City and Guilds establishes new tool to validate training credentials

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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GOVERNMENT, through the Ministry of Education Youth and Information, has announced that it will be subsidising some 5,500 students of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) to sit the City and Guilds' (C&G) Customer Service #8992 qualification at Levels 1 & 2.

If successful, the students will receive digital badges — a new technology-based tool for validating training credentials.

The ministry said that already, 2,300 students in the CAP and Centre for Occupational Studies programmes who did the customer service exams have been awarded digital badges.

The move, it said Friday, will provide increased opportunities for recruitment in the growing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, for example.

What is a digital badge?

Digital badges are powerful new tools for identifying and validating the rich array of people's skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and competencies. The set of data provided for by digital badges would include information on a programme of study that outlines the levels of competence and skills attained in key areas of a programme.

A digital badge may show an earner's ability to carry out a professional function in relation to the competencies required. Digital badges offer clear visibility of one's skills, which overrides the abstract, indirect standards of a traditional certificate.

The badges are verifiable by the issuing organisations such as companies or institutions of learning. They are secured with enterprise-class data security, which allows earners to share their badges safely on various social media platforms and thereby increase their chances of international recruitment and recognition. This is especially important for persons who have qualifications that may grant them worldwide employment and acceptance.

City and Guilds, the only company in the world with this new technology through its acquisition of the company Digitalme, has made the technology accessible to corporate entities and various institutions of learning around the world. It has collaborated with companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Adobe and SIEMENS, offering this game-changing technology which changes the face of certification and credentialing.

Digital badges are safe

With the everyday threat of cybercrimes and fraudulent activity via the internet, the safety of digital badges has been tested and fortified by City and Guilds. Working with Digitalme in conjunction with Credly, a company that supports the end to end solution for creating, issuing and managing digital credentials, C&G has ensured that there is built-in technology that prevents badges from being duplicated or tampered with.

Once a badge is issued to an earner, he may now share it on various social media platforms. The end receiver on these platforms will be able to click the badge and have access to the earner's achievements, as per the built- in metadata.

The receiver is then able to verify the validity of the badge since the issuer will be identified as the company or institution of learning, rather than the earner. Employers are therefore able to verify through direct engagement with the issuing institution or company, because the badges will be designed to be traced to the issuing or awarding body.

Anyone can be digitally badged and badges cannot be copied, as they are uniquely designed for each earner by the issuing company or institution, backed by Digitalme and Credly.

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