MICROCREDENTIALS IN AUSTRALIA
A microcredential can be awarded if learning and assessment in a microcourse take at least an hour and at least one outcome is assessed in some way.
Certificate of completion
The microcredential is known as a certificate of completion. It acknowledges learning that is additional, alternate, complementary to, or a component of an AQF qualification.
A microcourse is short, tightly focused, approachable learning. The content usually covers only a few key concepts and there is often only one learning outcome. It might introduce an innovation, explain one process, tackle one skill, or clarify a compliance requirement. Much microlearning is informal ‘on-demand’ learning that is best placed right at the point of need.
Microcredentials are being promoted by the Australian Government to meet the growing demand for short-form courses that enable adults, especially those who already have a qualification, to upskill rapidly in an area of interest to them. The National Microcredentials Framework is a set of principles that was released in late 2021. See them here: National Microcredentials Framework
A credential is evidence that learning has been completed successfully. It can be used for professional development or as proof of learning needed to access another course.
The Australian Government has developed a platform to act as a marketplace where viewers can locate and compare these short courses. Check out MyCredSeeker to see the wide range of subjects, delivery options, and course pricing.
Individual courses marketed as microcredentials do not have to be approved by any authority in the same way as national qualifications. However, they should meet the baseline requirements to use the descriptor 'microcredential' and issue a certificate.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
Every course provider has their own format for a Certificate of Completion.
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Certificate of Completion
A digital certificate is emailed upon successful completion of the assessment.
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This permanent record is kept on IPFS and is verifiable via the QR code on the certificate.
Participants who choose to complete the Refection Sheet that is part of an eligible microcourse on this website will receive the certificate of completion shown here. This is an original electronic document.
The IPFS record is a supporting electronic document that can be used to verify the authenticity of the certificate of completion.
A permanent record of the participant's certificate of completion is uploaded to IPFS. If there is a query about the authenticity of the certificate, then the IPFS record can be checked to see that the details on the permanent record match the digital certificate - for example, there has been no name change.
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a protocol for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. No one company owns IPFS, in the way that Google owns Google Drive. It is essentially a global peer-to-peer network. When a file is added to IPFS, it is cryptographically hashed and given a unique fingerprint called a content identifier (CID). This CID acts as a permanent record of the file as it exists at that point in time.
The file is resistant to tampering because if anyone alters any of the information in a file, then it gets a new hash and a new CID, which makes it a different file.
The file is stored permanently on IPFS and is only accessible via the QR code. As long as the participant has their digital certificate, then they can get to the matching permanent record at any time in the future.
Like to know more: IPFS website
The QR code on the digital certificate contains a link to the matching permanent record on the IPFS. This link shows when a camera hovers over the QR code, so clicking on that link takes the viewer directly to the record. When an image of the certificate is inserted into a document and saved, either as Word or PDF, the QR code is still functional.
You are welcome to copy/paste the certificate image to a document and save it as Word or PDF if you need to send it to someone for your professional development record. They can click on the QR code if they wish to see the permanent record.
It is your responsibility to keep the digital certificate in your electronic filing system as it is not stored anywhere else. Also, the permanent record on IPFS is only accessible via the QR code on the certificate of completion. Essentially, you have control of the documentation once it is issued, not the course provider.