Introducing OpenCreds

The micro-credentialing framework designed to meet the needs of the Australian education sector, industry, and most importantly its lifelong learners.

23 million

skills shortages across the Australian economy today. If we continue as we are, our national skills shortage will grow to 29 million by 2030. [1]


think ‘few people will have stable, long term-employment in the future.’ [2]


of the jobs created between now and 2030 will be for knowledge workers, and two-thirds of jobs will be strongly reliant on soft skills. [3]


of global workforce are ready to learn new skills or re-train to remain employable in the future. [4]

About the framework

In recent years, there has been growing emphasis on an idea that is far from new: truly lifelong learning is the new norm for the way we live, work and learn in a rapidly unfolding era of change.

Recent months have further proven the importance of continuing to invest in oneself.

The OpenCreds framework outlines how the Australian education ecosystem can provide a market-leading lifelong learning experience for all Australians.

Why OpenCreds?

The OpenCreds framework is designed with one driving purpose: to enable lifelong learning to become a practical reality for Australian post-secondary learners. This requires the development of a quality-assured micro-credentialing framework that establishes trust, consistency of language and structure, as well as a clear articulation of their value and (potential) pathways.

In formulating the OpenCreds framework, considerable effort has been made to enable alignment to the range of education spheres upon which adult learners draw upon to fulfil their learning needs:

  • Vocational Education and Training;
  • Higher Education;
  • Continuing Professional Development providers; and,
  • Work-based learning in Industry.

Designed for Australian Lifelong Learners

The nature of work is changing, as is the frequency with which learners will need to upskill and reskill. With this comes a shift in learner’s expectations; with an emphasis on:

  • Relevance of the learning outcomes;
  • Flexibility in how they engage and learn;
  • Portability of learning acquired in a range of learning contexts; and,
  • Clearer pathways for accredited study.

OpenCreds are small and stackable; and designed to offer interoperability between higher education, vocational education, and professional learning opportunities.

Enabling partnerships, pathways, and possibilities

The OpenCreds framework has been designed to enable alignment across the range of education spheres in which adult learners draw upon to fulfil their learning needs:

  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Higher Education (HE)
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) providers
  • Professional Learning (PL) providers; and,
  • Employers and Industry.

It is designed to foster partnerships, recognition of prior learning across the AQF, and a consistently high level of quality for micro-credentials.

Supporting education providers to realise the possibilities

On the 13th of July 2020, OpenLearning announced two initiatives to support education providers in developing market-leading micro-credentials utilising the OpenCreds Framework:

(1) The Open Microcredential Development Grant (OMDG) has been established with Open Universities Australia (OUA) to support universities via the creation of 30 OpenCreds.

(2) The OpenCreds Investment Fund (OIF) has been established to support private higher education providers, vocational education and training organisations, industry associates, and professional bodies via the creation of up to 35 OpenCreds.

For further information, please email