Credentialing Action Announced

by Rachel Zinn
September 21, 2016

In an ongoing effort to create a credentialing system that makes sense to students, employers, and educators, the Connecting Credentials initiative announced an action plan and the creation of a new non-profit organization.

The new organization, called Credential Engine, will operate a nationwide registry with information about all types of credentials. These include degrees, certificates, industry certifications, and badges. The idea is to get credential providers (e.g. schools, industry associations) to feed information about their credentials into a database. Users can see comparable information about all types of credentials, such as costs, relevant competencies, and required assessments. 

At an event on Monday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., more than 200 people previewed a pilot version of the registry. It's designed so that app developers can use the basic registry information to create tools targeting specific types of users, such as adult students seeking retraining.

Credential Engine will continue improving the registry and recruiting more credential providers to upload their information. The organization is accepting nominations for its advisory boards through October 15.

In addition to progress on the registry, Connecting Credentials released an action plan with 25 specific recommendations to improve quality assurance, equitable access, and information about credentials. One of the seven action areas is creating an "open, interoperable data and technology infrastructure" through actions like creating arrangements to link certification data with information about students and employment outcomes.

More than 100 organizations are co-sponsors of Connecting Credentials, which is funded by Lumina Foundation. National Skills Coalition and WDQC are both co-sponsors and support the initiative through staff participation. WDQC Director Rachel Zinn co-chaired a work group that developed the data infrastructure action plan, and National Skills Coalition Executive Director Andy Van Kleunen facilitated a session at the Credential Engine launch event.