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Bridging the Gap

Open Standards are the Foundation for Skills-Based Hiring

Wellspring Initiative

Open standards are the foundation of the internet, so why not for education and workplace innovation? Wellspring is a multi-year initiative that demonstrates how to bridge the gap between learning and work using open standards. Begin by connecting educators and employers to agree on the skills needed, then issue verifiable credentials for learning and workplace achievements so everyone can own and share their hard work, and finally, level the playing field with low-bias data-based recruiting and hiring. 1EdTech open standards for learning and employment records capture verifiable achievements and skills to empower individuals to find jobs while helping transform the education system as it moves from valuing seat time to competencies and skills. Wellspring is sponsored by 1EdTech Consortium and the 1EdTech Foundation, with generous support from the Charles Koch Foundation and the Walmart Foundation.


Wellspring 2022-2023

Working with Northeastern University Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy, 1EdTech conducted an HR Technology market research project to learn more about how education credentials data is captured and managed in Human Capital Management Systems and HR Talent Acquisition systems as well as exploring what role Skills Taxonomies and Frameworks are playing in the systems today and on the products' roadmap. Interviews of HR Tech product leaders will help 1EdTech and our members understand better how digital credentials and open skills frameworks can fit into current and future plans for employers.  This work was funded by the Walmart Foundation.

Read the Final Report

A project currently underway integrates 1EdTech learning and employment records (Open Badges 3.0 and Comprehensive Learner Records 2.0) within a digital resume using a new standard in development by HR Open Standards Organization with 1Edtech called Learning and Employment Record Resume Standard or LER-RS. This project will result in 1EdTech standards being demonstrably aligned with the W3C Verifiable Credential and the HR Open Resume standards for a complete education-to-work ecosystem solution. 

Wellspring Phase II

CLR OverviewWellspring Phase II (2021) achieved its goals:


  • Developed integrated competency frameworks that identify and align the learning outcomes in educational programs with required for job roles and competencies
  • Conducted primary research on 750 employers’ use of competency frameworks and readiness for digital credentials in the talent management process
  • Developed software prototypes that demonstrate how the new education and work ecosystem can work, where learners and earners can control and share their verifiable credentials to mobilize their lives


See the Wellspring Phase II Reports and Videos


“Digital credentialing is evolving rapidly. To fulfill its promise, greater cooperation and better communication between educators and employers are needed. The competency frameworks and research at the core of the Wellspring project can help to create a stronger skills ecosystem.”

Sean Gallagher, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education & Talent Strategy, and Executive Professor of Educational Policy at Northeastern University


Wellspring Phase I

Wellspring Phase I (2020) successfully focused on educators documenting their Learning Outcomes framework and employers describing their job requirements as Competencies and Skill framework. These complementary frameworks were successfully mapped and linked digitally, using technology tools adhering to the 1EdTech Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange® (CASE®) standard, demonstrating that machine-readable linked data can connect employer talent needs with educational program offerings and ultimately do so through a learner’s credentials. Download the Wellspring Phase I Report to learn more.


Get Involved

We are seeking leading institutions and organizations to participate in future phases. All project partners must commit to adopting free and open standards for a better lifelong learning experience for all across the open digital ecosystem.

For further information, contact Mark Leuba, Vice President, at

Wellspring Sponsors

1EdTech Foundation               1EdTech

Charles Koch Foundation    Walmart Foundation


Wellspring Partners

Education Design Lab   Northeastern

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