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FAQs

A new badging journey always starts with questions! Scroll through our FAQs or filter by category using the buttons below. Don’t be stuck – if you need support or still have questions we welcome you to get in touch.

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All Badge Issuing Badge Writing Earners Joining Badge Nation
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Issuer: 
An Issuer is a Badge Nation member organisation that has joined the community and is currently issuing badges, or on their way to issuing badges within their collection. Badge Nation community Issuers 

Earner:
An earner is any individual or organisation that has been issued with a digital badge.

Champion: 
Champions are people or organisations that have pioneered a new approach, influenced others to start badging, changed policies to include Digital Badges, or funded Badge Nation membership for other organisations. (There are answers about Champions further down the FAQs section) Badge Nation community Champions 

Credly:
Accessible via internet browser, Credly is the platform on which all Badge Nation Digital Badges are stored and issued.

Collection:
A Collection is a group of badges on Credly. When Issuers join Badge Nation and write their own badges, these will be published on Credly in a Collection, which a Collection Manager will be given access to for admin and issuing. View Badge Nation collections of Digital Badges

Collection Manager:
A Collection Manager is a designated person from an issuing organisation that has been given access to the Badge Nation Credly licence. Collection Managers can issue badges and view analytics for any specific Collection they have been given access to, and are usually designated at the point of an Issuer signing their Membership Agreement.

Membership Agreement:
All Issuers joining Badge Nation will need to complete a Membership Agreement. This is an online form containing all the information we need to support you in starting to badge such as; information on the organisation, logo and branding preferences, estimated earner numbers, and designated Collection Managers.

Badge Template:
A Badge Template is the information that makes up a Digital Badge, including the title, earning criteria, description, and any other important information that you may wish to include.

Cities of Learning Badge Standard:
The Badge Standard is a simple framework against which all Badge Nation digital badges are quality assured. This standard provides structure to badge writing, making it easier to understand the activities people are doing, how they help, and where they could lead. There are four layers to this standard; Engage, Participate, Demonstrate and Lead.

Quality Assurance:
Once you have submitted the required information for your Badge Templates, the Badge Nation team will review the criteria you have supplied and ensure you have mapped the activity to the correct layer of the Badge Standard. Should anything in your template require amending, the team will work with you to complete your badges before they are published to Credly.

How much does it cost to join Badge Nation?

In response to the amazing creative possibilities organisations have seen for the use of digital badges, we have developed exciting membership packages that seek to support and enable these opportunities.

For more details on our membership packages and what is included in each, please see the Badge Nation Membership page.

Badge Nation Membership

I'm ready to join Badge Nation, what should I do now?

Fantastic, we are so excited for you to join the community!

To get you onboard we need your organisation to complete a Membership Agreement – this agreement will explain the terms of your membership, asking for some details about your organisation and the people you will have responsible for issuing badges.

This agreement is an online form which once complete, will provide you with information on next steps and an invitation to join our Members Area.

Badge Nation membership begins on the 1st of the month after signing your agreement and lasts for 12 months. For example, if you sign your agreement on the 15th of July, your membership will begin on the 1st of August, and be due for renewal one year later.

Complete your Membership Agreement now

I've completed my Badge Nation Membership Agreement, what happens now?

Welcome!

You will have received some information from us via email, please check your junk folder if this hasn’t arrived in your inbox.

 

What types of organisation can join Badge Nation?

We are an inclusive bunch here at Badge Nation and want to welcome everyone along with us on this journey of recognition and empowerment! Whether you are the smallest community group or a nation-spanning enterprise, we would love to hear from you.

Although our membership offer is for organisations, Badge Nation Membership is not limited to particular legal structures or sector types and you don’t need to be incorporated as a business to start a badge offer.

Do individual programmes or departments from the same organisation need separate memberships?

Your Badge Nation Membership can count for your whole organisation, no matter how big or small.  

However, if you’re part of a larger organisation that would benefit from badging different programmes and departments, there are membership options for this too.

Check out our packages to find one that is right for you.

Membership Packages & prices

Is badge writing really technical and complicated?

Through loads of work and trial and error, we have made the badge writing process really simple, and provide regular free 1.5 hour workshops to get you writing your first badge. We also offer continued support and resource to make it as easy as possible for you, including step-by-step guides and how-to videos on our Members Area. 

