Credly acquires Pearson’s Acclaim as use of digital credentials accelerates, bridging transitions between education and employment, and transforming skill recognition and talent management
NEW YORK, NY, April 12, 2018 – Pearson and Credly announced today that Credly will acquire Pearson’s Acclaim badging business in response to global demand for digital credentialing and talent recognition. Pearson will take a minority equity stake in Credly, and Mark Chernis SVP/Strategic Partnerships & Investments at Pearson will join Credly’s board of directors. The partnership between Acclaim and Credly brings two leading organizations together, and provides the most comprehensive solution suite for skill recognition, credential verification, and talent management.
The combined organization will serve a global customer base, including millions of individuals; and enterprise leaders, education institutions, certification providers, and associations like IBM, Microsoft, the American Council on Education, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), and Southern New Hampshire University.
“In the evolving world of work and learning, it has never been more important to have verifiable evidence of skills, capabilities, and achievements. The combination of these two organizations spans every global sector, from trade professions to healthcare to finance and tech, allowing organizations to better identify, cultivate, and recognize skills,” said Credly CEO and founder Jonathan Finkelstein. “The Acclaim team and technologies make us stronger--uniting in Credly’s mission to empower organizations to provide, and individuals to pursue, meaningful education and professional opportunities.”
“Our decision to join forces with Credly reflects our belief that the growth opportunities in this marketplace are best addressed by an organization that combines the expertise of the two market leaders. We believe this gives our Acclaim investments the best opportunity for continued success and to provide value to all participants.” said Bob Whelan, President of Pearson Assessment.
“Digital credentials are quickly becoming an important signal of employability for the modern workforce. That's creating a need for a trusted platform which makes it easy to share and broadcast skills -- and for employers to find the talent they need,” said David Leaser, Senior Program Executive, Innovation and Growth Initiatives at IBM.
"Over the past four years, the Acclaim team has been dedicated to helping individuals tell their professional story online with verification and context. I am confident that by combining with Credly, our talented, passionate, creative teams will generate even more opportunities to positively impact the global workforce,” said Jarin Schmidt, now Chief Experience Officer at Credly.
IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Open Badges 2.0 Certifications.
Leading Badge Platforms are Creating the Open Badges Ecosystem Needed for Better Digital Learning Credentials
LAKE MARY, Florida, 27 February 2018 — IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global/IMS), the world-leading non-profit collaborative advancing edtech interoperability, innovation, and learning impact announced today the first wave of products that have achieved IMS certification for the new Open Badges 2.0 standard.
IMS certification for Open Badges 2.0 greatly surpasses the previous badge verification process by requiring capabilities that ensure learner-control of credentials, demonstrate rigor of achievement, and guarantee that learners are able to display their badges on and share their badges from any IMS certified platform.
Technology suppliers that support Open Badges worldwide are applying for IMS certification for one or more Open Badges 2.0 services. IMS members Acclaim, Chalk & Wire, Concentric Sky, Credly, Digitalme, iQualify, and Learning Objects—signaling their commitment to the Open Badges standard and developing ecosystem—are among the first to achieve IMS conformance certification.
"Open Badges v2.0 provides a robust construct that can serve as the digital currency for achievements providing value to earners, educational institutions, and employers," said Dr. Rob Abel, chief executive officer, IMS Global Learning Consortium. "IMS certification provides the trust mechanism for the ecosystem to grow through myriad connections among cooperating products and institutions while avoiding credential silos for issuers and learners."
All products that have achieved IMS certification for Open Badges 2.0 are listed in the IMS Certified Product Directory at imscert.org.
Supporting Statements from Open Badges Platform Providers
“Digital credentials are rapidly becoming more recognizable, actionable and valuable to the entire labor market, thanks in large part to the Open Badges specification. As an early advocate for verified, learner-controlled credentials, Acclaim is pleased to support future growth and accessibility to digital credentials by becoming Open Badges 2.0 certified."
—Jarin Schmidt, Co-founder, Acclaim
“The MyMantl team is thrilled to be part of an amazing ecosystem of innovators trying to shape credentialing for the 21st century. The Open Badges 2.0 standard empowers all of our users to better recognize learning and achievement with rich data wholly owned and controlled by the earner. Skills as digital currency is truly here.”
—Justin Pitcher, Director of Product Development, Chalk & Wire
"Certification is a vital part of building an interoperable open standards ecosystem. Concentric Sky is excited to partner with IMS Global to help develop open standards and to establish a legacy of open technology tools upon which future innovations can be built."
