Create digital badges and pathways - RSA

Learning pathways awarded with digital badges

Help learners articulate the skills, knowledge and experience they develop through your activities.

Create a digital badge and learning pathway image

Digital badges explained

A digital badge is a smart, simple, and visual way of recognising non-accredited learning.

It helps the learner to understand what skills they have developed and lets them share their achievement on their CV, with an employer or prospective employer, or via social media. Digital badges provide motivation and reward for learning and are a digital marker of achievement commonly used to recognise skills and competencies.

Badging standard

The RSA has created a badging standard describing four competency levels gained with each digital badge. These descriptors help badge creators and earners explain a badge’s level or pathway through a learning journey.

The RSA badging standard has four layers, each with a specific purpose:


This shows that a learner has learned about a new topic. For example, they attended a talk, exhibition or open day and gained a basic level of understanding in a new subject area.

Digital badge engage layer


This shows that a learner has interacted with learning by participating in a learning experience. For example, they attended a workshop, training or club requiring some hands-on interaction, or the learning they undertook required some degree of self-direction.

Digital badge participation layer


This shows that a learner has applied knowledge in a real-world environment to gain experience and get feedback. For example, they took part in a competition, work experience or project, or participated in an assessed learning experience.

Digital badge demonstration layer


This shows that a learner has embedded knowledge in different contexts and influenced others. For example, they join an ambassador or leadership programme and can take their subject knowledge to others.

Digital badge lead layer

Learning pathways explained

A pathway helps a learner to progress through the steps needed to reach a goal. The motivation through a pathway of learning is provided by breaking it down into steps, which could each be awarded with a digital badge, or the pathway as a whole be awarded with a digital badge.

The goal of the Cities of Learning programme is to:

  • work with place-based leaders to identify existing learning pathways
  • work with place-based leaders and employers to identify gaps in learning that support local employment goals, and to help design and fill these gaps
  • work in partnership with place-based leaders and learning providers to design new pathways that connect learners to employment opportunities and beyond.


Other ways to get involved

Build a place-based programme

Access support to solve labour market challenges, upskilling and matching talent to jobs in your area. We help our partners drive social change for the public good.

Fund Cities of Learning

Boost the UK’s learning and development ecosystem by funding Cities of Learning.