How to Build a Successful Digital Credentialing Program

    Unlock the power of digital credentialing with our comprehensive blog. Explore trends, benefits, and a step-by-step roadmap for building a successful program that enhances credibility and empowers learners.
    calendar-plus-01 September 20, 2023
    user-circle Credly Team
    hourglass-01 7 min read
    Group of program managers discussing the steps to create a successful and high ROI digital credentialing program

    In today's fast-paced world, digital credentialing is a game-changer, crucial in an era where skills and competencies are paramount. This blog offers:

    • Insights into the growing popularity of digital credentials
    • Highlighted benefits for individuals and organizations
    • A step-by-step roadmap for building a successful program, like how to establish goals, select the right platform and effective tips for program marketing.

    Digital credentialing is revolutionizing how individuals and organizations acknowledge and display skills and achievements. A digital badge serves as a tangible representation of competencies, designed for easy sharing and verification. These badges typically include essential information like the earner's name, the issuing organization, and the criteria met to earn the badge. Educational institutions use them to reward students for module, project, or course completion. Similarly, companies and professional associations employ them for employee development, training program completion, and industry certification.

    In this comprehensive blog, we explore the growing popularity of digital credentials, the trends driving their adoption and the benefits they offer individuals and organizations. We then provide a step-by-step roadmap for building a successful digital credentialing program.

    The Increasing Popularity of Digital Credentials

    The importance of digital credentialing cannot be overstated in today's fast-paced, digitally connected world. Traditional, paper-based credentials often suffer from issues of credibility, security, and accessibility. In contrast, digital credentials are secure, easily shareable, and can be instantly verified, making them a powerful tool for individuals and organizations alike.

    The surge in interest in digital credentials can be attributed to several key trends reshaping education and professional development. In an environment where competencies become obsolete quickly, individuals seek opportunities to upskill and reskill. Digital credentials offer an easy way to showcase these skills, ensuring learners stay relevant in the job market. Employers increasingly prioritize specific capabilities, such as soft skills over degrees, and digital credentials provide a credible means to communicate these skills.

    The Benefits of Digital Credentialing

    For organizations and institutions issuing credentials, digital badges offer a compelling advantage. They enhance credibility and reputation by providing verified, recognized credentials, setting issuers apart in the market. They also streamline verification processes, leading to cost savings and eliminating administrative overhead. [You can use our ROI calculator to compare the time and cost savings of paper certificates versus digital credentials] Moreover, their robust security features protect the integrity of the credentialing process.

    Badge earners gain verified proof of their skills and qualifications, increasing their attractiveness to employers. This advantage is particularly relevant in a job market where 83% of employers prefer digital badges for verifying student skills, and soft skills are projected to dominate two-thirds of all jobs by 2030.  

    When learners excel and showcase their skills through verified digital badges, it serves as a testament to the program's effectiveness, ultimately attracting more learners and stakeholders who value the quality of education and training provided.

    You can download our free beginner's guide, which discusses the benefits of digital credentials specific to your sector.

    How To Build a Successful Digital Credentialing Program

    Phase 1 - Plan Your Digital Credentialing Program

    1. Define Goals and Metrics

    Before diving into the technical aspects of building a digital credentialing program, clearly define your objectives. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with your program.

    Developing specific and measurable goals is an important first step, whether it's validating soft skills for learners, increasing enrolment rates, enhancing brand awareness or reducing your administrative burden. Additionally, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you track your program's success over time.

    1. Get Buy-In

    Securing buy-in from stakeholders is essential for the success of your digital credentialing program. Identify key decision-makers and present a compelling case for why this program is necessary. Highlight the benefits, such as reduced costs or enhanced learner engagement. Address any concerns or questions that may arise to gain support.

    1. Select a Credentialing Platform

    Choosing the right credentialing platform is a critical decision. Consider factors like scalability, user-friendliness, and compatibility with your existing systems. Conduct thorough research, read user reviews, and, if possible, request demos to make an informed choice.

    You can use our checklist to help you choose the right digital credentialing platform for your organization.

    1. Establish a Governance Plan

    To ensure the smooth operation and sustainability of your program, establish a governance plan - the policies and procedures related to your organization’s credential strategy. Outline what you hope to achieve, who will be involved, and how you will implement your program. The most successful credential programs establish their governance in a way that allows for scale and growth.

    1. Develop a Credential Taxonomy

    A taxonomy is a baseline for further growth. It might not be absolutely necessary to start, but it is key to creating a consistent experience for your badge earners. A well-established taxonomy involves different types of credentials being visually organized so a reader can quickly identify relationships, levels, progression, etc.

    Phase 2 - Launch Your Digital Credentialing Program

      6. Create a Badge Template

    A good badge template effectively communicates the skills or achievements it signifies, creating a clear connection between the visual design and the accomplishment. Secondly, by including metadata within the badge, such as the recipient's name, issuance date, and a concise description of the achievement enhances its informational value.

    A quality digital badge should answer the following questions:

    • Who is issuing the badge?
    • How are requirements articulated?
    • What are earners doing with the badge once earned?
    • Who values the badge?
    • How does this badge relate to others?
    1. Market and Launch Your Digital Credentialing Program

    A well-executed launch and marketing strategy is essential to maximize the impact of your digital credentialing program. Develop promotional materials, including brochures, website content, and social media campaigns, to create awareness and generate interest. Highlight the benefits of earning your digital credentials, such as improved career prospects or enhanced skills.

    1. Integrate with Existing Systems

    To streamline operations and ensure a seamless user experience, integrate your digital credentialing program with existing systems, such as learning management systems (LMS) or HR software. This integration allows automatic badge issuance, simplifies reporting, and provides your audience with a cohesive learning and credentialing experience.

    Phase 3 - Measurement and Improvement

    1. Collect Data and Analytics

    Regularly collect data and analytics related to your digital credentialing program. Track metrics such as the number of badges issued, completion rates, and user feedback. Analyze data to gain insights into the program's effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

    1. Adapt to Changing Needs

    The digital credentialing landscape is continuously evolving. Stay informed about emerging trends and technologies in the credentialing space. Be prepared to adapt your program to meet changing industry needs and the evolving demands of your audience. Flexibility and responsiveness are key to long-term success.

    By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to building and launching a successful digital credentialing program while setting a strong foundation for ongoing measurement and improvement.

    How can we help?
    If you’re looking to build a digital credentialing program, Credly Acclaim can help support you on your digital credentialing journey. By taking our Credentialing Mastery Assessment, we’ll be able to advise you in three key areas of your digital credentialing strategy: foundation, delivery, and sustainability & scalability. This will be followed by a detailed and personalized report with rich resources to help you transform, adapt, and lead your way to mastering the world of credentialing excellence.
    Why wait? Discover how you can build a successful program unique to your organization’s needs with our Credentialing Mastery Assessment.

    Start Your Digital Credentialing Journey

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