PPMI completed the second Cedefop study on microcredentials for labour market education and training: Microcredentials and evolving qualifications systems
PPMI team has recently contributed to the new publication by Cedefop on 'Microcredentials and evolving qualifications systems'. The topic of microcredentials has gained importance recently, primarily in the context of higher education. However, microcredentials’ influence on labour-market-related education and training is less understood. To fill in this gap, Cedefop has launched ‘Microcredentials for labour market education and training’ project. The project aims to offer a better understanding of the role played by microcredentials in supporting labour-market-related and employment-relevant education, training, and learning.
The new study is the second in the series. It addresses several critical, and previously unexplored, areas of research on microcredentials: the objectives and roles of microcredentials in national qualifications and credentials systems; the position of microcredentials in policy discussions and strategy papers on national qualification systems’ development; the main drivers behind introducing microcredentials; the linkages between microcredentials and national qualification systems; and the impacts microcredentials are having on qualification systems and the opportunities and challenges they present.
Given the novelty of the topic in the European policy context, the study team collected primary data through online surveys among European VET providers, national authorities, and employee and employer organisations; eight country-specific case studies; and in-depth interviews with relevant national and regional stakeholders. The study also analysed research conducted by Cedefop’s ReferNet network, and included a sectoral mapping that offered many examples of microcredentials in the retail and manufacturing sectors in the EU-27, Iceland, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
Results of the research confirm that microcredentials are not intended to replace full qualifications. Instead, they serve a supplementary/complementary function to other forms of qualifications. The study found that policymakers and stakeholders in VET are in the early stages of determining the most appropriate relationships between qualifications systems and microcredentials. The study also confirmed that microcredentials can sit both within and outside formal qualifications systems. In relation to that, two key developments were identified to pave the way for the incorporation of microcredentials into national qualification systems: modularisation, which can enable the accumulation and combining of microcredentials, and the development of mechanisms to validate/recognise non-formal or informal learning. Microcredentials were found to have the potential to contribute to, and perhaps accelerate, both modularisation and recognition of prior learning in VET.
A following research paper under the same project, to be published later this year, will address the added value of microcredentials for end users.
To learn more, please see the full report here.