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Credential Transparency Initiative Intros New Credentialing Tool, Nonprofit Org

The Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI) today debuted its Credential Registry, a tool for documenting and comparing certifications, degrees, certificates, licenses, badges and other micro-credentials. The project includes the formation a new nonprofit organization, Credential Engine, tasked with taking the effort mainstream.

Led by a partnership among George Washington University's Institute of Public Policy, Workcred (an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute), and Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Center for Workforce Development, the Credential Transparency Initiative aims to "develop common terms for describing key features of credentials; create a voluntary, web-based registry for sharing the resulting information; and test practical apps (software applications) for employers, students, educators and other credential stakeholders," according to the CTI website. The project received a $2.25 million grant from the Lumina Foundation last year.

The registry uses web 3.0 technologies to help "job seekers, students, workers and employers to easily search for and compare credentials, similar to the way travel apps are used to compare flights, rental cars and hotels," according to a statement. The goal is to increase transparency and clarity in the credentialing marketplace — to "allow users to see what various credentials represent in terms of competencies, transfer value, assessment rigor, third-party approval status and much more."

The Credential Engine nonprofit will maintain the open-licensed Credential Registry and Credential Transparency Description Language, and promote an open applications marketplace.

"This work has the potential to bring greater transparency to both degrees and non-degree credentials to provide employers, education providers and learners with credible, transparent and up-to-date information on the meaning and value of postsecondary credentials," said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, in a press release. "We believe this approach will expand postsecondary education opportunity and increase attainment through clearer linkages between credentials and careers, smoother transitions between education providers and innovative, flexible pathways for all kinds of learners."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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