Once you’ve written one, you’ll want to write more – check out our page with complete FAQs and support guides!

Support to write badges

What is the process for writing digital badges?

To write a new badge, you’ll need to complete our badge writing form. This will provide us with all of the information we need to build your badge, and will enter your badge to our Quality Assurance (QA) pipeline.

Once your badge is in ‘Final Draft’, the QA process can begin and we will work on your badge to get it ready for publishing. More about our QA process here.

When all is good to go, we create visuals using your organisation’s branding and publish your badge.

How much extra work is it for my organisation to issue digital badges?

Learning a new system is daunting, which is why it’s always a huge relief to find out it’s really simple! Credly – the badge issuing platform – is very easy to use. You can issue badges one by one if you don’t have many to send out, or you can bulk-issue hundreds at a time.  

 To see how easy it is, check out this short video which covers all of the information step by step in under 5 minutes. 

Is there a limit to how many people I can issue a badge to?

The amount of earners you can issue your digital badges to will depend on your chosen Membership package.

Check out our Packages and Prices page for more information on the packages we offer.

Membership packages and prices

Is there an age limit for digital badges?

We believe everyone – young or old – should have the opportunity to earn badges!  

Badges issued via Credly are delivered via email, so the earner will need an email address. Most email providers require account holders to be 13 years of age or older – which means if you plan to issue badges direct to the earner, then they must be a minimum of 13 years old, or have parental consent if 11 – 12 years old.

Please read our ‘Earner Personal Data and Consent to Issue Badges via Credly’ document for more information on who you can issue badges to and how you can gather the appropriate consent for this.

Read about personal data and consent

How does earner personal data work at Badge Nation?

Issuing badges requires Badge Nation members (Issuers) to input an earner’s Personal Identifiable Information (PII) to Credly to generate an email notification and invite for the earner to accept the badge. The PII required is first name, last name, and email address.

Please read our ‘Earner Personal Data and Consent to Issue Badges via Credly’ document for more information on who you can issue badges to and how you can gather the appropriate consent for this.

Read about personal data and consent

How can I gain consent to issue digital badges to individuals?

Please read our ‘Earner Personal Data and Consent to Issue Badges via Credly’ document for more information on who you can issue badges to and how you can gather the appropriate consent for this.

Read about personal data and consent

Can organisations be awarded badges?

Absolutely! Digital badges are extremely flexible. There are plenty of examples of this, such as recognising employers that have supplied Kickstart placements for young people, or local authorities that want to recognise particular quality marks in schools.

How difficult is it for the earner to claim the badges I've issued them?

Claiming badges is really simple and easy! For first time earners, once you have issued them their badge they will receive an email with a link which will prompt them to set up an account on Credly – the badge issuing platform. Once they have done this, they can accept their badge with one click, share to their social media feeds immediately, and choose to auto-accept any future badges. 

To see how easy it is, check out this short video which covers the process step by step in under three minutes. 

What is the Badge Nation Members Area?

Our Member’s Area is a resource hub to help make your membership really easy. Once you have completed your membership agreement, we’ll invite you to create an account and gain access to all sorts of helpful documents and links – such as webinar recordings, ‘how to’ videos, copy to place on your website, template emails to earners and so on.  

We want to be member-led by this – if there’s ever something missing from this area that you think would be helpful, we would love to make it happen! 

What is the best way to get started?

This video explains the background information on digital badges.
 
Once you are familiar with the idea, we find it is best to test the water and get stuck in – we run regular free 1.5 hour workshops that you will leave with the makings of your first badge.

You can book a space on a workshop with no obligation to join Badge Nation if it isn’t for you, and you will be advised on next steps for joining the community if you’d like to go aheadCheck out our What’s On page for upcoming workshop dates. 

Why do Badge Nation digital badges need quality assurance?

We quality assure all Badge Nation badges to ensure that they adhere to the Cities of Learning Badge Standard – we do this as it strengthens your badge offer and adds value to your earning criteria. Without quality assuring Badge Nation digital badges to a standard, they are only effective within the issuing organisation and provide little structure for earners to take their experiences onto future endeavours. 

We also follow the quality assurance process to ensure that your badges are as good as they can possibly be, and support you to make sure you’re getting the most out of your membership.  

