June 19, 2023

Microcredentials meet the needs of our communities, today and tomorrow.

A short program with a big impact. Microcredentials are short, flexible, and experience-based learning that help people quickly build the skills they need to thrive in the workforce. For more and more Canadians who need to reskill or upskill, microcredentials are accessible learning opportunities to develop competencies in specific areas. 

  • Microcredential (noun): a certification of assessed competencies that is additional, alternate, complementary to, or a component of a formal qualification. Read more about our national framework and seven guiding principles here. 

Microcredentials are part of a changing job market.  

Microcredentials occupy a unique space at the intersection of SDG 4 Quality Education and SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth. They help industry upskill and reskill their labour force quickly and effectively. In fact, they are developed in partnership between industry experts, employers, and educators.  

  • Employers work with educators to develop innovative courses and delivery models that focus on developing the skills they need. That means students complete their courses with strong employment profiles and the Canadian workforce gets talented and driven employees. Plus, for displaced workers who seek out postsecondary education for reskilling, most prefer non-program pathways like microcredentials. 

Skills for Success is a framework developed by Employment Skills and Development Canada that identifies nine skills needed to participate and thrive in learning, work, and life. The nine Skills for Success are Reading, Writing, Numeracy, Digital, Problem Solving, Communication, Adaptability, Collaboration, Creativity, and Innovation. 

Microcredentials are future-looking opportunities for innovative teaching methods. 

Colleges and institutes have a reputation for being the most accessible postsecondary network in the country reaching students where they live, whether it’s in urban, rural, remote or northern communities. Microcredentials are an innovative way for colleges and institutes to provide their communities with opportunities for life-long learning. 

  • Microcredentials can also be delivered online, which means they reach students when and where it’s most convenient. Flexibility is the key to success. 

Microcredentials can help newcomers integrate Canadian workplaces. 

The long-term sustainability of Canada’s workforce depends on welcoming newcomers, yet many face unique challenges when they arrive. It’s important that they have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their new workplaces. 

Skills Enhancement for Newcomers is a CICan program bringing together colleges and institutes and their employer partners from across the country to design and deliver new national microcredentials focused on Communication, Collaboration, and Adaptability, three of the competencies identified by Skills for Success. Over two years, 1,000 newcomers will benefit from targeted microcredentials designed to enhance their existing professional and employability skills and ease entry into the Canadian labour market. 

More Canadians and newcomers need training designed to help them succeed, and more businesses need workers with sustainable skills. Microcredentials are necessary for tomorrow’s future.