Institute for Credentialing Excellence

Microcredentialing Toolkit


I.C.E. formed a Microcredentialing Task Force in 2019 to assist in determining the needs for the I.C.E. membership and credentialing community on the topic of microcredentialing.

The priorities of the committee were to:

  • Determine a definition of the term microcredentialing in liaison with the Terminology Task Force
  • Evaluate the educational needs of membership and explore possible programs
  • Evaluate any need for standards or guidelines for microcredentialing
  • Identify other products or programs that I.C.E. may be well-suited to develop
  • Articulate what I.C.E.’s role should be as a leader in this topic area

The  task force developed and administered the ICE Microcredentialing Pulse Survey in early 2020. The purpose of the survey was to gather initial feedback on the task force’s proposed definition (priority 1 above) and gather information. More than 200 responses were received and considered in providing direction for the task force’s work.

Approximately 88% of the respondents agreed with the proposed definition of Microcredential/ing and 12% did not; their feedback included noting the proposed definition was too restrictive, was only applicable in context and in contrast to certification programs that were larger in scope, and did not adequately distinguish between microcredentials and other types of credentials.

The definition was revised to reflect committee consideration of comments and the following definition was adopted in May of 2020:

Micro credential, Micro credentialing.  In credentialing, the recognition awarded to an individual who has demonstrated attainment of a narrow scope of knowledge, skills, or abilities. The scope of the microcredential can be as granular as a single skill or competency. As a verb, to recognize an individual who has demonstrated attainment of a narrow scope of knowledge, skills or abilities, or a single skill or competency.

Survey respondents also indicated what they perceived to be types of microcredentials based on the definition provided, and if their organization currently offered microcredentials or have plans to develop them in the future.

A chart showing the types of programs respondents perceive to be microcredentials and the types of programs they currently offer. Stackable program are most believed to be a microcredential and is most offered or planned to offer.

Given the degree of interest in the topic, the task force worked together to develop the following resources and support elements for organizations that are developing or considering developing microcredentials: