Credential Engine Learning and Employment Records Action Guide

Overview

The Credential Engine Learning and Employment Records (LER) Action Guide (updated January 2024) offers a structured, step-by-step approach for stakeholders to establish and sustain dependable LER ecosystems. It emphasizes the importance of data transparency, open standards, and inclusive design principles. The guide aims to foster ecosystems in which LERs are widely accessible, understood, and trusted, enabling efficient career navigation and equitable access to actionable information. The guide also emphasizes the need for ongoing improvement and iteration, acknowledging that LER capabilities must adapt to evolving needs.  

The LER Action Guide draws inspiration from Credential Engine's widely adopted State Roadmap and Action Guide for Transparency.  

Background

The State Roadmap and Action Guide for Transparency (2020) serves as the foundation for the LER Action Guide. Developed through collaboration among Credential Engine, state agencies, workforce experts, and education advocates, the roadmap aims to: 

  • Raise awareness among state policymakers about the significance of credential transparency in achieving workforce and education goals. 
  • Introduce a common language for discussing credentials in state policies. 
  • Increase demand among policymakers for credential transparency. 
  • Provide specific actions that policymakers can consider to integrate credential transparency into their human capital development efforts. 

Phases / Steps from LER Action Guide

The guide outlines a comprehensive process for developing and sustaining trusted LER ecosystems. The steps must be iterative and cyclical as stakeholders continually learn and adapt. The guide contains links to resources which can assist at each step.

  • Understand the Value - Stakeholders must first comprehend the value of LERs and how they can enhance labor market outcomes. This involves recognizing the need for accessible, accurate, and reliable information about credentials, skills, and job opportunities. From the LER Action Guide:
    • Learn how LERs can benefit learners, workers, educators, employers, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
    • Participate in cohorts for shared learnings and collaborative action.
  • Engage with Key Stakeholders and Make the Case - Engaging a diverse range of stakeholders, including policymakers, educators, employers, and learners, is crucial for the success of LER initiatives. This collaborative approach ensures that the needs and perspectives of all parties are considered. From the LER Action Guide:
    • Identify key stakeholders to engage. 
    • Communicate clear goals, use cases, and stories illuminating the benefits for learners, workers, educators, employers, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
    • Identify what data about education, training, experiential learning, credentials, skills, and employment need to be transparent and publicly available to support use cases.
    • Understand and commit to interoperability principles.
    • Understand and commit to inclusive and equitable design.
  • Analyze Existing Policies, Initiatives, Data, and Technologies - A thorough analysis of existing data, systems, and processes is necessary to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. This includes assessing the availability and quality of credential data, as well as the capacity of current systems to support LERs. From the LER Action Guide:
    • Align with goals and initiatives for access, attainment, quality, affordability, economic advancement, and equity to ensure continuity and impact.
    • Inventory related credential, skill, and job data.
    • Inventory current related processes, staff capacity, vendors, and technologies.
    • Identify necessary wrap-around supports and providers.
    • Define an action plan to get from the current state to support for beneficial use cases.
  • Implement New or Improved Policies, Initiatives, Data, and Technologies - Based on the analysis, stakeholders can develop and implement strategies for integrating LERs into education and workforce systems. This may involve updating data systems, developing new tools and resources, and providing training and support to users. From the LER Action Guide:
    • Execute on the action plan.
    • Publish and make transparent and actionable all related credential, skill, and employment data.
    • Implement or improve related processes and technologies.
    • Establish effective and equitable wrap-around supports.
  • Sustain through Enduring Commitment - Building long-term sustainability for LER ecosystems requires ongoing commitment and effort. This includes securing funding, establishing governance structures, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. From the LER Action Guide:
    • Ensure sustainability through legislative, agency, and institutional policies that continuously improve LER processes, data, and technologies.
    • Establish processes for ongoing improvements.
    • Commit to durable infrastructure for enduring LER value.

Resources

Credential Engine Learning and Employment Records Action Guide - PDF (January 17, 2024)

Making Sense of Credentials: A State Roadmap and Action Guide for Transparency - PDF (2020)

Federal, State, and Regional Partners| Credential Engine - https://credentialengine.org/credential-engine-partners/federal-state-and-regional/

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