Digital Credentials: Going for Gold

2021 is full of notable sporting events: the Euros, Wimbledon, and now the Olympic Games to name a few. This has made us think about the parallels between recognition at these events and how we can use Digital Credentials (open badges) in the workplace.

Recognising Participation

Competitors in sporting events are often awarded a special medal for participation. Digital Credentials are often used for this purpose – attending a conference, taking part in a staff development day, joining an online seminar. They are a wonderful way to recognise participation in an event and can be used for Continual Professional Development (CPD) purposes.

A Mark of Excellence

The winning team often gets winners medals and there is a parallel with awarding Digital Credentials as a mark of excellence or outstanding achievement in a specific area of practice. Rewarding a team for outstanding work can be a fabulous opportunity to mark their contribution and provide further motivation.

Security and Authority

The officials and athletes often need a visible device to show they are authorised to be there, usually a wristband. Digital Credentials can help to show that someone has the required skills or authority. It is possible to build in an expiry date that creates a license to practice for a specified period. It is easier to check the expiry, and that an awarding authority is legitimate digitally than with a paper certificate or wristband.

Make Excellence more Visible

Being able to identify individuals’ ability and where they excel is often used within sport. Digital Credentials could be used in this way to mark out individuals with different areas of expertise. This can help organisations to identify the ‘go to expert’ and make excellence more visible. 

Progression Towards Mastery

In the Olympics, medals are awarded to display excellence in a specific field. However, with awards at three levels (gold, silver, bronze) it is not just the best who are recognised. Each build on the shoulders of the other. Digital Credentials can recognise levels of achievement, building up to a gold standard. This is good as a motivational tool, providing an entry-level and then progression towards mastery thus encouraging employees on their journey to excellence.

Recognition of Anything

Alongside these awards for prowess and participation are those values-based qualities. Digital Credentials can be used to recognise the more intangible skills and qualities that people show. These can be difficult to define, but we know them when we see them – great customer service, creativity, inclusive practice, etc. These are vital workforce skills that help keep businesses running smoothly. Publicly recognising them can help embed these into the organisational culture.

Are You Ready to Compete?

Digital Credentials have a wide potential for recognising skills, achievement, excellence, behaviours, a time-framed license or competence, and levels to provide motivation for improvement. Not to mention their ongoing use to recognise the award of micro-credentials in the world of academic and vocational qualifications. Watch out for our next blog on just that.

eCom Scotland’s eNetBadges™ enables organisations to issue secure badges for business use. With anyone having the ability to issue Open Badges, validity is a key issue. eNetBadges allows you to authenticate your badges in the metadata. By including information about criteria, evaluation, and evidence of work, others can verify and evaluate the achievement. The use of encryption means we include enhanced security, meaning that any badge issued through our platform will always have a verifiable provenance.

If you would like to explore how Open Badges could work for your organisation, then please contact one of our Learning Technology Consultants on t:01383 630032 or


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