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Badging Standards

The Cities of Learning Badging Standard is a scaffold to support coherent and aligned learning.

It is based on the OECD’s Future of Education and Skills 2030 learning compass and has been developed by the RSA and City & Guilds, who also endorse the Standard for all Badge Nation and Cities of Learning badges. 


The Badging Standards’ chief aim is to help learners to self-direct their learning journey.  They are not intended to be any form of assessment or qualification framework.


Badges using the standard are all issued through Badge Nation, our partner organisation and badging academy, which evolved out of the Cities of Learning pilots.

Engage Layer

Information is given to learners to engage them with a topic and encourage them to undertake further learning opportunities in this area. 


  • Careers fairs 
  • Exhibitions 
  • Open days 
  • Assemblies

Participate Layer

Learning is interactive and undertaken with other people to deepen knowledge of a subject. Activities have specific learning outcomes to help learners progress. 


  • Workshops 
  • Training 
  • Qualifications 
  • Clubs

Demonstrate Layer

Learning is contextualised in a real world setting and learners are given the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback to help them grow.


  • Competitions 
  • Work experience 
  • Awards programmes 
  • Projects

Lead Layer

Learners are given the opportunity to embed their knowledge in different contexts. Through their work they can show how they have inspired and influence others. 


  • Ambassador programmes 
  • Leadership programmes

Using the Badging Standard

The Cities of Learning Badging standard is designed to capture the type of learning experience that an individual is engaging in; the layers are not intended to denote levels of knowledge or skill. Nor is it intended that all learning at the same layer is comparable.

For an individual completing badges and learning pathways, the Standards help the learner to understand how this particular experience is going to benefit their skills and learning journey.

The goal of the standard lies in recognition of skills and assisting self-directed learning in a simple and understandable way and there is no intention to compete with any formal qualification frameworks.