Last week London hosted the Modern Employment and Digital Credentials conference and I was delighted to be one of the speakers talking about the importance of digital badges. Amongst the speakers were IBM, EY, City and Guilds and the Open University. All of these respected organizations are also using digital badges to motivate individuals and employees with their ongoing learning and development.
Earlier this year the government published ‘Good Work – The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’ and this report cited the importance of digital badges as a way of enabling individuals to easily demonstrate their skills and experiences. The event was hosted by the RSA, and their CEO Matt Taylor, author of this report, reiterated how digital credentials are a powerful tool to shift us forward in the employability agenda because they allow individuals to take responsibility for learning.
IBM have been at the forefront of employers using digital badges to show value within their organization; Since its launch in 2014 53% of IBM employees across 190 countries have earned digital badges. David Leaser heads up the IBM Open Badge Programme and has been instrumental in changing the career culture at IBM to one that is experience based. He illustrated how digital badges are changing the focus on skills beyond traditional credentials, motivating their employees to develop new skills outside of their day-to-day role and providing them with a platform to showcase their achievement.
EY are the latest organization to start utilizing digital badges as part of a wider initiative to prepare their 250,000 employees for the future of work. In November, EY launched their own internal digital badging programme to develop skills in four key areas: data visualization, emerging technology, data analytics and data sciences.
This move by two of the largest employers is encouraging. It reinforces how digital badges will transform the way in which individuals demonstrate their skills and knowledge and how organizations can recognize them. For AXELOS we’re starting to see this already amongst the IT service management and project management space. Individuals who have claimed their digital badges through our membership programme are demonstrating a commitment to their professional development with over 65% of them submitting CPD activities each year. As one of our members put it:
“Digital badges are helpful for people looking to build their career, and for businesses looking to hire”
Organizations are the key to unlocking the potential of digital badges, a view held by everyone at the conference, and an area for AXELOS to focus our efforts. From a purely commercial perspective, digital badges can increase efficiencies in hiring practices and reduce costs. Our research last year showed that some organizations have spent more than £40,000 rehiring staff after employing someone that wasn’t properly qualified.
Digital badges will play an increasing role in helping organizations employ the right people, with the right skills to grow their businesses in the future. And AXELOS will continue to champion the skills agenda for the IT service management (ITSM) and project management community so that our members stay relevant for the future.