nicholas is Founder and CEO of Learning Vault. He’s previously been the CEO of a registered training organisation as well as a Training Manager in hospitality and business and also a Guest Relations Manager at a global hospitality chain. He loves leveraging technology and education to help build the workforce of the future. Welcome Nicholas, there’s a lot to unpack just in that last sentence but fantastic. 

Nicolas Roberts – Thanks Dan and what an introduction right? 

DM – So building on that, you’ve had quite the journey and so has Learning Vault. Certainly a lot of exciting news about Learning Vault recently so can you just fill us in on Learning Vault and the journey and where you see the company headed?

NR –  Yeah for sure so Learning Vault was founded actually out of a registered training organisation itself and part of the thing that we’ve always liked to do is make learning and complex processes really simple for people to understand. When we were an RTO, we sort of did really well at leadership and management – back then it was diploma management, primarily business – as well as the hospitality qualifications and we love creating different ways for people to be able to rapidly acquire the skills and the knowledge from a training package and it was something that we thoroughly enjoyed creating and building. We always wanted to look at leveraging technology to make that process more frictionless and more easier to sort of translate from one discipline to another. Ultimately towards the end of us being a registered training organisation, the catalyst for that really was that we had a couple of our friend RTOs – RTOs that we colleague with and I guess you’d say they went through an adverse reaction at audit; and they had some areas for development. They came to us and said: “Look, can we just purchase all of your content? We know it’s compliant. We know that it gets some good results. Can we just purchase them?” So as an organisation we sat down and we thought: “Hang on a second – if we enjoy leveraging technology, if we enjoy creating these student experiences, why don’t we focus predominantly on creating all of that from a resourcing perspective in a technology viewpoint and focus on that?” So at that point we founded Learning Vault. And really Learning Vault’s mission from that point on has been all about creating quality materials, creating technology, all with the vision of being able to amplify and democratise the transformative potential of knowledge of learning so that it can unleash its social economic and geographic potential for human mobility. Whilst that’s a massive mouthful to say, I think it puts us on the trajectory of why we went down a credentialing route, why we talk a lot about micro-credentials and that led us to a fantastic partnership with your good self in Edalex.

DM – Wonderful, well you’ve mentioned credentials, digital credentials to digital badging, so let’s dive into that a bit more. So, in their current form, they’ve been around for at least a decade but as we were talking to a joint friend at Scouts Australia – Jeffrey Lehrer, he flagged that they’ve been doing badging at Scouts for more than 115 years, so certainly a head start on the rest of the world. But from a technology perspective, lots of technologies follow the Gartner hype cycle where they very quickly jump up to the peak of inflated expectations and then drop down into the trough of disillusionment, and then over time slowly creep up to the plateau of productivity. I would argue that’s where we are today at that plateau with digital credentials, digital badging. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Why do you think it’s…

NR – I completely agree with you. We’ve largely been on this journey for three years in terms of digital credentialing and creating our own technology stack – the only sovereign provider at the moment. We’ve ridden some of those waves. Interestingly, we’ve always been in the vocational space, it’s sort of where our heart lies. But we’ve had more success outside of that vocational space if we look at those three year periods relating to Professional Development activity, K-12, Higher Ed. And what we’re starting to see now as we move into, as you coin that plateau of productivity zone, we’re actually now starting to see more meaning and more commonplace application for digital credentials. And we’re now starting to see quite a significant wave across that vocational space. I think part of that has been the ability to make it meaningful across that vocational spectrum, and being able to understand: you’ve got your accredited courses, you’ve got your accredited programs and your full qualifications, but then you also have these small pieces of learning and those small pieces of learning can actually be digitally credentialed so that they can stack up to a more longer form award. I think part of that process around it becoming commonplace, becoming, people wanting and understanding the power of credentialing has been really important; so I absolutely agree that we are in that part of the lifecycle of credentials and that’s something that we’re definitely starting to see a lot more of moving forward and a lot more interests with some RTO clients coming to us. 

Interestingly, sometimes they’re a little bit frustrated that the compliance manager will come to us and say: “A lot of our competitors are doing it. We know we need to do it. We don’t really understand it. How do we do it?” Which is great for us because it allows us to sort of explore and unpack: “Well, why do you actually want to use it? How can we help you use it?” And part of that knowledge-transfer piece of being able to add value to that exchange it’s something that’s very important for us.

