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Bridging the Gap Between Education and Employment


1EdTech Talk on Credentials

Co-Authored by:
Jim Ireland, Executive Director, HR Open Standards Consortium
Mark Leuba, Vice President of Product Management, 1EdTech

Bridging the Gap Between Education and Employment

Imagine this, an employer wants to find someone with a specific set of skills, and they can sort through applicants based on those specific skills with just a click of a button. Not only that but applicants’ verified skills and accomplishments are highlighted, regardless of when or where they earned their credentials. It’s a world where employers find the people they need, and applicants, who may have been ignored at one point, are judged by what they know, what they can do, and nothing else.

It sounds idealistic, but that world is not as far away or as impossible as you may think. We can already see examples of that working in small pockets around the world, and with the new collaboration between 1EdTech and HR Open, we believe we can take that vision worldwide.

How? By using open standards to make it easy for everyone involved. It’s what 1EdTech and HR Open do best.

1EdTech’s Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR Standard™) and Open Badges create digital records of a learner’s or worker’s achievements that they have agency over and can share with potential employers. Through 1EdTech standards, these credentials are easily verifiable, so an employer doesn’t have to guess about the authenticity or what a specific credential means. Instead, they know exactly what the applicant brings to the table and can automatically verify it.

Still, these verifiable digital credentials are only useful if employer application systems can read them. That’s where HR Open Consortium comes in, the only independent, non-profit, volunteer-led organization dedicated to developing and promoting a standard suite of specifications to enable human resource-related data exchanges.

By creating a standard digital resume, an applicant can input it into the system, and the employer receives the pertinent information they need. The new Resume CV standard aims to include the ability to transfer credentials from a digital wallet, increasing the quality of information they receive from the resume.

The whole process can work if the technology speaks one language, and standards allow them to do that. Without standards, it’s like trying to charge an Android phone with an Apple charger—it’s not going to work.

Like we said, this is already working in small areas, where institutions of higher education, K-12 districts, and local businesses work together to create a system of developing and sharing credentials. You can read about a few examples here. The goal is to make this work on a larger scale. That’s why 1EdTech’s CLR is recommended by AACRAO, and we’re working to align our standards with W3C to help get everyone on the same page.

By combining the standards in education (1EdTech) and employment (HR Open), we hope to bridge the final gap to more efficient, effective, and equitable hiring practices.

There is still a lot of work to do, but we’re getting there. We hope you’ll join us at the next Digital Credentials Summit in Dallas, Texas, February 27 – March 1, 2023.

You can also participate in our monthly Digital Credential Roundtables and view past conversations online to learn more about this exciting work.

About the Authors

Jim Ireland is the executive leader of the HR Open Standards Consortium, an independent, non-profit, volunteer-led organization dedicated to developing and promoting a standard suite of specifications to enable human resource-related data exchanges.


Mark Leuba is a technology leader in education with particular expertise in online and competency-based education. Mark's role in 1EdTech is to guide its product management strategy and team, building on the substantial success of the 1EdTech founding team.


Published on 2022-11-29

PUBLISHED ON 2022-11-29

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Mark Leuba
Consulting Vice President
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