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Digital badge program aims to help develop, manage learning credentials

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jen Nentwig
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas-- Air Education and Training Command’s Learning Professionals & Force Development Credentials Division is currently working an ongoing effort to allow senior career field leaders to better develop and manage talent and support those transitioning out of the service.

The division is continuing efforts, which began in 2020, to roll out digital badges for Department of the Air Force (DAF) career fields. A digital badge is a web-based version of a credential, or learning outcome, which can be verified using metadata in real-time.

The program launched with a beta test developing digital badges for a limited number of Air Force career field communities, school houses and educational programs. Since then, digital badging has expanded to now include a catalog of more than 60 badges across 12 organizations, available on the DAF’s digital badging website.

“We are building digital badging processes deliberately and strategically by working with senior leaders to figure out their vision and intent for a digital badge and how it can best be used to manage an overall career field,” said Jason Grove, AETC's lead force development specialist.

Once digital badges are developed, they help leaders develop and manage their workforce.

“Digital badges can provide leaders a way to identify knowledge, skills and abilities and make data-informed decisions on how to best develop people and manage the talent that we have,” Grove said. “Using the badges, leaders can help determine any gaps in skills and training and help inform who is best for a specific opportunity or assignment.”

The process for earning a digital badge is unique to each of the badges currently available. Earning criteria are outlined in the details of each badge listed on the DAF’s digital badging website.  

Once an individual has earned a digital badge, they can share it on a digital resume, profile or any web-based system.

“The badges help recognize skills individuals have acquired and represent those skills to supervisors and leaders. This can be especially helpful when moving from assignment to assignment and, eventually, when transitioning out of the service,” Grove said, noting that digital badges are recognized by many civilian industries and are used in major organizations such as IBM, Microsoft and NASA.

While the program is currently still in its formative stages, the possibilities for Air and Space Force digital badging are endless, according to Grove.

“Our vision is to set up an enterprise system that can create, issue, share and store badges for all members of the DAF,” Grove said. “We want to be able to proactively identify skill gaps as well as create developmental pathways for our members to help them reach their goals.”