Tuesday, 02 Aug 2022

In June 2020, the then federal Education Minister, Dan Tehan, noted that microcredentials would permeate the education and training sectors over the next decade. He stated that:   “Microcredentials address the most common barriers cited by adult workers who are not intending to undertake further formal training or study: time and cost”. So what are micro-credentials and how will they revolutionise education and improve employability?

Microcredentials are small certificate-style courses that focus on a particular area of study. For adult learners, they are often used for upskilling and career advancement or career changes or alternatively for a deep dive into an area of interest. They have been offered by global IT companies such as Google and Apple for many years with success recorded in an online portal with a digital certificate or digital merit badge. These badges can be displayed on your social media profiles such as LinkedIn or alternatively on a physical or electronic CV. In 2015, I completed my Google microcredential and I have been interested in this medium for stacking skills ever since. Workplaces are now looking for ways to create microcredentials for their employees to track professional learning over time. RMIT, for example, notes that microcredentials allow staff to personalise their career development, broaden their CV, boost employability and expand their options. 

This trend will permeate into the schooling sector and a number of innovative schools across the country are trialling ways in which microcredentialing can work with students and staff to build skills, track outcomes and enhance employability. Lighthouse schools in this field include Beenleigh State High School in Queensland, which is working with Melbourne University; and Genazzano FCJ College in Melbourne who have developed their own badging system. 

Self-badging allows schools to utilise microcredentials for non-traditional curriculum short courses or online courses. This makes microcredentials suitable for schools to self-verify the digital badge and this allows students to stack their achievements and skills on a digital CV or platform. 

Source: Genazzano Institute

Bishop Druitt College, in Coffs Harbour, is working on this exciting initiative at present with selected staff working in learning communities to develop our own verified badge. There will be four levels of microcredentials that match the learner’s commitment: Level 1 (up to 4 hours); Level 2 (20 to 40 hours); Level 3 (40 to 50 hours); and Level 4 (80 to 100 hours). These microcredentials will be available across a variety of skills including collaboration, creative problem solving, critical thinking, oral communication and project management.

This innovative educational shift in how institutions and learners perceive short course learning and academic achievement will, I expect, permeate all industries in the near future and I for one am looking forward to this change. 


Nick Johnstone