In 2015, Lumina Foundation and Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) joined forces to establish the Connecting Credentials initiative and call for a national dialogue on how to build a well-functioning and sustainable credentialing system.

On October 5, 2015, 200 leaders representing more than 150 organizations convened for the first National Summit on Credentialing to consider a shared vision of a 21st century credentialing system. The summit dialogue identified nearly 20 priorities for action to realize this vision of a redesigned credentialing system.

Connecting Credentials then established work groups organized around one of the areas for focus, co-facilitated by key leaders with subject matter expertise, and supported by CSW. Work groups met between January and April 2016 and delivered recommended actions for key stakeholder groups to consider and resulted in production of the 7-point Action Plan.

1.Develop scalable ways to engage employers in the credentialing marketplace.
2.Empower learners to navigate the credentialing ecosystem.
3.Develop common language centered on competencies.
4.Create an open, interoperable data and technology infrastructure.
5.Foster shared understanding of credential quality among stakeholders and reciprocity among quality assurance processes.
6.Pursue public policy agenda that advances equity in the credentialing ecosystem.

7..Promote field-based development of new credentialing tools, policies and practices.


View the Connecting Credentials action plan: From National Dialogue to Collective Action: Building Learning-based Credentialing Systems. There's also a 4-page summary document and an FAQ.