DM – Right – And you mentioned some of the different sectors that you’re working in. So do you see the same drivers across all those or any key differences in selected areas?

NR – So there are certainly different drivers at a micro sense. So from K-12, they’ve got unique drivers relating to how can we make the knowledge that a student has attained more portable, more verifiable and almost looking at the concept of what does a fully rounded student in an experience looks like. Then in Vocational and Technical, it’s very much around, how we can prove the individual “competency” to use that word of a proficiency, of a skill and how meaningful is that and how can that be translated from a portability perspective, same with Higher Ed. And then professional development is largely around what skill have they obtained, how did they obtain it, by whom did they obtain it, things like that. But if we look at it from a macro perspective, ultimately there’s a common thread here, and that common thread is the desire to have that manifestation of lifelong learning, that having it as a verifiable pathway where an end user sort of has control or agency over how they move their knowledge that they’ve acquired through different parts of their life and make that knowledge meaningful. 


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DM – Fantastic. Well and let’s pull on that thread as well of lifelong learning and learner agency. So, are you seeing growing awareness of digital badges and digital alternative credentials among the consumers – the learners, or is there also still an education process for them as they’re receiving them?

NR – Absolutely I think there is still an education process for learners. I mean, what we typically find is we will get contacted by particular colleges that have students that have completed at one particular area that have received credentials, and the students are used to receiving credentials and therefore want to be able to receive them. So there’s that piece; but then there’s also the acknowledgment piece around … you know – you and I, we’ve all attended workshops, we’ve received the certificate of participation which is eight-hours professional development. I don’t know about you but I pop it in the back of my car drive home completely forget about it. My wife ends up throwing it out a couple of weeks later when I’m doing something else. And we completely forget that we’ve got that. So being able to interact with a student with an institution, with an awarding authority and being able to say: all of those credentials, all of that data is actually retained within the one place and the end user has agency over that to be able to share with who they want, when they want, how they want is very powerful. So what we’re starting to see is people that interact within that ecosystem, regardless of who that stakeholder is, immediately sees the power in making that knowledge piece portable. And then we sort of see that cascades and grows further and further. 

DM – And underpinning that learner agency and portability are standards. So that’s obviously a key aspect to enable this in the first place and to enable it to grow. I know there are a number of new standards or new versions of standards coming out for open badging, CLR, verifiable credentials. Where do you see the space heading and what sort of innovation will those updated standards bring? 

NR –  Pleasingly … um so first of all, standards are critically important – let me make that really clear. When we’re starting to look at a construct around the manifestation of lifelong learning and portability of knowledge from 5-years old to 75-years old, it only works with standards and interoperability. No one is going to own that entire journey but having repositories or wallets or passports or whatever term you want to call that repository, making sure that everything within there abides by standards – means that it can go into and out of that repository. So the end user that has agency over that can determine who that’s with. One of the things that I like about the emergence of what you’ve touched on – open badges, CLR and verifiable credentials being w3c, one of the things that we like and we’ve been involved much like your good self has been across that process of the standards, is that they’re all actually starting to coalesce. So we’re now starting to see all of the standards becoming interoperable as standards in their own right, which is really important. We’ve got clients in Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. So being able to follow an international student, for instance, if we’re going to talk about vocational – maybe they’ve done some pre-training in their country of origin and maybe that forms part of their admission into an Australian qualification or maybe a unit of competency. Being able to take that credential from the country of origin where they received that and having that as a machine readable artefact that is interoperable with those standards can mean that the college, the RTO, the institution can actually have a level of comfort knowing that it’s very verified by the issuer and that it relates to the standards in which their system operates in as well. 

DM – That’s really insightful Nicholas, and you use the word “ecosystem” before and I think that’s exactly the right term and it’s a growing ecosystem as you flagged with your clients overseas as well. Do you see any different nuances or challenges, I suppose, from an Australian context to the world or to the world bringing relevance here in Australia?

