By Adam Bannon
Exemplar Global has been recognizing personnel certification and our training provider partners through Digital Badging since 2020. Two years in and we are past the peak of the education and awareness phase and are well into an engagement phase with a market that is becoming ‘used’ to the digitization of their credentials. This has been a normal change process given we operate within sectors that have been traditionally used to physical and tangible things like ID Cards and printed certificates to validate and demonstrate credentials. This made sense in a world where there was more office-based interaction where displaying your credentials was common, or you were onsite and presenting an ID Card proved you were who you said you were. We are now very much working in different ways that include a mix of hybrid, remote and face to face work environments. The assessment and conformity industry is no different and has also shifted the way it works and is now seeking out opportunities to leverage this new flexibility to the way we work and engage in work.
Going digital is not a new trend by any means but expanding our Digital Badging/Credential program has allowed Exemplar Global to address a few different things, like:
- Offering secure and verifiable credentials that indicate you are who you say you are with a single click
- Real-time delivery and portability across different platforms (including web, email and social media)
- Create career pathways through linking learning, skills and expertise with digital credentials
- Support our business sustainability goals.
The Exemplar Global Digital Badging program aims to provide seamless and instant verification for an individual or corporate entity wishing to demonstrate their skill or competency or relationship with Exemplar Global. We are often asked as a personnel and training certification business to verify an individual or training provider credentials – this is now made easier through a click of a button versus phoning or emailing people, sifting through search registers or data systems, or worse, the diving into the dreaded filing cabinet. This also allows people wishing to verify credentials to do so at their own convenience saving them time for other important things.
A key driver in our Digital Badging program was to eliminate fraudulent or improper activity and provide our stakeholders with added confidence in our personnel certification training provider programs. There are obvious flaws in physical credentials and some digital documents that open up opportunistic behavior for improper use of brand or doctoring of documents to indicate something that is not true. At Exemplar Global we have seen this take the form of unauthorized use of branding and logos on websites or publications to give an impression of our endorsement and as well as individuals using or presenting doctored certificates which come to our attention during verification checks. We now have instantly verifiable digital credentials that allows for secure fraud-proof options for our stakeholders with the unnecessary awkwardness that may normally arise.
A survey from 2021, indicated 30% of people ‘bent the truth’ on their resume, with almost half of respondents lying about skills or abilities and the most common reason why is that they lacked the necessary qualifications for a particular role. Using digital credentials to demonstrate competency, skills and qualifications in certain things provides a hiring manager a differential basis to make decisions that is valid and independently verifiable. The job market is competitive and hiring processes becoming more savvy in their due diligence processes.
An area we wish to expand in 2023 at Exemplar Global is to better link, through digital badging, our certification programs and professional development activity to form unique pathways that when viewed in totality tell a story about you and your career. When pulling together a CV or resume it is easy to remember and point out the activity but not always so easy to link that back to the skills you developed or demonstrated. The metadata under digital badging can break down everything you have achieved, the skills, the experience, and the effort, and that goes that step further to tell your story.
Our Digital Badging partner Credly indicates an average global benchmark of 67% of people accepting and 47% of people sharing their digital credentials (i.e., sharing through a social media platform like LinkedIn) for a business sector like ours. Exemplar Global exceed these benchmarks. This is driven mostly through a number of engagement and awareness activities and a market that is now seeking out digital credentials over traditional means. In the last 12 months, Exemplar Global has seen a 30% increase in badge acceptance and 110% in share rates on last year’s averages, with signs that trend will continue. Additionally, to support our sustainability goals, Exemplar Global has ceased production of physical certificates and ID Cards and have prioritized issuing and use of digital credentials. We will be further expanding our digital credential program across a number of initiatives throughout 2023.
About the author
Adam Bannon is Exemplar Global’s Vice President, Operations. Adam has had extensive experience in business operations, innovation, and governance across Australia and in the UK. This includes non-executive director roles in charitable organizations, as well as various senior operational and executive management positions, across a number of health and human-services portfolios in the Australian government and digital skills sector. As Chief Operating Officer of a digital skills start-up in Scotland, Adam was responsible for building a new team in a growing innovative business. Adam joined Exemplar Global in 2020 as Business Director, Exemplar LINK. In 2021, Adam moved into a Global Operations role leading a strategic shift in Exemplar Global’s business model.