Certification verification has been a hot topic in the industry for a while now, and digital badging has gained a lot of traction as a potential solution to the ongoing problem of sorting our who really is a CCNA, or CISSP, or MCSA, etc. Employers want a simple means of verifying that job candidates actually hold the certifications listed on their resumes. Job seekers want the convenience of adding a badge to their employment profile on a site like LinkedIn, to provide simple, one-click verification of their certification bonafides to potential employers. A few months back, CertMag contributor Anne Martinez took an in-depth look at the digital badging pros, cons and firestorm of debate.
Now leading graphic and document design firm Adobe and cert testing titan Pearson VUE are cranking up the thermostat a few degrees. Earlier this month, Adobe, following in the footsteps of another Pearson partner, ISACA — which began offering digital badging in April — announced it will begin issuing badges to certified professionals through Pearson’s Acclaim digital badging service. Acclaim uses the open badge standard developed by the Mozilla Foundation.
For now, at least, it appears that digital badges will only be available for successful completion of an Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exam. The ACA credential, according to Adobe’s online certification materials, “validates basic, entry-level skills in digital communication, creation, and design using Adobe tools.” The next logical destination for Adobe’s venture into digital badging is probably the more prestigious (and more challenging) Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) credential, which “validates professional-level skills using Adobe tools.” At least for now, however, it appears that only ACA holders will have access to digital badges.
Acclaim executive Clarke Porter said in a press release announcing the new standard that Adobe and Pearson are blazing a trail for other organizations to follow. “Adobe and Pearson are demonstrating industry leadership by embracing badges for Adobe’s ACA candidates,” Porter said. Also quoted in the release, Adobe education director Melissa Jones said that ACA holders tend to be highly savvy regarding digital media, making badging particularly suitable to their skills and preferences. “By representing the ACA certification as a badge through Acclaim, we empower our students to take credit for and manage their achievements digitally,” Jones said.
Pearson manages the worldwide ACA certification program through its Certiport subsidiary. Additional information about ACA certification is available online.