NCFE partners with Learning Vault to deliver digital credentials

Mar 22, 2024

As a tradable skills currency within the global workforce, this milestone initiative will rapidly accelerate student readiness for the skills-based economy.

In a partnership that promises to reshape the landscape of education and employment, Australian technology scale-up Learning Vault has teamed with the UK’s oldest and most established awarding body, NCFE, to deliver machine-readable digital credentials for skills recognition.

NCFE certified more than 375,000 students across 4,500 educational institutions globally in 2023, and have stood at the forefront of education excellence for more than 175 years. Their commitment to digital transformation now includes moving away from traditional methods of certification, and instead issuing verifiable and machine-readable credentials to validate an individual’s skills and achievements.

Michelle Storey, Accreditation Manager at NCFE, says: “We need a more agile skills system that’s better suited for the pace of change in our economy, such as filling regional gaps and aligning to local skills improvement plans. Our 175-year legacy thrives on continuous change and the pursuit of knowledge, ensuring that we provide cutting-edge solutions to meet the demands of today’s dynamic, skills-based economy.”

“That’s why we believe our Endorsed Programmes are the perfect place to start with digital credentials, as they allow colleges, training providers and employers to quickly adapt their curriculum and professional development offering to meet the demands of the market.”

The transition to digital credentials follows a rigorous pilot program with Learning Vault in 2023 to access the viability of introducing digital credentials to their network, to understand where credentials add value, and to evaluate the impact on recognition and employability.

122 feedback surveys delivered key insights such as learners finding digital credentials most valuable when it comes to tracking Corporate Professional Development (CPD) progression, as well as the ability to verify and share detailed skills information with employers.

“Addressing the pressing issue of skill gaps in today’s workforce emphasises the limitations of traditional certification methods and their inadequacy in a rapidly evolving digital economy”, says Nicholas Robert Alderdice, CEO of Learning Vault. "Our initiative not only aims to modernise how skills are recognised but also to empower individuals with shareable, verifiable credentials that allow them to utilise their skills as a tradable currency within the workforce.”

The successful pilot program saw NCFE issue a total of 536 digital credentials for NCFE’s Endorsed Programmes as part of its Accreditation and Employer Services. This foundation laid the groundwork for a comprehensive digital credentialing solution now ready to be launched and scaled across the wider organisation.

“This is a monumental leap forward in not only how we credential and verify traditional means of certification, but to offer learners a pathway past education, towards continuous upskilling, career progression and rapid skills-based employment,” says Storey.

Global workforce trends, particularly in the last 5-10 years, have brought on significant changes to how we learn and work. As traditional employment models and hierarchical structures become less relevant, the new economy puts individual skills, continuous learning, adaptability, and technological proficiency in focus. Digital credentials have emerged as the key in this transformation, serving not only as a validation of an individual’s unique skills but also as a machine readable currency in the talent marketplace.

“I’m delighted to announce our partnership with Learning Vault as a pivotal step in NCFE’s digital credentialling strategy,” expresses Storey. “This collaboration represents our commitment to empowering learners and educators with accessible and recognised credentials for their achievements, while enhancing our digital footprint in the education landscape.”

“Skills and knowledge deficiencies are not just theoretical concepts, but concrete factors that impact academic and professional achievements. There’s a great need for more agency for learners, educators, and employers to bridge these gaps. We are excited to launch our partnership with NCFE to support our journey towards a highly skilled economy,” concludes Alderdice.


About NCFE

NCFE are a leader in vocational and technical education dedicated to powering a smarter skills system that matches the aspiration of learners and the demands of future economies. NCFE is the oldest qualification awarding organisation in the UK, recognised for providing vocational, technical, and continuous professional development (CPD) educational products and services aligned to the needs of learners, educators and employers. 

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