JANUARY 16, 2014

There is growing interest in the use of competency-based credentials to verify that an individual has the skills and knowledge to perform on the job. Unfortunately, the current “market” for these credentials is neither fully formed nor functional.

Corporation for a Skilled Workforce has embarked on a multi-year initiative to increase the quality and use of competency-based credentials across the country. We are collaborating with leaders committed to realizing the potentially game-changing result of large-scale use of competency-based credentials by businesses, educators, workers, and students across the nation.

Our report, Making a Market for Competency-Based Credentials, is aimed at articulating a foundation for our collective work by analyzing the credentialing landscape, identifying promising credentialing approaches, and assessing what is needed to create a clear and compelling credentials marketplace. Making a Market for Competency-Based Credentials compiles what we and the many leaders who informed this narrative have learned to date.

To lay a foundation for this work, we gathered information about a cross section of promising credentialing efforts.The case studies that appear in the report, Competency-Based Credentials Case Studies, provide a glimpse of the variety of approaches being undertaken in different industries—by an array of different stakeholders— both in the U.S. and internationally.

In Fall 2013, we held a webinar series, “Making a Market for Competency-Based Credentials.” Slides from all three webinars in the series are available here:

Webinar 1: An Overview

Webinar 2: Effective Employer Engagement

Webinar 3: What can colleges do?

This work is part of our multi-year commitment to advance the use of quality competency-based credentials in the United States. The research, convening, and writing for this work was made possible by a grant from the Surdna Foundation.

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