Credential Transparency Description Language


Credential Engine developed the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) to ensure that data related to credentials and skills speak a common language. With so many different ways to describe similar credentials, skills, and competencies, it is difficult to make comparisons between offerings (Credential Engine, n.d.). The CTDL is a schema (a type of mini-language that people and systems can use to understand each other even if their data comes from different sources) that anyone can use to share information about credentialing data. The CTDL not only provides a common and unified way of describing information in the Credential Registry, it also is an open language that can be used on the Web.

Using this language, learners and workers will understand the availability, costs, time, and value of different credentials. This will give them greater agency and access to navigate the full range of learning and career opportunities. Credential providers and educators will be able to more clearly describe the credentials they offer, explain their quality and value, and highlight how they help meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and the community. Employers will discover and hire people who have the skills and competencies they need by effectively signaling job requirements. And policymakers and thought leaders will better understand credentials, allowing them to forge equitable solutions to support a strong economy.

Relationship to Ecosystem

A credential transparency description language helps learners and workers move more seamlessly through the ecosystem because it increases their cknowledge of the credentials available and what they entail. Also, a clear, common language makes employers more knowledgeable about the competencies and skills inherent in a worker’s credential. 


Credential Registry. (n.d.). Credential transparency. 

Make a Submission

To provide feedback, suggest edits, or request new content.

Make a Submission