Open Badges

Why are we starting to use Open Badges?

Our mission as Manitoba’s non-profit sector organization is to create professional development pathways that will deliver the skills needed in the sector at large. The Open Badges initiative with is a new, leading-edge, and vital tool to help us fulfill that mission.

Through this initiative, MFNPO will change the way our sector looks at professional development. We can keep our sector nimble and robust as we adapt to the continuously changing world of work by promoting and recognizing all forms of learning.


What are Open Badges?

Open Badges are “smart” digital credentials that contain standard information about the learning they recognize. They were invented in 2011 by Mozilla Foundation and adopted by IMS Global Learning Consortium as an international standard in 2017.

Open Badges are stackable and portable: learners can combine and transfer badges between systems for lasting recognition of their accomplishments and capabilities, often backed by direct evidence. They are a modular ePortfolio technology that can be also shared on social media such as LinkedIn.

We’ve been inspired by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), early Open Badges pioneers in this in our sector, who have been doing lots of innovative work int his area, including this great introduction to the concept:



Who else is using Open Badges?

Open Badges are seeing increasing use as alternative credentials by educators, professional bodies and employers because they provide flexible ways to track learning and skills development, no matter where it is acquired. Open Badges help make those skills more noticeable, so they can be leveraged for career and workforce development. Open Badges make learning more visible, progressive and accessible.

Besides the SSSC above, you may recognize some of these names:


How is MFNPO introducing Open Badges?

badge idea 13


In late 2016, we ran two workshops with MFNPO members, brainstorming Open Badge-enabled workforce development solutions for the sector.

In early 2017, we began recognizing successful completion of our Fundamentals of Human Resources course with an Open Badge.

(Note: Participants do not earn a badge unless they complete all assignments, which include the development of authentic HR documents.)



open BadgeIn November 2017, Issue #5 of MFNPO’s newsletter featured “A Badge of Knowledge”, profiling how Winnipeg’s own Family Dynamics has started using open badges to recognize learned skills and participation in their professional development program for licensed home-based childcare providers.

In December 2017, we ran a focus group with more MFNPO members to update our strategy and set new goals going forward.


In 2018, we are planning to:

  • Issue more badges for Fundamentals of Human Resources
  • Explore other ways to recognize MFNPO professional learning with Open Badges
  • Help more of our individual badge earners start sharing their Open Badges on LinkedIn and Facebook to help their careers
  • Look at helping MFNPO member organizations get started with their own Open Badges strategies
  • Begin to engage stakeholders in other sectors to help broaden the reach and impact of Open Badges in Manitoba



Contact us at

Or find out more here at these websites:


Prepared by:

learningagentsincDon Presant, President

(888) 229-2889