What is a format agnostic digital credentialing solution?

There are a number of providers in the digital credentialing space, some offer only digital certificates, some provide only digital badges, others focus on one type but can support the other with limited capacity. Accredible is one of the only true format agnostic digital credentialing solutions that provides issuers the freedom to deliver both feature-rich digital certificates and open-badge compliant digital badges. Combined with our pricing model of per unique recipient, rather than per credential, this enables issuers to offer their candidates both an embed-friendly digital badge and a print-ready digital certificate at the cost of one issuer credit. 

Digital Badge & Digital Certificate Issued Together Example

Why choose a format agnostic digital credentialing solution?

There are many reasons why an individual is issued a reward or has an achievement recognized. It might be because they have successfully reached and passed their internal training, or they have gained new skills through managing a project. Not every achievement is suitably represented by a digital certificate. Traditionally certificates are used for recognizing learning efforts over a longer period of time, for a complex topic, or for completing a series of modules. This is where digital badges become extremely useful. They can be used for rewarding achievements that deserve recognition, but require less effort or time. By choosing a digital credentialing solution that provides format agnostic issuance, organizations benefit from versatile credentials that can be used across a variety of situations. 

How does a format agnostic digital credentialing solution benefit issuers? 

Using a format agnostic digital credentialing solution benefits issuers in a number of ways. They have greater versatility in how they use digital credentials, they can gamify the learning journey, they can create stackable credentials, and they can increase the visibility of their programs and the brand. 

Versatile Digital Credentials

Rather than be restricted to issuing digital certificates OR digital badges, issuers have the freedom to issue a badge, a certificate, and both together once a candidate has met the goal criteria. For example, an organization that uses digital credentials to reward their employees for internal training may choose to issue digital badges for each of the modules. Upon completing the training, they issue both a digital badge and digital certificate (which appear together on the dedicated credential page). The employee can embed their digital badge to their email signature to showcase their knowledge, while sharing the more formal digital certificate to their social networks or online profiles. 

Gamify the Learning Journey

Gamification is the introduction of game-like mechanics into non-game settings. Gamification is beneficial as it helps to keep candidates motivated and incentivizes them to reach the end of a program. Digital credentials support gamification through the regular issuance of digital awards throughout a learner’s journey. Using digital credentials in place of pictorial awards (like those used in the Audible app) provides more contextual information for what the award represents through detailed information, learner evidence, and skill tags on the credential page. This provides increased value for the recipient and helps to encourage them to continue earning digital badges. 

A visual example of progressive digital badge awards from level 1 to level 4
Example of Progressive Digital Badges

Read our article on What is Gamification to learn more about using digital badges to implement gamification in learning journeys.

Build Stacked Credentials

Stacked, or stackable credentials are a framework for collecting individual achievements to improve a candidate's employability or skill set. Commonly, stacked credentials increase in complexity in a variety of topics, for example Levels 1, 2, or 3 in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Powerpoint. Individuals can ‘stack’ their credentials in any arrangement, vertically, horizontally, or hybrid, to build a unique personal portfolio of skills relevant to their needs or interests. Format agnostic digital credentials enable issuers to use digital badges to represent individual levels, while issuing digital certificates for candidates that complete all levels within a given topic. 

Increase Visibility of Programs and Brand

Digital credentials are made to be shared. In one-click, recipients share their digital credentials to their social networks, embed them into their email signatures or on webpage portfolios, or add their credentials to their LinkedIn profile. Every time a recipient shares their digital credentials, they are increasing the online visibility of the program and the issuing brand to their followers. As their networks are made up of peers, colleagues, industry connections, friends, and family, they are often part of the issuer’s target audience and this helps to increase referrals. A format agnostic digital credentialing solution combined with per unique-recipient pricing enables issuers to provide a greater number of valuable credentials to their recipients at no additional cost. This increases the share rate of credentials and positively impacts online visibility, supporting issuer marketing efforts and helping to drive traffic to enrollment pages. 

Digital Certificate Shared to LinkedIn Example

In Summary 

Digital certificates and digital badges are versatile credentials that can be used across a variety of situations, from recognizing learning to passing internal training. With a format agnostic digital credentialing solution, issuers have more freedom and flexibility in how they utilize and deliver digital credentials to their candidates. They can build groups of stacked credentials, gamify learning journeys, issue digital badges and certificates together, and motivate continuous learning. Combined with per-unique recipient pricing, issuers are not restricted to a certain number of credentials. They can offer their returning candidates unlimited credentials throughout the contract year for a single issuer credit. This helps to boost the visibility of programs and the issuing brand as recipients are eager to share their achievements to their networks and communication channels. 

To see format agnostic digital credentials from Accredible in action, book a platform demo today. Our team can help you identify where digital certificates or digital badges are suitable for use, and introduce you to additional credentialing features including premium white-labeling, learning pathways, and more. 

Further Reading

Download our guide, Creating a Certification Program with Digital Credentials. This guide is for organizations getting started in or currently offering professional certification that are looking to build programs supported by digital credentials.

Use this guide to:

  • Identify employer and learner preferences for training and development
  • Research the steps for creating an effective certification program
  • Design course content that appeals to the target audience
  • Learn how digital credentials are used to motivate, reward, market, and scale
Get the Guide