Micro-credentials are short, flexible, competency-based offerings. They may be non-credit-bearing, credit- bearing, or embedded within credit-bearing courses or programs. Micro-credentials are represented by verifiable, portable, and shareable Open Badges that allow learners flexibility in the way they articulate their competencies.

New micro-credentials at KPU are approved by the Senate Micro-credentials Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Senate Standing Committee on Curriculum. The expedited approval process for micro-credentials is outlined in Policy AC15 and its associated Procedure.

KPU’s micro-credentialling initiative is aligned with the Micro-credential Framework for BC’s public post-secondary education system developed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

For more information about micro-credentials, see our frequently-asked questions.

Frequently-asked Questions

What is the value of micro-credentials and how do these new types of offerings complement traditional post-secondary credentials such as Associates or Bachelor’s Degrees?

There are many different ways in which micro-credentials can add value for a broad range of audiences:

Articulation of Skills and Competencies: Micro-credentials may be issued to students after the successful development and assessment of key competencies. The open badge associated with the micro-credential gives students tangible evidence of accomplishment that they can publicly post and share. The meta-data contained within open badges associated with micro-credentials (learning outcomes, assessments, links to student work if an e-portfolio is used) can help students better internalize and articulate the competencies they have mastered.

Providing Pathways to, or Back to, Higher Education: For adult learners looking to start or return to post-secondary studies, micro-credentials can provide more flexible, accessible, and less intimidating pathway.

Developing Complementary Skill Sets: As an add-on to an existing degree program, micro-credentials allow students to distinguish themselves in a competitive marketplace through mastery of skills complementary to their chosen field of study. Consider the computer science major who adds a micro-credential in business communication, the computer science alumnus who needs to gain skills in the latest programming language, or the English major who adds a micro-credential in business analytics.

Supporting Business/Industry: Increasingly employers are looking for ways to up-skill their current employees to be able to promote from within, whether due to pending retirements, positions changes resulting from new technology, or simply overall organizational goals.

Supporting Communities: Micro-credentials that provide professional development to small businesses and community organizations can be important extension of campus outreach.

Life-Long Learning: Micro-credentials can be terrific tools to support life-long learning and professional development. This has applicability to business/industry and community organizations as described above. It also has significant potential for alumni and even KPU’s own faculty and staff.

What information is contained within open badges?

Open badges include meta-data about the relevant micro-credential. An open badge clearly articulates the nature of the learning that has taken place, including what the outcomes of the learning were, whether the learning was credit-bearing or non-credit-bearing, when it was completed (and whether it expires), and whether the micro-credential is one of a sequence or stack. Open badges can even link to evidence of the learner’s work if an e-portfolio is used and may contain endorsements of the value of the micro-credential from professional bodies or industry partners. It may be useful to think of this meta-data as the equivalent of a food label, but for small units of competency-based learning.

What is the relationship of an open badge to a micro-credential?

This relationship is similar to that of a parchment to a formal credential in that it carries information about the learning that has taken place along with features that attest to its official connection to the institution. However, an open badge is also verifiable, shareable, portable, and interoperable.

Who regulates the international technical standards for open badges?

The international technical standards for open badges were first developed by Mozilla but are now managed and sustained by the IMS Global organization.

Where can I learn more about micro-credentials?

The following is a list of reports that provide helpful background information about micro-credentials: