These terms reference the draft glossary in progress with the T3 Innovation Network Learning & Employment Record Guide.


A statement in a credential about a person's achievement.

Competency Framework

A logically related set of competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities, or other attributes (KSAOs). When they are stored in computer-friendly formats, they can be easily used across systems.


A visual digital symbol of some kind of learning or accomplishment, often about achievement of a skill, competency, qualification, certificate, membership, or service.

Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR)

An open data standard for packaging together multiple achievement credentials that cover a range of learning experiences, potentially from multiple sources, or a document in this format.


A set of claims made by an issuer. Examples of credentials include ID cards, licenses, diplomas, work eligibility claims, badges, and certifications. Credentials may be transmitted and processed as documentary evidence that a person has certain skills, status, or privileges.

Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL)

An open standard for describing information about credentials. It is used by a registry that stores public data about credentials which LERs can link to.

Digital Credential Wallet

An application that supports the storage and exchange of digital credentials that conform to a credential standard. Here we are focused on LER/VC compliant credentials. They have services for storing, viewing, and sharing credentials that include protecting them from being tampered with by cryptographic proofs. Many wallets also support self-authoring of credentials that can be signed by the wallet holder. Many wallets can store credentials in formats like CLR, VC, and Open Badges.


Any artifacts such as multimedia, work samples, assessment results, or other documentation provided with a credential that supports its credibility and value.


The ability of different devices, software, or systems to successfully talk to each other. Interoperability is a characteristic of a product or system to work with other products or systems.


An organization or person who creates and digitally signs a credential.

Learning and Employment Record (LER)

A Learning and Employment Record (LER) documents any achievement related to learning or work and may be used to qualify the learner or worker for hiring or advancement. Employment records, academic transcripts, professional licenses, micro-credentials, badges, and degrees are all examples of LERs.

Learning and Employment Record (LER) Issued as a Verifiable Credential (LER/VC)

Issuing a LER using the open data standard Verifiable Credentials enables them to be checked for fraud, easily transported, and better used to inform hiring and advancement decisions.


While there is little agreement on the definition of a microcredential, one suggestion is: "A microcredential is generally a subset of learning achievements or outcomes that is less than a full degree or certificate" (AACRAO, 2022).

Ideally they are stackable and demonstrate earning criteria. A microcredential can be awarded in various formats, like as a digital badge or paper certificate.

Open Badges

Badges issued using the Open Badges Specification are called Open Badges and are more interoperable than non-standardized badges.

Open Data Standard

A publication outlining expectations for the expression of certain data. The standard is made available to the general public, free to use, and is maintained via a collaborative consensus-driven process by stakeholders.


Used here as a versatile term encompassing competencies, learning outcomes, knowledge, skills, or abilities relevant to learning and work.

Skill Framework

A skill/competency framework is a structured set of skills organized for a particular purpose, such as to express the range of skills relevant to occupations in a certain sector or organization. Frameworks may express relationships between individual skills.

Skills-based Hiring and Advancement (SBHA)

Skills-based Hiring and Advancement (SBHA) refers to a recruitment and career development approach focused on evaluating and promoting people based on their skills and competencies. It is a process by which employers and HR service providers identify, recruit, hire, and advance candidates informed by skills and competency data, helping to more effectively match candidates' skills and competencies with the skill and competency requirements of work or learning opportunities (USCCF, 2022).


An entity that performs verification of credentials.


The set of procedures intended to confirm the authenticity, status, applicability, and/or conformance of a credential to expectations or requirements. This typically involves at least verifying the digital signature on a credential.

Verifiable Credential

An open data standard from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that defines how to express a credential and attach a cryptographic verifiable proof.

This work was supported by a grant from Walmart