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Using Badges to Keep IT Certifications Current

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

I like digital badges. I think badges can solve a cyclic problem in IT certification programs--the upgrade exams.

Especially with Cloud technology, software development cycles churn fast, I heard one company mention a quarterly release cycle. Aside from trying to keep up with updating the main exams, there are also the short upgrade exams to verify that certified professionals know the latest version of the solution.

What if instead of developing those short upgrade exams and hogging SME resources to sell a $100 online test, we use continuing education units (CEU) represented by updated badges? These designated CEUs are self-paced publicly-available courses offered by the IT company's learning organization. Members of the certified community can take any of the designated courses and after completing the course, their digital "certified" badges are updated to reflect their continuous learning activity related to the certification role and solution.

Here is the concept diagram I am thinking of:

In this idea example, say a certified professional enrolls and completes the Delta Tour course, which presents the improvements and the changes in workflows with the new features of this make-believe software company. After completing the course and a course quiz, the individual receives an updated "Certified" badge with a bar indicating that their certification is current through continued learning.

Some thoughts:

- The training and certification organization has to plan their designated CEUs.

- The certified community is encouraged to keep attending training to keep their knowledge current.

- The certification team uses resources to focus on creating the main certification exams and can appropriate more time to functions such as reporting and analysis.

Does your company use digital badges as a method to maintain technology certifications? It would be great to learn how you implemented this concept!

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