NR – Yeah look – every country definitely has nuances. The Singaporean government was the first government from an educative viewpoint in my opinion – let me preface that. That really started issuing verifiable credentials for academic achievement at a governmental level. Australia is certainly moving in that direction and there are certain conversations that people are having around the periphery or around what all of that looks like. I think what’s really important to understand with credentials – and I was speaking about this in the UK not too long ago – with the government over there, verifiable credentials have standards which is very important, and interoperability is at its core as we sort of canvassed. But having country specific rules and regulations are very critical as well. So what I mean by that is we at Learning Vault have created a product that is a verifiable credential that’s called QVault and that means all of the requirements of the AQF 2007 documentation for certification and testimony issuance, which means any document under the AQF that is issued needs to be issued with these particular standards and we bake all of those into compliant credentials. You would not expect another country to have similar standards. So we do a similar thing in the UK but we’ve had to create a UK specific product that meets all of their requirements so I definitely think there needs to be customisation and contextualisation to make verifiable credentials fit for purpose for their country of origin.


But I think the biggest thing is, and I was talking to a colleague in another country about this, and they’ve sort of created a country-specific system purely for them and they can’t move outside of that ecosystem or that architecture and I’ve just sort of said: “Well, you’ve kind of landlocked your country here – like it’s not useful outside of that and we have, as you have as well, Dan because I know we’ve been privy to some similar conversations – when we’re talking with States or Territories at a government level and talking about being able to have verifiable credentials is important, but extending outside of the border is critically important because we might have people studying in one state or territory that are looking to move to another state or territory. And having credentials that can operate across different wallets and areas is something that’s critically important. I think from a credential standpoint we have the ability to be nimble enough to be able to do that. We hear from clients all the time with, that have responsible service of alcohol that is different in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria etc. We’re never going to be able to solve that. But from a technology viewpoint, Edalex and Learning Vault certainly we can look at how we can make any of those systems and knowledge portability truly portable by adhering to those standards. 

DM – Here here, and yes, I think that’s creating artificial barriers for learners and assuming they’re only staying in one country or only in one discipline or one vocation. We’re seeing more and more that those truly are artificial barriers and technology should be liberating them rather than creating a wild garden and presuming that: “Oh their knowledge only comes from a single source.”


NR – Absolutely, and I mean when you stop thinking about post-COVID, I mean there are certainly a lot of changes that have happened during that two-year period that I think are not necessarily going to change. So we’ve got an orderless society now where students can literally study internationally but from the comfort of their own home. So being able to have systems that can increase the efficacy of that process I think is something that needs to be explored further. 

DM – Perfect. Yeah and ultimately recognising from learning, it can be from formal learning, informal or non-formal so the whole range of sources and I suppose that brings me a bit to a topic near and dear to our heart at Edalex, as you know we love to think of ourselves as skills nerds. I’m very proud of that. To that end, last year we commissioned some market research in the US of graduates and found that of more than a thousand graduates, only 33% of them felt comfortable voicing their skills during their first job hunt. So yes, they could talk about their degree or diploma or certificate but skills, workplace skills and certainly when you think about those who might come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, they might not have that language, the vocabulary or some other first in family – again, we’re seeing so much mobility and so many opportunities here, but the fact is two-thirds were unable – they weren’t comfortable voicing their skills and this is at a time when there’s recent research also coming out of the U.S. that 81% of employers think they should be hiring based on skills and not degrees. So degrees are no longer the signal to hire that they once were. So where do you see skills fitting into this mix and digital credentials, digital badges supporting that, enabling that and where are we headed?

NR – Look, it’s a brilliant question and I love the fact that we’re not the only company that’s skill nerds out there because it’s something so critical. Look, the statistics are pretty shocking – I think you said 33% of learners feel comfortable. And 81% of organisations –  it’s something they’re wanting to hire for. Look, our belief has always been that sort of data doesn’t lie. You know, a Holon IQ, for instance, has done a lot of research around the amount of jobs people are going to have, the amount of different careers they’re going to have within those, within that as a subset and how rapidly you’re going to need to acquire new skills, new knowledge proficiencies as part of that. And then if we go all the way back to what we were talking about at the start with our good friend Jeffrey from Scouts. Yeah Scouts have been doing, as you said – micro-credentials, if we’re going to put a term around it for 100 plus years – I think it’s 115 is what you said before – being able to actually make the skills that you have portable and you know I was never a scout but let’s say that I was and that I developed a “teamwork” or “leadership” badge. I don’t know if I would actually feel comfortable taking my shirt into an interview and showing them. But inherently, the skills that are learned from such an early age foundationally are critical. And being able to have them in some form of digital resume where you do feel comfortable putting them in there because every other achievement that you have can be curated as part of that and put that forward, I think is very much important. I think when we fast forward to the importance of skills and hiring talent – obviously we’re going through a little bit of a shortage of talent at the moment on a global scale, people are more interested in understanding exactly what an individual person has in terms of the skills and they’ve got a much bigger appetite than ever before to upskill and train in other areas if there’s particular skills that are lacking. So I think the future is only going to be in understanding who-has-what from a micro perspective, so from a skills perspective. I think the importance of that to stack back up, to be more of a longer form qualification or longer form skill set is important, but certainly people are going to be hiring for individual skills.

