Building a connected micro-credential ecosystem
eCampusOntario has led the development and growth of alternative recognition of learning using micro-credentials, also known as micro-certification, since 2017. eCampusOntario’s work aims to strengthen and expand micro-credential activity in Ontario through a common framework and community of practice.
In Summer 2019, eCampusOntario formed a working group to co-create micro-credential initiatives and establish a common currency. Working group members from across sectors developed a framework to build connections between post-secondary institutions and the Ontario workforce. The results are captured in the Principles and Framework document. This document is intended as a high-level guide for micro-credentials in the province so that unique regional initiatives align to a common provincial framework.
eCampusOntario encourages the adoption of the framework for new and existing micro-credential initiatives both in Ontario and beyond our borders. If you are interested in learning more, fill out the form below.
In late 2019, eCampusOntario engaged with 14 member institutions and their industry partners to test the principles and framework as a means to ensure that micro-credential activity is relevant to the labour market and maintains rigorous assessment, evidence and validation standards. Since the last set of pilots, leaders across post-secondary education and government have demonstrated significant support for efforts which lead to closer alignment between education and industry.
In summer 2020, eCampusOntario launched a second set of pilots with 22 member institutions and their industry partners.
Here is a list of on-going projects:
Partners: Algonquin College, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, BioCanRx Immunotherapy Network
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) knowledge and principles, and Cleanroom Behaviour/Gowning.
Partners: Cambrian College, Pioneer Manor, Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in a complement to Personal Support Workers, “Personal Care Assistant”. The training will be developed in such a way that participants will be able to ladder seamlessly into the Personal Support Worker Certificate program.
Partners: Canadore College, Spark Lifecare, and Spark University
Pilot: Create new content to deliver a micro-credential in Professional Practice in Caregiving, which broadens caregivers’ skills, knowledge, and attitudes for working in communities with vulnerable individuals across diverse groups and populations.
Partners: College Boreal, Mayhew Performance
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in Battery Electric Vehicle maintenance.
Partners: Durham College, Northumberland County
Pilot: Create new content to issue a micro-credential that prepares individuals for employment within the municipal government in Ontario, with an emphasis on rural areas.
Partners: Fanshawe College, Downtown London
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in Digital Marketing Skills for small businesses in recovery post-COVID 19.
Partners: George Brown College, the Ontario Building Officials Association
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in accessibility training in line with building codes.
Partners: Georgian College, County of Simcoe Long Term Care and Seniors Services
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in Essential Skills for Supportive Care.
Partners: University of Guelph, guard.me International Insurance
Pilot: “Who do you think you are?: Identify and Bias at Work” – A reflective micro-credentials for professionals in diverse workplaces.
Partners: L’Université de Hearst, Innovanor, Pepco Inc., Hôpital Notre-Dame de Hearst and Service de toxicomanie Cochrane Nord.
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in intercultural competencies and active offer.
Partners : Humber College, Procept Associates Ltd.
Pilot : Conduct research to test the impact and measure the outcomes of a previously-deployed micro-certification, from both industry and learner perspectives.
Partners : Lakehead University, Anishinabek Employment and Training Services, Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong, Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board, Marten Falls First Nation, Fort William First Nation, Indigenous Community Engagement, Noront and Impala Platinum
Pilot: Create accredited content to issue micro-credentials in mathematics to support upskilling for persons in entry-level, technological, trades or prospective University students living in Northern and Indigenous communities.
Partners: McMaster University, National Institutes of Health Informatics
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentialsin fundamental elements of the data life cycle: business analysis, data exploration, quantitative analysis, communication of results, and data life-cycle management.
Partners: Mohawk College, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Pilot: Create soft skills content to issue micro-credentials in workplace preparation to support internationally trained professionals.
Partners: OCAD University, Myant Inc.
Pilot: Explore the complex challenges and opportunities at the intersection of design, technology, and social theory, in the development of a new product prototype for this stackable Human Centred Design Micro-certification.
Partners: Ontario Tech University, Lakeridge Health
Pilot: Create new content for a stackable micro-certification program, “Interprofessional Practice in Healthcare on Care and Safety”, including micro-certifications in Feeding, Donning and Doffing of Personal Protective Equipment, and COVID-19 Precautions.
Partners: Sault College, Project Learning Tree Canada
Pilot: Create new online content for a stackable micro-credential program for various competencies related to Indigenous rights and relationship-building in the forestry sector (e.g. respecting Aboriginal and treaty rights within sustainable forest management, unlocking the power of the local Indigenous workforce, developing inclusive procurement policies, etc.).
Partners: Seneca College, Avid Technology Inc.
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in ingesting media into production for broadcast environments.
Partners: University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Peterborough Public Health
Pilot: Create new content to issue micro-credentials in four key areas in Indigenous cultural safety.
Partners: University of Waterloo, Electricity Human Resources Canada
Pilot: Conduct research on the value and resulting employability of micro-credentials from a learner perspective, as well as explore the role of micro-credentials within the electricity sector.
Partners: Western Continuing Studies, Pillar Nonprofit Network
Pilot: Conduct research on micro-credentials to define and evaluate their value to employers, as well as determine how the principles and framework can be adopted and expanded upon.
Partners: York University, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada
Pilot: Create new content to issue stackable micro-credentials in patient navigation.
Contact us to learn more or to see the list of the first set of pilots.
Research and Reports
In an on-going effort to promote knowledge and awareness of micro-credentials, eCampusOntario has engaged consultants for research in both local and global contexts.
What is a micro-credential?
A micro-credential is a certification of assessed learning associated with a specific and relevant skill or competency. Micro-credentials enable rapid retraining and augment traditional education through pathways into regular postsecondary programming.
This is a working definition drawn from our experience in the landscape and inspired, in part, by the work of Beverley Oliver at Deakin University
Why micro-credentials now?
Micro-credentials can be used to recognize both vertical and transversal skills. Coupled with the in-depth learning obtained in a field of study, micro-credentials can be used to present a more holistic view of an individual’s abilities and achievements.
In today’s fast-changing workforce and emerging gig economy, a nimble recognition system is essential for both professionals and employers, who are increasingly moving towards skill or competency-based hiring.
For more information, contact Emma Gooch, Program Lead.