Diplomas, academic and professional qualifications, certifications, security clearances, driving licenses, identity cards, passports, etc. We all own credentials like these in paper form. However, from lost documents to theft and falsification, paper credentials can cause many inconveniences.

Digital technology is creating new opportunities and perspectives for these everyday certifications. So let’s take a closer look at digital credentials: what are they about, what are they for and what kind of innovation can we expect in the near future?

BCdiploma lists 3 examples of digital credentials.

What are digital credentials ? A definition

Digital credentials are digital certifications or certificates issued by a given institution: diplomas, blocks of competences, transcripts, etc.

They are a digital version of these traditional documents. Just like their paper counterparts, digital credentials are issued by academic establishments, public service institutions, and so on. And just like paper credentials, digital credentials hold genuine evidential value.

3 examples of digital credentials:

Example 1: Open badges to certify informal learning or achievement

What is an open badge and what are they used for?

Open badges were created in the United States in 2011 by the Mozilla and MacArthur foundations as a solution to recognize informal learning, i.e. skills acquired outside the traditional educational system. They can be awarded by any academic institution, online course provider, or by the organizers of events and conferences in the form of a unique digital certificate.

Open badge is a digital standard that contains the following information:

  • The issuer’s name;
  • The recipient’s name;
  • Award criteria;
  • Issue date;
  • Evidence of its earning.

By reading the information contained in the open badge via a QR code or a URL link, one can verify and certify the skills acquired, and identify its holder. An open badge can also take the form of a digital image containing this same metadata.

Open badges are typically stored in badge bags such as:

  • Open Badge Passport;
  • Badgr (formerly Mozilla Backpack).
Open Badge Passport et Badgr (ex Mozilla Backpack).

They can be displayed and shared on social media to highlight specific commitments or technical skills and stand out to recruiters.

Examples of open badges

Open badges can be displayed and shared on social media to highlight specific commitments or technical skills and stand out to recruiters

Open badges are mostly earned outside or alongside the traditional school system.
Indeed, open badges can be awarded for:

  • Participating in an event;
  • Completing an individual or group project;
  • Attesting to specific commitments such as the eco-citizen badge;
  • Valuing skills (e.g.: mastery of the Python coding language);
  • Certifying the completion of MOOCs on Coursera for instance.

Example 2: Micro-certification for the delivery of blocks of competences

A micro-certification is “a certification attesting to the learning outcomes of a short course or module, and assessed in a transparent manner”.

Micro credentials examples allow for flexible, modular learning and can be used throughout one’s professional career. They can take the form of digital certifications such as open badges.

Why are micro-certifications suitable for attesting to a specific skill, or “block of competences”?

The 2018 French vocational training reform “Act for the freedom to choose one’s future” requires digital diplomas and professional certifications to be broken down into blocks of competences.

According to the French Labour Code, blocks of competences are “homogeneous and coherent sets of skills contributing to autonomous pursuing of a professional activity that can be assessed and validated.”

digital micro-certifications

Approved training organizations can deliver digital micro-certifications to attest to the mastery of all blocks of competences that make up a training course.

Micro-certifications allow students to assert their professional skills throughout their lives: learners can show these micro-certifications during their first job interview, for their professional development within the company, and throughout their professional career. Indeed, micro-credentials are designed to promote flexibility and mobility in the business world.

Example 3: Digital diplomas

What is the purpose of digital diplomas?

Digital diplomas are dematerialized and therefore more convenient for students: they can’t be lost and are very easy to share.

Furthermore, digital diplomas are much more advantageous for training organizations because they allow them to:

  • optimize administrative processes;
  • easily store documents or data related to these documents;
  • rapidly access information, especially upon requests from companies or students;
  • demonstrate the school’s innovative approach;
  • strengthen the bond between alumni and the university;
  • fight against diploma falsification, which can damage the organization’s reputation.

The example of Emlyon Business School

emlyon digital credential made by BCdiploma

Based in Lyon, Emlyon is the first business school to deliver digital diplomas to its students and alumni, i.e. over 18,000 people.

Since 2019, Emlyon Business School’s diplomas and certifications are automatically delivered and micro certified on blockchain in collaboration with BCdiploma.

Using a unique URL link, students can access their digital diploma containing all the necessary information to demonstrate their training credentials and share it with recruiters, companies and even on social media.

Emlyon Business School’s diplomas can be displayed in several languages, and instantly verified or downloaded. This innovative service will serve to increase the school’s attractiveness and appreciation among students!

Visit Emlyon’s website to learn more about the business school’s blockchain initiative.

Why opt for BCdipoma’s 100% blockchain digital credentials?

BCdiploma has created the very first digital credentials services based on blockchain data storage.

What are the benefits of blockchain digital credentials?

Digital credentials delivered on blockchain via BCdiploma are 100% secure, tamper-proof, verifiable and permanent.

Blockchain is a decentralized database and by nature a forgery-proof digital technology. Digital credentials are stored securely because falsification of blockchain information is impossible. It is a guarantee of trust and security that allows students and learners to prove the authenticity of their education and training throughout their professional lives.

BCdiploma is specialized in micro credentials and digital certificates for diplomas, and allows any training organization to create its own open badges using a turnkey platform.

Today, more than 100 institutions in 18 countries trust BCdiploma to deliver their blockchain digital credentials. Discover Digital Credentials Successful Project Testimonial, by University of Lille.