We’re starting to see that across the tech ecosystem significantly. Obviously Facebook, Twitter, Uber – a lot of them have removed policies relating to tertiary qualifications and they just want to understand what individual proficiencies people have and most of the time that is programming language skills, for instance, and that is a digital certification that comes with it. I think we need to have more of a robust engine when it comes to being able to define what a skill is and being able to map that properly back to a matrix that is machine readable, to understand what that looks like. I mean if you fast forward in my opinion to the future, we’re going to be looking at recruitment companies and those recruitment companies largely are AI driven. You come up with a task: “I want an accountant. The accountant needs to be certified. They need to be charted so, member of an organisation. Maybe I want them to be extremely proficient in XERO as a software, I want them to have high level leadership skills and all the rest of it.” Well, you know your degree – let’s just say that’s a digital credential, your professional membership – you’ve got a digital credential for being a professional member that is current every 12 months; you’ve just done your programming XERO so your XERO micro-credential is a digital artefact; you’ve done a leadership program with your last employer – that’s also a verifiable instrument – so suddenly you’re just putting a curation of digital credentials into a repository, and your instantly shortlisted, this candidate can actually meet all of those requirements – they’re all verifiable instruments. That’s something that we’ve been exploring at a very high level like a thought leadership level I guess with a large recruitment company and it’s all predicated on Rich Skill Descriptors, which in my humble opinion is a great sort of setup for Edalex to be able to talk about Rich Skill Descriptors because they’re critically important. 

DM – Well yes and you’re preaching to the choir! So yeah obviously we’re huge believers in the potential and the power of Rich Skill Descriptors building from work that we’ve done with the Open Skills Network out of the US and a number of different partners both here in Australia and in the US. And so we do see that as one of the critical building blocks.

DM – Look Nicholas, I love that example that you just gave and what I’ve noted was that you blended a range of skills from technical skills to 21st century human skill, soft skills – call them what you will, and that’s what each of us have and need to have to fulfil job responsibilities. I’m curious around your clients today, do they tend to focus on soft skills? Domain specific skills? A blend of the two? And are organisations, are institutions ready – this is a multi-part question for you but I’m really excited – do you think the institutions are ready to certify on 21st century skills as well as domain specific skills?

NR – Look it’s really interesting, and I have to say that it’s different client by client and sector by sector. So what I mean by that is we work with some schools K-12, public private and independent and even within them there’s a mix, so some focus purely on extracurricular activities, some focus purely on the hard results as it were, aligned to the curriculum – the academic results, others do a hybrid. In vocational, we’ve got some fantastic clients that do completely short courses that are largely based towards soft skills and things like that. We do a very large body of work with Box Hill and they’re absolutely fantastic and some private providers – genU, for instance, is doing some incredible work across that micro-credential space. And then we’ve got other organisations that we work with that sort of look at it purely from a skill set perspective or a fully accredited perspective. We’ve got some RTOs that, for instance, will digitally credential their work experience components and the elements that they need to do for some of those qualifications that require minimum hours to be spent in the workforce; and then when we look outside of that, so professional development and industry associations, we do significant bodies of work with those organisations. We have some that digitally certify all of their membership base, so for instance, if they’re an accountant and they’re a chartered member, for instance – they have a 364-day credential that says they’re an active member of this organisation; they have had to do all of these things in order to be a chartered member. We then have others that are sort of like they volunteer time, they do this, they mentor others and you know there’s a credential for all of those soft skills. So it really is quite different and across the entire spectrum. We’re starting to see large industry sectors looking at this to help with staff mobility such as in the Aged Care space, for instance, looking at – yes, the technical skills that a staff member has but also some of the other qualities that they’re looking for in terms of an effective communicator, an effective leader. So internally what that organisation is starting to do is understand what the emerging leadership team looks like and if they need a staff member to transition from one area to another area, what mobility they actually have within their own workforce.

So I know that hasn’t really answered concretely your question, but we’re starting to see the use cases really start to play out across different industry sectors and across different needs.

DM – No I think just hearing that range of responses and ultimately from this, I’m sure you and the team at Learning Vault have developed best practices and are able to guide clients whichever direction they want to take and give them that much more holistic view of: “This is where ultimately – perhaps you should be heading, rather than focusing just on this one narrow area.”

NR – Absolutely to the point where the team is actually broken down a little bit further into sort of like education and then supportive external education. So industry groups, corporate groups, things like that where the nuances are not the same as they are in the education field but can certainly look to understand: “What outcomes are you wanting to achieve? What data is meaningful for you to actually have within a credential and what problem are you trying to solve by using this?” Not just sort of like here it is, turn it on. There’s a lot of that consultation piece, especially because it’s so new as well, being able to actually get the changes that are required from an industry to actually make that change relevant and meaningful for them.

DM – Fantastic. I’d like to circle back to QVault. So one of your newer platforms, you mentioned it earlier, and actually just dovetailing on something that you just flagged around what problem a client is solving. So how is QVault different from your normal digital badging platform? And what problem were you trying to solve here in Australia? And then is it the same problem in the UK or different problems and challenges that you see that delivering on?

NR – No, for sure. So QVault is our verifiable credential product for accredited programs. So the catalyst for that was two-fold. The first one was we started talking to a lot of our clients within the vocation space and a lot of our friends within the vocational space around digital badges, digital credentials, verifiable credentials – all the same word. And they were sort of saying: “Look, they’re great. We just don’t understand how to use them.” So if we issue a digital badge, technically, is ASQA going to be on us for being non-compliant – Do we issue it for a unit of competency? If we issue it for a unit of competency, where do we put the statement of attainment? Or how can we actually legally do this? So there was this big barrier for entry for those groups but as I said, there are some providers that were all like: “Let’s just use it for our non-accredited training and let’s use it for our work experience components and all the rest of it.” We then ran quite an extensive workshop with a few RTOs around… if the future is all around verifiable credentials and agency being with the individual recipient, so the earner, the student, how portable is all of this?  And one of the people brought up: “Well seems pretty stupid if they’re getting all of these credentials their whole life but we can’t actually give them one.” And there are a few butchered ways that you could look at doing this. I mean some of the incumbents, for instance, are sort of like you can just put a PDF within the actual badge and it will work. So what we actually decided to do was completely tear apart the standards for interoperability so that we could make sure that interoperability was never compromised, and then how can we extend the standard as much as we can without breaking it to be able to include all of these additional components that would make it relevant under the Australian Qualifications Framework. So we played around with that for a while.

We had a lot of assistance with our good friends at Ready Tech to allow us to integrate with their Student Management System being job ready etc. And we really started to tease around this idea of how can we look at creating a certificate as a verifiable credential. We again went back to some of our RTOs that were part of the pilot group and one RTO was very vocal and she said to me: “Nicholas, we spent three months at a management level getting sign off for the look and feel of our certificate. There’s no way we’re changing it.” And so we just sort of thought: “Look. That’s fair enough. There are other incumbents that have certificate functionality but it’s all template driven.” So how can we make something that’s truly dynamic so it doesn’t really matter what units of competency a student does and it’s literally the same as the certificate that’s produced. So ultimately that’s exactly what we built. So we built what’s called, you’ll understand this more than most Dan, a credential assertion. So pretty much it’s a verifiable credential framework that allows all of these extra pieces of information to be put in and then we bake that as a verifiable credential. So what that means is in your Student Management System, however your certificate looks, whatever your statement of attain- or whatever your record of results looks like, whatever those records are, is actually dynamically brought in and baked as a compliant credential and it’s the same with the statement of attainment. So we’ve literally launched that not too long ago and it’s been able to make verifiable credentials meaningful for Registered Training Organisations in Australia. And it’s actually been able to do the same in the United Kingdom. So it’s only UK awarding authorities are quite similar in terms of there are certain attributes that need to be part of a qualification over there or a statement so we’ve done all of that. Interestingly the AQF has one of the most robust certification structures in the world, which is good, but more importantly what it enables a person to do in that same repository is they can have their full AQF certificate from an RTO. They might have their St John’s ambulance first aid, they might have a refresher for CPR, they might have employee of the month from an Aged Care provider, they might have leadership under pressure – all of these things that they can then curate and send as part of a digital resume or put in machine readable repository. They can actually see exactly where they are and what they’ve done.

