Credential Engine


Credential Engine is a nonprofit organization that provides a suite of web-based services to create a clear and consistent centralized Credential Registry (also known as Credential Finder). The Registry houses up-to-date information about credentials, a common description language to enable credential comparability, and a platform to support customized applications to search and retrieve information about credentials. Credential Engine offers a way for job seekers, students, and workers to collect, search, and compare these credentials that is both universally understood and maintained.

Credential Engine reports that there are more than 1 million confirmed credentials in the U.S. alone, such as degrees, licenses, badges, and apprenticeships.  Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credential Counting 2022 (published December 2022) identifies 1,076,358 unique credentials in 18 detailed credential categories across four broad types of credential providers:

  • POST-SECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS— 350,412 degrees and certificates
  • MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE (MOOC) PROVIDERS—13,014 course completion certificates, micro-credentials, and online degrees from foreign universities
  • NON-ACADEMIC PROVIDERS —656,505 badges, course completion certificates, licenses, certifications, and apprenticeships
  • SECONDARY SCHOOLS—56,179 diplomas from public and private secondary schools, alternative certificates from secondary schools, and high school equivalency diplomas.

Credential Engine offers a number of web-based services, including:

  • Scaling and maintaining a web-based Credential Registry that collects, connects, and maintains up-to-date credentialing data.
  • Developing and maintaining the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL), which provides the common language and “rules of the road” for how credentials, credentialing organizations, quality assurance information, and competencies are described both in the Registry and on the Web.
  • Guiding the future development and use of the registry through stakeholder advisory groups representing the higher education, business, certification and licensure, quality assurance, and technical communities.
  • Providing search engine applications such as: 
    • Credential Finder, a prototype search application to demonstrate all the information that could be pulled from the Registry and show how it could be presented and organized.
    • Customizable applications that can be built or used through the Open Applications Marketplace, using the Registryʼs data to provide tailored credentialing information.
    • Credential Engine's Registry is part of the Open Competency Framework Collaborative (OCF Collab)

Credential Engine also offers fee-based services, including: 

  • Services for states and regions.
  • Credential publishing services.
  • Competencies and skills publishing services.
  • Pathways publishing services.
  • Transfer value publishing services.
  • Learning and employment record services.
  • Technical services.
  • Project management and implementation services.
  • Product developer services.

Relationship to Ecosystem

Credential Engine makes searching for and comparing credentials easier for students, job seekers, and workers. This increases connections between the learn-and-work aspects of the ecosystem.


Credential Engine grew out of the Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI). Led by George Washington University’s Institute of Public Policy, Workcred, and Southern Illinois University Carbondaleʼs Center for Workforce Development, CTI began in 2013 to help develop a centralized registry of credential information, a common credentialing language, and a credential search engine.

Credential Engine was founded in December 2016 to operationalize the work of CTI, with the support of Lumina Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Credential Engine. (n.d.).

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