Recognize, validate & share
wherever and however
it occurs. They can be
displayed across the
web, and help earners
access opportunities for
or lifelong learning.
Open Badges is free software and an open technical
standard. Anyone can use this standard to create,
issue and verify open digital badges.
Open badges are:
Open badges make it easy to:
Whether they’re issued by one organization or
many, Open Badges can build upon each other
and be stacked to tell the full story of someone’s
skills and achievements.
Each open badge has important metadata which is
hard-coded into the badge image file itself that links
back to the issuer, criteria and verifying evidence.
Collect badges from multiple sources, online
and off, into a single repository - then skills and
achievements can be displayed on social or profes-
sional networking platforms, digital portfolios and
résumés, personal websites, and more.
• Get recognition for the things you learn;
• Give recognition for the things you teach;
• Verify and display your skills across the web.
badgealliance.org | openbadges.org
The digital age has created unprecedented opportunities to learn, both
formally and informally. To have the greatest impact on the life of an indi-
vidual, those learning opportunities must be made apparent in a way that is
digital, interoperable, and verifiable. Open Badges is a new technology that
enables the representation, validation, and sharing of skills and knowledge
acquired in a classroom, on the job, in the community, or online.
A digital badge is defined as
“an online representation of
a skill you’ve earned.” Open
Badges takes that con-
cept one step further, veri-
fying those skills, interests
and achievements through
credible organizations, and
attaching that information
to the badge image file,
hard-coding the metadata
for future access and review.
about this document:
This overview of badges was prepared by members of the Badge
Alliance, an open collaborative seeking to expand the use of
badges to document learning outcomes, professional achieve-
ments, soft skills, participation in activities and group affiliation.
The focus of the Open Badges work is more than indi-
vidual badges; it is about creating an open, connected
ecosystem where knowledge and skills can be communi-
cated across sectors using digital badges. Open badges
increase the overall value of learning outcomes in today’s
digital world by including both context and verification,
which can be used for evaluation by educators, employers
Alignment with the Open Badges Standard enables digital
badges issued by various issuing organizations to be
interoperable within and across this open badging eco-
system. The ecosystem is comprised of badge earners,
issuers, and viewers:
Benefits for the Earner
Badge earners are at the core of the ecosystem and
benefit from the ability to manage their academic and
professional achievements effectively in the digital
space. Earners can choose to gather together, man-
age and share badges through an online repository
such as the Mozilla Backpack.
Benefits for the Issuer
Issuers benefit from the ability to recognize learning
or professional outcomes in a way that is transparent
and defined by published criteria. An issuer can de-
termine whether a badge is the result of a single effort
or if it’s part of a broader learning or career path.
Benefits for the Viewer
Badge viewers complete the ecosystem by bringing
their own set of values to bear on badges. By clicking
on a badge to view its details, they can use its em-
bedded content to evaluate the both the badge and
its earner for purposes of educational or professional
An Ecosystem of Open Badges the open badge standard
• Information about
the issuer (i.e.
name of issuer)
• Criteria defined
by the issuer, that determines how the
badge is earned
• Issuance date/expiration date
• Evidence (optional)
• Links to external standards (optional)
• Keywords that connect the badge to other
similar skills or achievements (optional)
• The Open Badges Standard is new technology that
enables any organization or individual to award dig-
ital, interoperable, verifiable recognition of learning/
professional achievements, competencies, and skills.
• Open Badges empower individuals to explore new
learning opportunities, and to collect, manage, and
share their badges in ways and places that are
meaningful to them.
• Employers, educators, and peers can use Open
Badges to understand exactly what an individual is
capable of, within the context of their badge criteria.
Developed by Mozilla Foundation and main-
tained by the Badge Alliance, the Open Badg-
es Standard is an open technical standard that
any organization or individual can use to cre-
ate, issue, and verify digital badges for learning
outcomes, achievements, affiliations, and com-
petencies. Because the system is based on an
open standard, earners can combine multiple
badges from different issuers to tell the com-
plete story of their achievements — both online
Open Badges are information-rich
digital records of achievement.
By clicking on a badge image,
you can find out where the activ-
ity took place, what skills were
achieved, examples of creative
work, and more.
The Open Badges Standard requires key
information be included in each badge: