Digital Credentialing – Implications for the recognition of learning across borders


This report was developed by the Education Sector at UNESCO, analysing the impact and opportunities of digital technologies on the recognition of skills and learning systems.

Digital technologies are creating new opportunities for skills development and lifelong learning, and this report brings attention to how digital technologies are transforming education and training systems and building new credentialing methods and systems that can capture, recognize and validate learning outcomes in new ways.

In a context where the labour market and educational and training systems are increasingly internationalised, the increased mobility of people and jobs have great implications on the ways that skills and qualifications are recognised, validated and accredited across borders.

Digital learning records support and challenge the usual credential evaluation systems

Borhene Chakroun, Chief of Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development at UNESCO, and James Keevy, CEO at JET Education Services, write that the use of digital technologies in education and training supports the development of learning materials and close monitoring of teaching and learning processes, while changing pedagogies and forms of assessment and certification.

Based on a review of recent literature and a series of interviews with key actors in the field, the authors critically assess digital credentialing and highlight the increased synergies between these developments and the quality assurance systems that are closely associated with the implementation of a new generation of international qualifications frameworks.

The report offers an outline of these digital credentials and shows the junction with and deviation from traditional qualifications frameworks. It finally proposes world reference levels as an important tool for advancing the recognition of skills and qualifications across borders.