Microcredentials are not new. They have been in use in various countries and education and training sectors; they have played a role, among others, in the certification of IT courses or health workers’ professional development. Ireland has awarded them for more than 20 years, in areas such as college education. In more recent years, microcredentials have proliferated across Europe and are now offered at various levels in public and private general and vocational education and training (VET).

However, only recently have microcredentials gained EU-wide attention in policy debates. Most countries, as yet, have no official definition. Even the term ‘microcredentials’ is not well-known, with certificates for short learning formats being referred to in various ways, including ‘micro certifications, ‘badges’ , ‘micro/partial/supplementary qualifications’ and ‘module certificates’.

Despite the different terms, European countries certify many short learning activities in ways that, either fully or partly, meet the definition proposed by the European Commission.

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Source : Cedefop