Microcredentials in Vocational Education (mbo)


Microcredentials are gaining increasing traction in vocational education (mbo). Therefore, the mbo sector will commence pilot projects around microcredentialing through Npuls in 2024. This initiative aims to enhance the lifelong learning offerings in the mbo sector.

Microcredentials as a supplement
In the mbo sector, we recognize diplomas, certificates, and statements. A diploma is aimed at a complete training program, while a certificate and a statement are for parts of a program. Mbo certificates are pre-validated in SBB context and established by OCW. An mbo statement is issued to students who, upon leaving the program, do not qualify for a diploma or certificate, as proof of their accomplishments.

However, there is a gap that the mbo currently does not fill: a smaller educational unit for which no certificate is available, but which learners might consciously choose to pursue. Therefore, through Npuls, we are initiating pilot projects around microcredentials in the mbo – to offer smaller educational units that learners can enroll in and complete with a (digital) proof, a microcredential.

What are microcredentials?
Microcredentials are evidence of the learning outcomes a learner has achieved after a short learning experience. These learning outcomes are assessed against transparent and clearly defined criteria. Learning experiences leading to a microcredential are designed to provide learners with specific knowledge, skills, and competencies that answer social, personal, cultural, or labor market questions. Microcredentials are owned by the learner, can be shared, and are portable. They stand alone or are combined into larger credentials. They are based on agreed quality standards.

Meeting on December 8, 2023

The MBO Raad, together with Npuls and the LLO-Catalyst, will start a project around microcredentials in the mbo. Working with microcredentials offers institutions the opportunity to broaden their educational offerings, respond more quickly to labor market demands, and strengthen the Lifelong Learning (LLO) offerings. During the project, participating mbo institutions will gain experience in developing, providing, and issuing microcredentials. Special attention will be given to quality assurance, policy formation, and legislation and regulations of microcredentials in the mbo. The technical infrastructure for the registration, issuance, and storage of microcredentials is also a crucial part of this project.

There is expected to be considerable interest in working with microcredentials from the institutions. At the same time, there are also a multitude of practical, technical, and substantive questions at the institutions. Therefore, we are organizing an information meeting on microcredentials in mbo on Friday, December 8, from 13:00 to 16:00 (doors open at 12:30 with lunch) at the MBO Council in Woerden.

During this afternoon, we will delve deeper into what microcredentials are, the experiences already gained in higher professional education (hbo), scientific education (wo), and Europe. We will also discuss how the microcredentials project in the mbo will take shape and how mbo institutions can participate in this project.

Click here for more info (Dutch only)


Do you have any questions about the pilot Microcredentials? Contact: A.Brouwer@fcroc.nl