Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018 - 54

CLOSING
D E A L S

CREDLY ACQUIRES ACCLAIM

TO COMBINE DIGITAL CREDENTIAL BUSINESSES
BY TARYN OESCH

Digital badges are a validated virtual
representation of an individual's
successful development of a new
skill or completion of a project or
level of education. They're becoming
increasingly popular as companies offer
badges as part of recognition programs,
and employees use them to display their
knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to
current and prospective employers.
Reflecting this growing popularity,
Credly, a digital credential creation and
management company, has raised more
than $7 million and recently acquired
Pearson's Acclaim badging business.
Pearson is taking a minority equity stake
in Credly as a result of the acquisition,
which the press release described as
creating "the most comprehensive
solution suite for skill recognition,
credential verification, and talent
management."
Credly's platform enables companies
to create digital credentials with
meta data; issue them to employees,
customers or partners; and use analytics
tools to inform training, marketing,
talent management, partnerships, and
other initiatives. For example, IBM issues
digital badges to employees for a variety
of skills, and because of the transparency
provided by digital badges, Finkelstein
says, the company has been able to
partner with Northeastern University to
accept those badges as credit toward a
master's degree program.
Finkelstein believes digital badges will
become an essential tool in the corporate
learning toolbox. "The mindset that we
see among organizations now is not if
they should issue digital credentials," he
says, "but when and how." Organizations
now believe it's important to "create a

| 54

culture of recognition ... that hands over
portable evidence to people of the skills
they've mastered and the knowledge
they've attained."
Beyond
culture,
though,
digital
credentials
can
support
talent
development
and
management
decisions. They help "create a common
definition of the skills the organization
values, empower and delegate different
departments and teams to reward
and acknowledge those skills in a
consistent way across the organization,
and then get a much better and more
comprehensive picture across the
organization," Finkelstein says. This
way, organizations can see everyone's

RECOGNITION
TECHNOLOGY
IS A TREND THAT'S
NOT GOING AWAY
KSAs and make sure they're being
acknowledged and used to the greatest
benefit of both the organization and the
employees.
BEST PRACTICES FOR USING DIGITAL
CREDENTIALS

"The key behind giving [the] credential
and ensuring that credential has
meaning," says Finkelstein, "is to make
sure that it's backed up by data." The
metadata contained in a digital badge
are the evidence that the credential is
valid and the details the user's employer
needs in order to use the information for
talent decisions. If you're creating the
badge, make sure you include details
like what the KSA is, what the user did

to achieve it, and the competencies he
or she now has. If you're using a badge
created by another organization to
assess a current or potential employee,
make sure the badge includes those
data and was issued by a reliable source.
"A really important best practice,"
Finkelstein says, "is to think about your
communication strategy when you
introduce credentials." Demonstrate the
value of the credentials to learners and
the organization, and explain the next
steps for both employees and managers
after a badge is earned and issued.
WHAT'S NEXT?

Finkelstein says he's seeing "a lot of
growth in the kinds of assessments
and authentic experiences that can
[generate] evidence of achievement,"
and new platforms and tools will soon
be issuing digital credentials in real time,
immediately after they are earned. He
also believes that technology will enable
better analysis; "in other words, what
can we learn about the populations
we serve by understanding how and
where they put their credentials to use?"
Blockchain may also start playing a role
in credentialing.
Partnering with Acclaim, Finkelstein
says, will ensure that customers "can
really tap into all parts of their life when
it comes to sharing what they know
and what they can do." Whether your
organization uses Acclaim and Credly
or another issuer, what is clear is that
recognition technology is a trend that's
not going away.

Taryn Oesch is an editor at Training Industry,
Inc. Email Taryn.


https://www.trainingindustry.com/glossary/social-badges/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/articles/performance-management/credit-where-credit-is-due-3-tips-for-implementing-a-digital-badge-program-at-your-organization/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/glossary/knowledge-skills-and-abilities-ksa/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/press-release/performance-management/venture-and-impact-investors-lead-investment-in-digital-credentialing-firm/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/press-release/performance-management/venture-and-impact-investors-lead-investment-in-digital-credentialing-firm/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/press-release/performance-management/industry-leaders-combine-to-create-global-platform-for-digital-credentials/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/articles/performance-management/up-your-2018-innovation-game-with-digital-skill-certification-and-credentialing/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018

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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
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