Transforming how we recognise and reward learning and skills development in the UK - RSA

Transforming how we recognise and reward learning and skills development in the UK

Press release

Today, the RSA and the Ufi VocTech Trust launch the ‘Digital Badging Commission’ to transform how individuals, employers, and organisations recognise and reward learning and skills development.

The Commission, chaired by Rebecca Garrod-Waters and Professor Sir Chris Husbands, will work to broaden the understanding, development and adoption of digital badges by accrediting organisations and employers, driving a flexible approach to qualifications which allows for a more rounded view of a person's skills, experiences and learning.

Digital badges and micro-credentials are playing an increasingly important role across the world, providing a record of people’s non-accredited learning throughout life. Digital badges in particular are predominantly issued to motivate, reward and recognise learning; encompassing both traditional and non-traditional learning and professional certifications.

In recent years the demand for digital badges has grown, particularly in the UK, in response to calls from industry, civil society, higher and further education organisations to reward shorter, more flexible learning opportunities, as well as learners and individuals looking for better ways to demonstrate the full breadth of their skills.

To date, this has been happening organically and without a framework to ensure quality that would enable badges to be consistently and universally recognised. The Commission will look at ways to change this in the long-term, as well as helping to build consensus across industries and sectors throughout the UK.

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, newly appointed co-chair of the Digital Badging Commission, said:

“Digital badging is developing fast as technology and workplaces change. There’s already excellent evidence of the power of digital badges to drive skill improvement, engagement with learning and self-esteem – but there is a lot to do to build a shared understanding of what quality looks like and to ensure that systems are future-ready and future-proofed"

Rebecca Garrod-Waters, CEO of Ufi VocTech Trust, and co-chair of the Digital Badging Commission, said:

“Ufi VocTech Trust has been passionate about the potential of digital badges and micro-credentials for years. We’ve supported projects across the UK that have offered learners the capacity to build their skills in more digestible and accessible ways. The launch of the Digital Badging Commission will support our ambition to bring the sector together around a shared idea of what good badges look like. This will make it easier for employers and learners from all backgrounds and educational histories to get the skills they need to thrive in work and life.”

Andy Haldane, CEO of the RSA, said:

“The RSA has a rich history of supporting innovation in qualifications. Change continues apace in education and learning, with the demand for digital badges and micro-credentials on the rise across the board. The launch of this Commission means we can begin to build consensus and establish high quality, universally-recognised standards to ensure that the full breadth of a person’s experiences is recognised consistently for everyone, whatever their background”.

Those joining the Digital Badging Commission, who meet for the first time in July, include representatives from across higher and further education institutions, commerce, online learning, technical standards, training providers and the media. For a list of commissioners, including representatives from Google, NCFE, the Centre for Real World Learning and Rethinking Assessment, please visit the website of the Digital Badging Commission.

The Commission will announce the findings of their report in 2025, with more details to be announced in due course.

 


NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. For further information or interview requests with the co-chairs, commissioners, or Andy Haldane, CEO of the RSA, contact Head of News and Public Affairs: [email protected], or Head of Communications of UfiVocTech Trust, [email protected] 

About the RSA

We are the RSA. The royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce. Where world-leading ideas are turned into world-changing actions. We’re committed to a world where everyone can fulfil their potential and contribute to more resilient, rebalanced, and regenerative futures.

The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years. Our research and innovation work has changed the hearts and minds of generations of people. Central to all our work are our mission-aligned Fellows; a global network of innovators and changemakers who work collectively to enable people, places and the planet to flourish in harmony.

We invite you to be part of this change. Join our community. Together, we’ll unite people and ideas in collective action to unlock opportunities to regenerate our world.

Find out more at thersa.org

About UfiVocTech Trust 

When people thrive in work, everybody benefits, so at Ufi we champion the power of technology to improve skills for work and deliver better outcomes for all.
We do this by providing investment, grant funding, advocacy and support for the development and deployment of vocational technology across all parts of the UK skills system.

We have a particular role in unlocking potential in the communities, sectors, skill levels and places currently underserved by mainstream provision, helping ensure everyone is included and no one is left behind.

Join us on our mission to #GetAdultsLearning.

Find out more at ufi.co.uk

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