Inauguration of the Microcredentials Advisory Group

Providing opinions on developed standards and recommendations for the use of microcredentials in Poland, discussing solutions for designing, describing, issuing and ensuring the credibility of microcredentials, as well as exchanging experiences and sharing knowledge are the main objectives of the Microcredentials Advisory Group. Its inaugural meeting was held in Warsaw on March 26.

The main objective of the project “Microcredentials – Piloting a New Solution To Support Lifelong Learning”, implemented by the Educational Research Institute, is to test the usefulness of microcredentials for developing skills in line with the idea of lifelong learning and to design the process of issuing and collecting them.

Technological development, the changing requirements of the labour market and changes in education have resulted in a greater number of discussions on microcredentials and their implementation worldwide as well as in Poland. However, as the recently published report of OPI (“Microcredentials as a new direction for higher education”) shows: “A barrier to the implementation of microcredentials is the sense that a defined legal and organisational framework is lacking, as well as insufficient knowledge of what microcredentials are and how to implement them.” The objective of the team at IBE working on microcredentials is to develop standards based on extensive consultations with selected experts who represent key institutions for skills development in the labour market.

Microcredentials are certainly the future of education and the labour market. It is worth emphasising that the solutions developed by the team at IBE are at the level of the world’s avant-garde. I am proud that we are setting trends in the field of user needs research and selected microcredential technology,

stated Dr. Tomasz Gajderowicz, Deputy Director of IBE.

What makes our Polish experience unique on a global scale is the comprehensive approach to the project in developing and piloting microcredentials. It is a joint effort of public administration, including many ministries, scientific institutes, leading universities, employer and employee organisations, NGOs and businesses. Many experts all over the world are waiting for the results and conclusions of our project, and we will do our best not to disappoint such expectations,

adds Michał Nowakowski, leader of the microcredentials project at IBE.

The inaugural meeting of the Microcredentials Advisory Group, held on March 26 in Warsaw, served to introduce the participants to the concept and to agree on the direction of its work within the project.

Developing adequate and transparent standards for the use of microcredentials is essential to ensure their quality, credibility and recognition. These standards should be consulted with the different communities involved in skills development for the labour market, which is why the role of the Microcredentials Advisory Group is so important.

points out Dr. Wojciech Gola, key expert in the project.

Data from various countries (OECD, 2023) show that people who gain credentials from participating in short educational programmes have a better chance of obtaining employment and can count on higher wages. In doing so, it is worth noting that, in addition to participation in programmes, the following are also important:

  • the quality of the offer (e.g., the volume of the course, a trusted educational institution providing the programme),
  • relevance to current labour market needs.

Microcredentials can support learners to start or return to higher education. Participation in short, certified programmes can encourage learners to take up a university’s offer without the need to make a long-term commitment of several years of study.

Microcredentials enrich the provision of education and skills certification in secondary and higher education, as well as in the private sector – both in business and in the training market. Using the metaphor of an ‘ecosystem’, microcredentials occupy an undeveloped niche and are part of the skills development cycle, facilitating their phased development and validation, as well as their presentation,

adds Dr. Wojciech Stęchły, lead expert on the design of digital solutions for skills development.

Members of the Microcredentials Advisory Group:
Representative of the Department of General Education and Digital Transformation of the Ministry of National Education
Tomasz Chomicki, Sector Skills Council for Telecommunications and Cybersecurity
Bogusław Dębski, Sector Skills Council for Information Technology
Michał Goszczyński, Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Justyna John, Ministry of Digital Affairs
Prof. Andrzej Kraśniewski, Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland
Szymon Kurek, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development
Małgorzata Lelińska, Polish Confederation Lewiatan
Agnieszka Majcher-Teleon, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy
Dr. Błażej Mądrzycki, All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions
Dr. Robert Musiałkiewicz, Conference of Rectors of Public Vocational Schools
Dominika Tadla, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy
Assoc. Prof. Barbara Worek, Sector Skills Council for Development Services