Micro-credentials from a European perspective

Recommendation as input for the public consultation from the European Commission ‘Micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability’

Micro-credentials are learning certificates acquired through limited learning activities. Both in Flanders and in the European Union they are increasingly part of the lifelong learning offer. Because Flanders already has a lot of experience in offering and recognizing small learning activities, the Vlor recommends for the further roll-out of micro-credentials in the European Union. The central question is how micro-credentials can provide added value within lifelong learning, in addition to existing courses with full qualifications.

Stimulation of lifelong and life-wide learning

Micro-credentials give a large group of learners the opportunity to create flexible learning tracks in which the accompanying learning certificates are interchangeable between various contexts. Micro-credentials also allow flexibility in responding to the needs of learners, labour market and society. Education providers are also getting opportunities through micro-credentials to improve the education offer and to cooperate with international partners and labour market actors.

Need for an overarching framework

In addition to the opportunities offered by micro-credentials, the Vlor also mentions some challenges in their development and implementation. The Vlor points out the importance of overarching standards, adequate funding, limited regulation, and monitoring of learner involvement. In addition, the Vlor finds it necessary to clarify the scope of micro-credentials and to embed them in quality assurance. Finally the Vlor underlines the complementarity of micro-credentials in comparison to other learning activities and related competences.