Step forward in recognition in youth work: the impact and significance of the Quality Label for Open Badges

At TipoveJ!, we're all about making learning fun, accessible, and recognized. Nestled in the heart of Ljubljana, our team is turning the city into into vibrant learning ecosystem. Our work, deeply rooted in the Ljubljana City of Learning, has been instrumental in promoting and implementing digital recognition solutions - Open Badges - digital certificates that validate learning and achievements both locally and internationally.

Imagine earning a digital badge for every new skill you learn or achievement you unlock. That's what Open Badges are all about. They're like your personal digital trophy case, showcasing your learning journey. However, despite the detailed data embedded within each badge, we've identified a critical obstacle - not everyone recognizes these badges, especially in formal education and job sectors. 

So, we rolled our sleeves and came up with a solution - the Quality Label for Open Badges. Born from countless cups of coffee and brainstorming sessions, this project is all about setting a shared quality standard and procedures for badge issuers, their badging activities, and the badges they issue. Think of it as a seal of trust, making badges more reliable for skills certification. 

Our Quality Label project aligns with the latest developments in the Youthpass and recognition strategy at the European level. It echoes the Council of the European Union's recommendations from June 2022, recognizing the diversity of micro-credentials and tools for non-formal learning recognition. Through this project, we are encouraging the development, implementation, and recognition of micro-credential across institutions, businesses, sectors and borders.

The project's objectives are clear and ambitious. We aim to establish an agreed quality standard for Open Badges issuers to promote better and wider recognition of learning activities and outcomes. The project will result in several new outcomes, including:

  • the mapping of good practices in the validation and recognition of non-formal learning and youth work services;
  • developing countries-specific & a shared European badge recognition strategies;
  • developing and and piloting the Quality Label standard and procedures for Badge Issuers, implementing the technical solution to use the Quality Label on the Cities of Learning platform;
  • developing the capacity of youth work providers to meet the Quality Label  for badge recognition standard. 

The Quality Label for Open Badges promises substantial benefits. It is designed to: 

  • Attract and capture learners' attention;
  • Communicate the quality of learning activities;
  • Bring transparency, clarity, and trust to Open Badges recognition;
  • Plus, it can boost career development and job search, setting a quality standard for recognition at all level.

This project is a team effort, brought to life by a consortium of dedicated partners. These include  Breakthrough from The Netherlands, Assonur Association (NUR) from Sardinia, Italy, Nectarus form Lithuania, BINS rom Serbia and Nexes from Spain.

The project is co-funded by European Union through the ERASMUS+ program. This backing underscores the project's alignment with EU standard and its commitment to foster learning and development across borders. However, it is important to note that the views expressed in this news are solely those of the authors and do not necessary reflect those of the EU.