National framework for microcredentials

With more and more Canadians looking to colleges and institutes for upskilling and reskilling opportunities, microcredentials have never been in such high demand, or so important to Canada’s economy.

They can be incredibly varied however, with different approaches and programs on offer across the country. That is why we created a national framework to offer a standard definition and guiding principles that help educators create nimble and responsive micro-credentials that meet high quality standards and help learners choose the right credential for them.

A microcredential is a certification of assessed competencies that is additional, alternate, complementary to, or a component of a formal qualification.

  1. Microcredentials can be a complement to traditional credentials (certificate, diploma, degree or post-graduate certificate) or stand alone.
  2. Microcredentials are subject to a robust and rigorous quality assurance process.
  3. Microcredentials should represent competencies identified by employers/industry sectors to meet employer needs.
  4. Microcredentials may provide clear and seamless pathways across different credentials (both non-credit and credit) and may be stackable.
  5. Microcredentials are based on assessed proficiency of a competency, not on time spent learning.
  6. Microcredentials are secure, trackable, portable and competency is documented in students’ academic records.
  7. Microcredentials are to follow institutional approval processes.

Initial work on the definition and the guiding principles was conducted by a special committee of Vice-Presidents, Academic, representing colleges and institutes from across Canada. After consulting with members, employers and other stakeholders, a consensus was reached that is supported by all the regional associations representing colleges and institutes:

Colleges and institutes offering microcredentials