Do Badge Nation digital badges have to follow a linear route through the Badge Standard?

It is important that your digital badges reflect the activity that you deliver, so although the Cities of Learning Badge Standard is set out as Engage, Participate, Demonstrate, Lead, there is no need for your digital badges to follow a linear progression through these steps. When writing your badges, you may find that all of your activity sits at one level of the standard, or that there’s a mix of levels. Both are completely fine! 

For example – you might deliver a training course that has been mapped to the Demonstrate level because participants have to put new skills into practice before the end of the course rather than simply learning about them. There is no requirement for you to have written badges at Engage and Participate levels to support this activity, and it can still be published and issued as a Demonstrate badge. 

The same goes for earners. If an earner has fulfilled the criteria and achieved everything required for a Demonstrate badge, they don’t need to have previously been issued with Engage and Participate badges. 

You are of course absolutely welcome to use the Badge Standard to reflect progression routes within your organisation’s activity, and through the quality assurance process, we will always support you to make sure your badges are properly mapped. 

What benefits do digital badges have for the people I award them to?
  • Badges recognise accomplishments and achievements that cannot be formally accredited, where experience outside of qualifications is highly valued and often not well documented.
  • No achievement is too small to be badged! Any accomplishment, however small, can be the start of a journey to a better future.
  • Badges provide the ultimate tool for providing verified employer references in an emerging freelance workforce.
  • Badges give earners the power and language to better tell their stories by clearly displaying the activities they have engaged with and transferrable skills gained along the way, in language that employers understand.
  • Badges support earners to use the experiences, skills, and competencies they have developedby working with your organisation to take positive steps in their own lives.

Have you ever been completely stuck writing a cover letter for a job application, updating your CV, or applying for a course? It can be immensely difficult to articulate the skills you have and the experience you’ve gained from a lifetime of various activities. 

Digital badges are a fantastic tool for giving earners the power and language to better tell their stories by clearly spelling out the activity that they have carried out and the attitudes they’ve gained along the way, while giving them language that employers understand. What is particularly useful about this is highlighting transferrable skills that may not – at first glance – be seen as relevant. 

For example, having attended a school career fair might not seem important on a university application, but having a record of an attendee badge that spells out seeking new information and networking with potential employers to improve communication skills, can show that the earner has previously taken it upon themselves to broaden their horizons and is comfortable conversing about new topics or ideas, giving them the exact words to articulate that experience. 

What benefits do digital badges have for my organisation?

Depending on your organisation and the activity you deliver, there are several ways that badges can be beneficial: 

Analytics
– Credly, the badge issuing platform, provides you with detailed analytics of how your badge collection is performing, such as how many badges you have issued, how many have been accepted, on what social media platforms they have been shared on, how many views each badge has had and so on. 

Reporting & Outcome Tracking
– The analytics tool on Credly makes reporting on your badge offer and organisation’s activity extremely easy.
– Every organisation has outcomes or markers that can be hard to measure and track. Badges give a quantifiable source of data for ‘soft outcomes’ such as increasing skills or wellbeing. 

Managing Staff & Internal Processes
– Earners don’t just have to be participants on programmes or customers of your activity! Rewarding staff achievements with digital badges makes a great record of the upskilling and progression of staff within the organisation.
– Badges are a brilliant way to reflect staff training, CPD courses and suitability for roles.  

Recruitment
– Recruiting the right people for any organisation requires a lot of time, care and effort. Badges are fantastic for getting a snapshot of a person’s experience and skills, and have the added bonus of showing what organisations have previously worked with them without the laborious requests for references. 

Grants & Funding
– Lots of organisations will utilise grants and funding at some point. Incorporating digital badges into delivery can make applications stand out by increasing the credibility of how you will be tracking, measuring and reporting on specific outcomes, as well as bringing structure to your activity.  

Attitudes & Movements
– Every organisation has key messages and attitudes that they want to develop in others. Digital badges are a brilliant way to recognise and encourage the change you want to see in the world. 

Marketing
– You can get really creative with using badges as a marketing tool!
Badges are created with your logo and branding, so are very personal to your organisation. Every time someone shares a badge they earned with you, it’s an advert.
– Because of the way badges are linked in-browser, people that click on your badges get a direct snapshot of the activity you deliver and the impact you’re creating.