Skills and Credentials – We need a viable, globally recognised credential system

Few people realise the profound changes that a focus on professional capabilities and resulting micro-credentials have made both to global education and the recognition of individual expertise. This paper outlines and examines the opportunities and results from a concerted effort to effectively assess, recognise and credential human capability across all workforces and all levels of work, life and cultural contexts.

The primary aim of this paper is to demystify the often jargon-laden, heavily nuanced language surrounding terms such as credentials and capabilities. It introduces the developments and breakthroughs now being driven by DeakinCo., a wholly owned subsidiary of Deakin University. This paper looks over the horizon to predict some of the implications many may have missed— implications that will be examined from the perspective of how governments and society can respond to changes in required skills when the workforce is continually being reshaped by evolving business models, globalisation and disruptions driven by technological change.

Credentials based on professional capability standards are a solution to a problem many are still struggling to understand. Digital disruption and globalisation has changed the landscape of work and learning forever. This disruption is changing what it means to acquire skills and knowledge.

Tired models of doing business and structuring work have resulted in many businesses becoming non-competitive or fighting to hold market share in rapidly shrinking markets. To help existing businesses compete in the future and assist individual students and existing employees to gain work and sustainable career pathways, we need a viable, globally recognised credential system. While many have recognised this need for more than 25 years, the call to take decisive action has recently eventuated as universities and governments have come to acknowledge the commercial reality that disruptions are worst where industries are the slowest to change. Crudely stated, if universities don’t develop or use a credential model and businesses across the globe demand a better way to buy and consume qualifications, commercial interests and market forces will come into play.

Taking the initiative, Deakin University has invested in and built DeakinCo. to enhance not only its own educational offering and ability to innovate, but also to support businesses, regions and the nation in transition, enabling Australia to better compete in the digital age. For Deakin University, the logic of moving towards credentials was compelling—they could effectively augment their existing offering to better meet the future world of work and learning while placing into the marketplace a solution at the beginning of a new digital wave of change.

This paper confirms that with futures pointing toward profound shifts in the structure of education and work, Professional Practice Credentials will be the recognition and transportable symbol of capabilities in action. As DeakinCo. is the first ‘market ready’ authorised credential agency in the world that is backed by a major university, it is able to offer infinitely flexible connections individuals and businesses can build between capability-based credentialing and degree pathways.

An argument will also be advanced to show why non-formal experience and capability developed through professional practice is just as valuable as formal learning and has to be recognised to meet the requirements for future work. Professional Practice Credentials are the breakthrough disruptive model sought by investors, businesses and professional bodies to assure the acquisition of the capabilities the modern workforce needs to transition to, and what the next generation of career aspirants will require to secure work.

What credentials offer is a solution to the much hyped problems surrounding how disruptive changes will profoundly impact the employment landscape and world of work. Professional Practice Credentials offer an effective mechanism to improve educational offerings, employee engagement, build workforce capabilities and increase productivity and competitiveness in this turbulent environment.

What DeakinCo. has created is a new currency for capabilities that employers and employees recognise, value and require to navigate the future world of work in the digital age.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Demystifying credentials: growing capabilities for the future

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