Quality Assurance Standards for Microcredentials - from Microcredentials Partnership of States (MPOS)

Last Updated: 05/19/2024

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In 2022, digiLEARN convened partners from Wyoming, South Carolina, Arkansas, and North Carolina to form the Microcredentials Partnership of States (MPOS). MPOS is a collaborative multistate initiative to identify opportunities and address challenges related to K-12 educator microcredentialing across states, and to develop policy recommendations to support consistency in implementation.

The MPOS released Quality Assurance Standards for Microcredentials in late 2022—a resource for educators, school districts, and state leaders to use as they incorporate microcredentials into systems of professional learning and licensure. The Quality Assurance Standards for MicroCredentials are in a pilot process for validation. School districts and states are encouraged to use the tools within the report and assist DigiLEARN with its validation process.

The Quality Assurance Standards provide criteria by which earners, developers, assessors, issuers, and recognizers can gauge the quality of a given microcredential, establishing universal quality, portability, and value to educators across the nation. Developed by experts and practitioners within the partnership, the Quality Assurance Standards include key quality indicators accompanied by a brief description of the standard. They also note responsible roles within the micro-credentialing process where applicable.

Recognizing the opportunity microcredentials represent for professional learning across roles, the term “educator” within the standards refers to all educator groups within K-12 education including pre- and in-service teachers, paraprofessionals, instructional support staff, operational support staff, and school/district leaders.

The MPOS Standards:

  • The microcredential measures a discrete skill or capability that corresponds with the defined competency.
  • The microcredential reflects a skill or competency that is supported by high quality, peer-reviewed research and best practice.
  • Microcredential content and evaluation criteria are co-developed by content experts and representatives from the intended audience. Development is informed by third-party research and includes peer review to ensure high quality outcomes for earners and the students they serve.
  • Evaluation measures competency using established criteria that are specific to the competency being assessed, align with state or nationally recognized educator standards, clearly articulate the scope and format of the artifacts or evidence required, are authentic to the earner’s work processes and/or products, and are available to earners and recognizers upon request.
  • The microcredential requires the earner to provide substantive evidence from their practice to demonstrate proficiency in the desired skill or competency.
  • Developers and issuers label both individual and stacks of microcredentials in a way that plainly and accurately describes the related competencies and requirements so that earners can determine which microcredentials meet their professional needs, and recognizers have the necessary information to determine where an individual or stack of microcredentials fit into their broader system of professional learning.
  • Relevant, evidence-based, and publicly accessible resources, including exemplar submissions and opportunities for collaboration, are embedded to provide sufficient information, tools, and support for developing the competency.
  • Developers and assessors are provided with training appropriate to their role to establish inter-rater reliability and ensure consistency in content and approach. Earner orientation includes how individual microcredentials can improve their practice and addresses the process of submission and resubmission.
  • Submission and resubmission processes emphasize an earner’s continuous improvement and professional growth through reflection on professional practice and associated evidence. Feedback on submitted evidence is timely, targeted, and actionable.
  • All components of the microcredential are available to earners and recognizers upon request, including the description, learning resources, third-party independent research base, and evaluation criteria.
  • Recognition Issuers provide a digital record of completion that includes documentation of evidence submitted to fulfill evaluation criteria.
  • Data-driven processes are in place for periodic review of content and evaluation criteria of existing microcredentials based on emerging best practices and user feedback.
  • Developers and issuers use processes that reduce barriers (including, but not limited to, financial, geographic, and time-related barriers) and increase access to microcredentials and related supports to ensure all educators can engage equitably regardless of experience, identity, or location. Synchronous and asynchronous supports are made available on a flexible basis to support access, including opportunities for collaboration among earners.
  • Issuers maintain microcredentials on a digital platform that makes them readily accessible to earners and recognizers over time. This can include issuers providing earners with digital badges that provide the metadata required for recognizers to verify the skills and competencies demonstrated.


National partners/advisors: Research Triangle Institute (RTI International), New America, Learning Forward, Digital Promise, BloomBoard, the Learning Policy Institute, the National Education Association (NEA), and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Funders: Carnegie Corporation, NEA, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation



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