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Digital Credentials and Lifelong Learning

A portrait of lifelong learning is now possible with the connections we are making together.

We're in it together. The IMS community is working across K-12, higher education, and corporate education to make life achievements more accessible, personalized, and equitable from the start for every learner. Together, we establish the digital credentials ecosystem based on open standards that show the whole learner at every step of their journey, ensure interoperability across systems, and open the doors to opportunity today and tomorrow.

An education-to-employment ecosystem means success for us all.

When institutions and employers collaborate, learning outcomes and skills are aligned so a learner’s credentials can be verified and matched instantly to the right job.

Today's digital credentials are how educators award achievement, learners stack their experiences, and employers find the perfect match and upskill their teams. Everyone can organize, track, and verify qualifications from the start.

K-12 and Higher Education

Educators award academic credentials that show progress toward mastery of academic and industry standards aligned with needed workforce skills.

Lifelong Learners

Learners use and arrange their verifiable digital credentials augmented with personal achievements and evidence to apply and qualify for jobs.


Employers save resources by finding and verifying the best candidates with structured data algorithms. Identify talent based on what people know and can do.

Given the challenges educators and employers have worldwide finding the right fit between opportunities and quality candidates, the old approaches to credentialing are no longer good enough.

A connected ecosystem means more opportunities for prior learning, dual enrollment, internships, technical skills development, and educational experiences that are highly valued by multiple industries.  

Digital credentials allow learners to make the most of their experiences while reducing administrative costs and headaches for organizations.

Now more than ever, educators and employers need to work in partnership to prepare learners with the skills they need for the jobs of the future. At UMBC, we are working with the Greater Washington Partnership and the University System of Maryland's Kirwan Center to use digital credentials and the Comprehensive Learner Record to show our students the skills employers are seeking and to give employers greater insight into the skills our students can bring to their organizations. We are excited to work with other members of the IMS Global member community to develop the standards that allow digital credentials to be put into practice now and in the future.

Photo of User
Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III
President Emeritus
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

set the standard.

The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) has issued guidance for higher ed institutions to adopt the IMS digital standard for the Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR)—and encourages employers to do the same. 

Read the full story

IMS members and partners make the difference.

Working together, we can help transform the education system and align learning to workforce needs. Become part of the solution by joining the collaboration.

  • The IMS Digital Credentials Summit is the only event that brings together educators and employers to advance groundbreaking work with digital credentials and workforce partnerships. The Summit takes place annually in February/March. Registered attendees of the 2021 virtual Summit can access session recordings here.
  • The PIVOT Project provides K-12 leaders with helpful digital credentials implementation resources and networking with successful schools. Discover more here.
  • The Talent Continuum is an expert advisory council for IMS skills and digital credentials standards. Bringing industry and academia innovators together to help remove silos between learning organizations and employers. Get involved today. Learn more here.
  • The Wellspring Project brings educational institutions and employers together to drive the use of digital credentials across the board, automate the matching of credentials with education and opportunities, and empower individuals to find jobs. Join us.

When you become an IMS Contributing Member, you'll work across boundaries to develop the standards and strategic initiatives that empower digital transformation and create new paths to success for educators, employers, and lifelong learners. 

IMS Standards supporting Digital Credentials and Lifelong Learning


An open ecosystem means access and innovation.  Digital credentials with IMS standards are learner-controlled, skills-based, and always interoperable. That helps make lifelong achievements more shareable and secure without custom integrations. Saving you time, resources and accelerates your digital transformation.


The Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) standard enables a personalized digital record that shows and tells a wide range of experiences and accomplishments in the context of learning.

Open Badges

Open Badges are the digital way to award accomplishments. They facilitate digital recognition of accomplishments embedded with verifiable and secure metadata.

Digital Credentials Sponsors

Find out how your organization can become a sponsor.

See all IMS Sponsorship Opportunities

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