—Wayne Skipper, Founder and CEO, Concentric Sky
"Organizations are rapidly embracing a culture of recognition and using digital credentials to officially acknowledge achievements and skills. Credentials that are portable, verifiable and data-rich provide significant benefits to all stakeholders—and all of these advantages are best realized with the help of open standards. Credly is pleased to be working closely with IMS Global to continue to help develop and implement the standards that bring competency-based recognition to scale."
—Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO, Credly
“Version 2.0 of the Open Badges standard takes us one step closer towards creating global skills currency. It ensures individuals have ownership and control of their learning data and builds increased trust by adding third-party endorsement to learners achievements. We believe this is the way forward for communicating skills in the digital age, and we are delighted that so many IMS Global members are planning to implement the standard.”
—Tim Riches, Executive Director, Digitalme
“The Open Badges 2.0 standard represents incredible gains for learners who are after endorsable and fully portable credentials. IMS certification has been a critical step for us in demonstrating our commitment to enabling a learner-led experience that provides meaningful outcomes with recognisable achievement.”
—Shanan Holm, General Manager, iQualify
"We are proud to be part of the talented community who have contributed to this important evolution in open badges and digital credentials standards. Providing structure within badges for endorsements, evidence, and competency alignments empowers learners to better communicate the value of their achievements and unlock opportunities."
—Deborah Everhart, Vice President of Design & Innovation, Learning Objects, a Cengage company
About IMS Global Learning Consortium
IMS Global Learning Consortium is a nonprofit organization that advances technology to affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment. IMS Global members are leading suppliers, institutions, and government organizations that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability and adoption initiatives. IMS Global sponsors the Learning Impact Leadership Institute, a global program focused on recognizing the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality while developing the people and ideas to help shape the future of educational technology.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is well known in the IT industry for helping its customers quickly turn ideas into value by providing the technology and solutions necessary to succeed. Those solutions are propelled forward by the HPE certified professionals who put in the time and effort to master a range of HPE-based skills. And now those professionals will be recognized with secure, verifiable digital badges issued through Acclaim.
HPE's digital badges offer their certified professionals the ability to quickly share achievements with clients, employers, and their entire professional network. Acclaim provides those individuals with access to labor market insights that help them utilize their HPE certifications to the fullest extent, so they can feel really good about the investment made in becoming certified. And badges make it easy for employers to understand at a glance what a certified professional knows and can do with HPE technology and solutions.
We're so happy to welcome HPE to Acclaim. Visit their profile page to learn more about all the badges this industry-leading organization is currently offering.
It was announced today by our partners at SAP that we've begun to issue badges for the SAP Global Certification program. These badges will recognize SAP software learners and users and empower them to promote their proficiency in various subject areas specific to SAP software.
“We are thrilled to offer certification holders a digital way to showcase their achievements via social media, and to demonstrate to their employers a commitment to continuous learning,” said Bernd Welz, executive vice president and chief knowledge officer, Products and Innovation, SAP. “The badges will also help individuals to showcase the certifications they hold, and employers to recruit and hire the right talent faster and at a lower cost as education and skill claims can be verified more quickly and more securely.”
In issuing badges through Acclaim, SAP is not only connecting their own certification holders to even more opportunities for professional engagement and advancement but is supporting the transition of the testing industry at large from paper certificates to standardized, digital recognition. Everyone here at Acclaim is proud to contribute to these efforts.
You can read the full release issued by SAP, and follow them on Twitter @sapnews for the latest updates.
For the third time this year, the IBM open badge program powered by Acclaim has been recognized with an industry award. We put together a submission for Training Magazine's 2017 eLearning Design Challenge and earned the silver award in our category. According to Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief for Training Magazine, the program was selected because of its ability to "dramatically increase online learning attendance and engagement." Our IBM partners David Leaser and Jim Daniels were on hand at the magazine's Online Learning Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, to accept the award.
View our submission video below and download our IBM case study to learn more about the measurable gains in learning attendance and engagement driven by the IBM badging program.
Ready to learn how Acclaim badges could create connections between
career opportunities and your certification program?
Traditional continuing education and certification efforts have typically culminated with a printed certificate of completion, but learners at Southeast Missouri State University can now showcase their successes with a digital badge.
Thanks to a partnership with Acclaim, an award-winning digital professional recognition platform backed by Pearson, Southeast Missouri State University is launching an initiative to make educational accomplishments clearly understandable and quickly verifiable via digital badges offered by the Economic and Business Engagement Center’s Continuing Education program.
