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.
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?
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?
Case study: Harper College's Continuing Education department strengthens program credibility with digital badges
In less than one year of badging with Acclaim, Harper College’s Continuing Education department issued nearly 1,000 badges from a catalog of over 50 different badge types. Their badges recognize skills and learning outcomes that create professional opportunities for Harper College students in a way that makes it easy for employers to instantly recognize and value their capabilities.
Read this case study to learn about Harper College's need for badging and its approach to selecting a badge platform, defining and marketing badges.
Ready to learn how Acclaim badges could create connections between
career opportunities and your academic programs?
We're really honored to have been selected a finalist for an IMS Global Learning Impact Award. Our entry highlights the work we've done with IBM to build the next generation workforce.
Voting for this award is open to the public, and we'd sure appreciate your support. Here's how you can help:
Be sure to check out the papers and videos submitted by each of the finalists. You'll learn more about some of the most innovative projects that are going on to make education more accessible and impactful across the world.
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.
Clarke Porter recognized for career-long contributions to technology
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal honored its 2017 Titans of Technology at an award luncheon today, held at the Radisson Blu hotel in Minneapolis. These awards recognize individuals who are transforming Minnesota's tech industry and positively impacting the local economy. The Acclaim team was there to celebrate our general manager, Clarke Porter, who was named a 2017 Technology Advocate. As a Technology Advocate, Clarke was recognized for his outstanding leadership in assisting, advancing and accelerating the performance of tech communities and the community.
Clarke has spent the past 40+ years of his career identifying opportunities for technology to revolutionize "business as usual." His first major contribution began in 1976 at Control Data, where he developed software to deliver the very first computer-based exam for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (NASD) at the time. So if you've taken a computer-based test at any point in your life, you've got Clarke to thank for that.
Clarke followed up by developing the concept of IT certification with Novell, co-founding Virtual University Enterprise (now Pearson VUE), and leading the development of a cloud-based credential solution. In 2010, Clarke became the vice president and general manager of credential management at Pearson VUE, which led him to open badges. In 2013, he took over the strategic development and general oversight of Acclaim.
Under his leadership, we've issued millions of badges backed by top organizations such as IBM, Microsoft and Facebook. These badges are verified by employers and have resulted in job offers, promotions and professional recognition. We're pretty proud of the work we do and of the guy who keeps us on track.
Clarke's one of those really cool people who gets energy from the teammates and ideas around him. He's always moving, tapping a foot, the wheels visibly turning in his head as he challenges all of us at Acclaim to develop innovative badging solutions that will add new value to professionals looking to advance their careers.
The Information Technology Certification Council (ITCC) recently presented its Innovation Award,and we're so pleased to have been the co-recipient for 2017 alongside our partners at IBM. This is the third year the ITCC has handed out its Innovation Award to a person or organization that has helped advance IT certification.
"Badging technology holds huge potential for talent development but, as with all early stage technologies, there is a lot of uncertainty," said Clyde Seepersad, general manager of training and certification at The Linux Foundation and board member of the ITCC. "The outstanding feature of the IBM Open Badging submission was the structured, pragmatic way they laid out the continuum of talent development options and converted them into a consistent, easy to understand hierarchy of badges."
Our team member, Pete Janzow, was on hand to collect the award. "The innovative work that IBM is doing in the open badging space is really exciting,"Janzow said. "IBM is a great partner, and we look forward to building on the early success of their program to create even more pathways and professional opportunities across the global IT workforce."
Representing IBM at the awards ceremony was David Leaser, senior program manager for strategic initiatives."We are honored to be recognized by the ITCC for the IBM Open Badge Program," Leaser said. "The program is driving measurable results which are impacting IBM, our clients and the individuals who invest in the training and skills building programs we provide."
New technical cooperation will facilitate badge sharing between industry-leading platforms.
It was announced today that we've entered into a strategic partnership with Alpine Testing Solutions Inc. to integrate with its CertMetrics™ Credential Management Technology.
CertMetrics manages the rules and requirements to produce credible, accurate information around credential management and with this integration, Acclaim will be able to seamlessly employ that information to create and issue digital badges for our shared clients. Together, we will make it easier than ever for joint clients to provide the benefits of badging to their candidates.
You know we make a point of working with trusted organizations, those that actively contribute to the on-going development and recognition of resume-worthy skills. We're really pleased to add Alpine to our list of strategic partners and are eager to jointly push the momentum of badging technology forward.