DM – Brilliant, brilliant, now that’s fantastic and actually I’m sure very gratifying for you to see the flexibility that it can be extended not just to meet the requirements here in Australia but to the UK and now out to other countries as well. Probably my last question and thank you for all your time and insight so far but you’ve already talked about a lot of exciting and innovative work that you’re doing but I guess is there anything else, what else have you got brewing and what excites you? What gets you out of bed?

NR – The thing that excites me most is all around that piece that I was sort of touching on earlier around the ability to amplify and democratise the transformational potential of knowledge and learning and being able to actually have that manifestation throughout a person’s life. We’re starting to work with some pretty exciting organisations, some that I can’t talk about. So they may or may not be around government and things like that, either foreign or domestic. But really starting to look at how we can solve problems relating to the employment market by being able to make the knowledge someone has gained portable and accessible and machine readable. And part of that – like just to unplug, unpack something further is – let’s just say, we’re working with an organisation and they have complex needs and maybe they have minimum requirements for staff to be deployed to particular areas. And they currently have a system where they need to go through and actually look at each individual record of results within a qualification to sort of say: “Okay – this person did elective group here but they need to do this particular unit here for us to be able to send them to that area over there.” One of the projects I’m very excited on, that we may or may not be working with Edalex upon, is how we can make that data meaningful and solve a real world problem for a very large organisation around mobility.  And making sure that the right people are certified in the right way to be present and interacting with other people, where they need to be. It’s that whole piece around making data accessible and meaningful so that people can interact with and make the right decisions at the right moments in time which I think is very important.

DM – Brilliant, brilliant. Excellent and I’m sure there’s more to come when the time is right. Well look Nicholas, thank you so much for our discussion today. It’s amazing hearing your perspective around the technology but very importantly not forgetting who this is for – for that learner, for the earner who’s receiving these and what that enables is, as you said, the democratisation potential there and ultimately the impact that you and other providers can have on individuals and help transform their lives and create new opportunities based on skills, based on their own achievements.

NR – Absolutely and I mean, just one last point before I finish because you’ve just made me think about it Dan. I think it’s often too overlooked that the student in this whole piece – the recipient, the person that’s there. We’re doing a large – potentially doing a large body of work with a foreign government and what’s really brought to the front of this is mobility of knowledge and being able to have verifiable pieces of knowledge. Obviously the conflict overseas is horrible, any conflict in any country is horrible. But when we look at that as a microcosm, there was a mass exodus of people uh in a way that was unplanned. And that migration event meant that everybody just fled. So when they relocated in other parts, as you would, there’s no ability to discern whether somebody has a degree, whether somebody has skills in a particular area, and so therefore employability becomes really complex when you’re relying on somebody’s word in front of you. So we’re working potentially with a very large organisation internationally to look at what the standards look like and how everybody can actually have those verifiable credentials stored anywhere and everywhere. And it’s not for the business, it’s not for the RTO, it’s not for the school – it’s for the recipient. It’s being able to make sure that anywhere at any moment in time, you can actually prove all of the knowledge and the skills that you have through a verifiable instrument that’s not dependent upon you saying: “Hey, I got this from this place at this date, just trust me.”

DM – And it’s not paper because we know they fled for their lives so they don’t have…

NR – Sadly it’s very real and that organisation that we’re talking to came to us based off the back of that. And they’re just sort of like: “this is a problem that we need to solve.” But look, the most important part in all of this is being able to understand the entire rounded centred view of the individual and being able to have this entire spectrum of everything that they’ve been able to do and it’s up to them who they choose to share that with. That’s super important. Dan – thank you so much for inviting me to have this conversation with you. It’s been absolutely amazing and I look forward to more things that we do together because we’re tackling some incredible projects that are incredibly meaningful to a lot of people.

DM – Here, here – well thank you so much Nicholas and looking forward to continuing the discussion.

NR – Take care Dan

DM – Thanks

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