The effort is beginning with badges for Nano Bio-Engineering under the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics.
“We commend Southeast Missouri State University for being an early adopter of digital recognition for its students,” said Jarin Schmidt, director of Acclaim services. “With its badge program launch, the University shows its commitment to both students and employers through increased transparency of professional competencies.”
Once earned, digital badges can be shared on social networking sites, email signatures, digital resumes and internal corporate profiles or websites. The metadata underlying the digital credential provides much more robust, secure and credible evidence of what has been achieved and when it was achieved.
“Southeast is committed to providing workforce development solutions to the region’s employers,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “This digital credentialing program is one innovative way that we can provide a value-added opportunity not only to those receiving a digital credential through one of our various programs, but also to employers who need to quickly verify the competencies of current and potential employees.”
Acclaim allows certifying agencies, employers, supervisors, managers and educators to immediately see the competencies each badge earner has achieved.
“We are excited to offer an alternative to traditional credentialing,” said Crystal Jones director of Southeast’s Economic and Business Engagement Center. “Acclaim has a strong reputation of partnering with other educational institutions and companies to document the competencies and skills of learners. Implementing a digital badge program is just one way that Southeast can help support people in their career endeavors.”
For more information about obtaining a digital credential or professional development courses, please contact Christy Mershon, assistant director of Continuing Education at (573) 986-6879.
Originally posted August 28, 2017 by Southeast Missouri State University
This summer, Pearson began issuing digital badges through Acclaim to recognize those individuals who participate in the company’s apprenticeship program.The Pearson U Employee Apprenticeship program provides a whole host of benefits to Pearson employees based in the U.K. Employees can:
"When I received my Acclaim digital badges for the work I was doing to support apprenticeships and my own studies, I felt a great sense of accomplishment," said Chris Hughes, an account specialist within Pearson. " It proved that I was not only doing a good job but gave me the opportunity to create a LinkedIn profile and start to promote myself and my skillset to any future employers."
“We believe that digital badges will provide new avenues of opportunity for Pearson U apprentices thanks to easy sharing and verification by managers and our HR team,” said Anne Ashworth, head of Pearson employee apprenticeships. “Digital recognition of achievements and skills learned is the right way for our employees to capitalize on their experience with the Pearson U Employee Apprenticeship program.”
*Acclaim is a product of Pearson.
The financial industry is highly regulated, and the College for Financial Planning (CFFP) knows that financial advisors must be very careful of how they represent their skills and certifications to the public. That's why CFFP sought a digital badge platform that would elevate the status of their designations and provide a secure and verified experience for the financial advisors, compliance departments, and potential clients. Read more about CFFP's approach to launching a digital badge program with Acclaim.
Ready to learn how Acclaim badges can increase the security
of your certification program?
IBM and Acclaim are working together to build and progress the next generation workforce. What exactly does that mean? Learn more about IBM's approach to open badging through Acclaim to train and recognize IBM learners with just-in-time skills that employers need, now.
Are you an organization interested in learning how you can impact the global workforce with open badges?
IMS Global Learning Consortium recognizes joint IBM/Acclaim entry with platinum medal at the 2017 Learning Impact Leadership Institute.
Accepting the award for IBM and Acclaim are (L-R) Pete Janzow (Acclaim), David Leaser (IBM),
Mark Mercury (Acclaim) and Sara Bartlett (Acclaim).
Those smiling faces are members of the Acclaim team and one of our wonderful partners from IBM, moments after being awarded a platinum Learning Impact Award for our work on building and recognizing the next generation workforce through IBM's open badge program.
"This award is a major endorsement that IBM's digital credentials strategy is correct,"said David Leaser, senior program executive, innovation and growth initiatives for IBM. "Together with Acclaim, IBM is transforming the IT credential space and driving real value for our clients and employees. We're developing solutions which have the potential to set new, better standards for the entire IT industry."
"The application process for the Learning Impact Awards is rigorous, and across the various entry requirements IBM very willingly shared its program performance data as a way to highlight best practices that can be utilized across the digital credentialing industry,"said Pete Janzow, senior director, Acclaim. "That willingness to share is a sign of the IBM commitment to leadership in this emerging digital credentials landscape, and Acclaim is pleased to be part of their strategy."
If you're an organization that would like to learn more about IBM's open badge program, get in touch. We'd be happy to share more about IBM's approach to badging and the results they're driving across their company.