A notebook, pair of glasses, a cup of coffee and an open laptop on a marble table

New Micro-credential Toolkit enables pathways for lifelong learning

This June, eCampusOntario announced the publication of its Micro-credential Toolkit, a how-to guide to help institutions develop micro-credential programs that meet the needs of learners and fill the skill gaps in the current and future labour market.

The toolkit is a frame of reference that covers topics such as the seven phases of the micro-credential lifecycle, tools to support employer-educator partnerships, how to involve learners as co-creators, and pathways for integrating micro-credentials into academic programming.

Leveraging the community for co-creation

Leaders in the micro-credential community united and formed working groups to create this first iteration of the Micro-credential Toolkit. These practitioners worked collaboratively to share their practical knowledge and experiences in building micro-credentials at postsecondary institutions.

Working group members came together to draft and author chapters, pooling resources and real-world examples to help institutions and employers navigate the opportunities and challenges of micro-credential development.

Before the project began, the community at large was consulted to establish the following principles to guide the creation of the toolkit:

  • Learner Focused: Designed with and inclusive of lifelong learner feedback; learner-centred pedagogy.
  • Educator and Employer Partners: Common and equitable skills accreditation that supports recognition and transferability across sectors, with a clear role for employers
  • Situated: Situated in and informed by local, national and global contexts; aligned with industry standards.
  • Frame of Reference: Designed as a blueprint and guide to account for different contexts and environments.
  • Open: Openly licensed, open development, open community.

The toolkit will be piloted by several Ontario postsecondary institutions to evaluate the validity, applicability, and existing gaps. As the toolkit is used and feedback is collected, the content will be continuously adapted and refined for future iterations.

Fostering a strong micro-credential ecosystem

Micro-credentials empower learners by creating accessible pathways to reskill, retrain, and demonstrate value to employers. eCampusOntario has led a range of foundational projects to support the exploration, experimentation, and development of micro-credentials in Ontario.

Building on eCampusOntario’s Micro-credential Principles & Framework, the Micro-credential Toolkit is a living document and frame of reference that will be tested through a series of pilot projects. Ontario postsecondary institutions interested in piloting the toolkit can contact micro@ecampusontario.ca for more information.

As the micro-credential ecosystem continues to grow, the toolkit can help institutions and community partners build capacity for micro-credential development, enabling learner-focused programming and platforms to support reskilling and flexible lifelong learning.