29 AUGUST, 2023


In today’s rapidly changing professional landscape, the urgency of upskilling and reskilling has grown exponentially. Micro-credentials have emerged as a dynamic solution for workplace training, to address the growing and evolving skill demands and enhancing employee value propositions.

Micro-credentials: A tailored approach to workplace learning

The realm of professional development has witnessed the emergence of micro-credentials. These compact learning modules are well-suited for the evolving needs of modern businesses, providing a tailored approach to skill enhancement and employee empowerment.

Micro-credentials diverge from traditional credentials in several ways:

  • Macro-credentials encompass comprehensive degrees like Bachelors, Post-graduate certificates, and Masters. Completing a macro-credential yields a statement of results and a testamur, often linked to a specific qualification (AQF) level.
  • Micro-credentials are compact ‘nano degrees’. Their completion awards metadata and a digital badge, sometimes without direct alignment to a specific qualification (AQF) level.

Types of micro-credentials

Micro-credentials unfold along two distinct pathways:

  1. Taught (Knowledge): Geared toward acquiring new skills, reskilling, or facilitation career transitions. Thee micro-credentials focus on assessing learning and the acquisition of knowledge.
  2. Applied (Experiential): Tailored to recognise capability growth, upskilling, and career advancement. This pathway prioritises assessing the practical application of acquired knowledge.

The value of micro-credentials

Two compelling case studies illustrate the value of micro-credentials:

  • Coles: Collaborating with DeakinCo., Coles innovatively shaped a ‘mini-MBA’ program that seamlessly integrated on-the-job learning. This approach delivered tangible, real-world impact by embedding learning in practical experiences. Employees’ experience was considered into an experiential based assessment, showcasing the value of their everyday work.

“We asked ourselves, where do we want to be in five years with these employees? What skills do they need? Where might opportunities be?”

“Learners have become super sceptical about the value of these badges and certificates, that’s why Coles’ approach required evidence of application of a skill by a respected institution. DeakinCo.’s micro-credentials require that learners submit evidence that they have not only acquired knowledge but put it into practice in their job.”– Penny Williamson, Head of Capability, Coles

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia: By partnering with DeakinCo., the bank harnessed micro-credentials to cultivate essential human skills. This strategic alliance aligned with a forward-looking perspective on skill development.

“We see value in external recognition, and we wanted to combine forces with an external provider due to the speed and scalability of the program.” – Brad Coumbe, Senior Manager Learning Solutions, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Realising ROI

Coles’ approach to employee training and development has brought about tangible positive outcomes. Engagement has significantly increased since the introduction of the mini-MBA, with the amount of employees feeling that they “have the learning to do their job” rising year on year.

Supplier feedback has also improved as Penny confirms that there has been an increase in positive feedback from suppliers since the implementation of their mini-MBA.

Due to the ‘stackable’ nature of the mini-MBA, participants are also much more likely to continue studying after the completion of the program. Completing the mini-MBA serves as a stepping stone, motivating participants to consider further educational pursuits, such as pursuing an actual MBA. Around 10-20% of participants go onto an actual MBA or Masters Degree, which further demonstrates how effective micro-credentials can act as catalysts for ongoing learning and professional growth. This further learning and development is vital for organisations as continuous learning is a skill.

At CBA, the investment in the program has been closely linked to staff retention and career mobility. “There is a real ‘carrot’ opportunity”, Brad Coumbe explains, for organisations to “ensure that people are skilled for the future” through micro-credentials.

“The program has been a way to visualise those skills that we believe are desired for the future. We encourage people to invest in those skills in a way that best suits the individual”, he states.

Organisations that provide these learning and development opportunities are not only actively retaining their top talent but also nurturing an environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and motivated to excel.

What makes DeakinCo.’s micro-credentials different?

DeakinCo. distinguishes itself through an emphasis on experiential learning. The integration of real-world work experience into micro-credentials offers a pragmatic solution to bridge skill gaps and allowing organisations to seamlessly integrate micro-credentials into their existing learning and development initiatives,

Invest in the future of your organisation with DeakinCo.

With DeakinCo., organisations can harness the unique advantage of experiential learning, by seamlessly integrating micro-credentials and empower their employees to directly apply acquired knowledge to real-world challenges. Our micro-credentials offer a cost-effective way to measure workforce capabilities, increase employee engagement and ensure company competitiveness in today’s ever-changing environment.

We offer a range of credentials from employability skills such as problem-solving and communication, to leadership and technical knowledge skills such as digital marketing and data analytics. Explore our range of credentials or get in contact with our team.