BHER and HEQCO partner on microcredentials research to improve skills development

Ottawa, ON

Fuelled by a shared interest in skills development and training, the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is proud to partner with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to conduct research that will improve collective understanding of microcredentials to inform future development and delivery.

Microcredentials are credentials tied to short, flexible learning opportunities that are focussed on specific skills or knowledge. They are distinct from more traditional university or college degrees, diplomas and certificates which teach interconnected sets of skills or knowledge over a number of years. 

BHER and HEQCO will examine the perceived and potential value of microcredentials by engaging employers, post-secondary institutions and prospective students across Canada. The outcome of this work will inform strategic approaches to microcredential development and delivery. 

“As the Canadian workforce continues to undergo major shifts, including large-scale unemployment and transitions to remote work and learning, understanding how to provide Canadians with accessible tools to gain new skills and credentials is more important than ever,” said Val Walker, BHER CEO. “We are proud to partner with HEQCO to determine how to help Canadians make the most of any microcredential  they may take. That includes examining the perceived value of these credentials from various groups including employers, post-secondary institutions and potential users.” 

The findings will also be used to develop a common language and framework for advancing innovations in microlearning. By facilitating a collective understanding of what microcredentials are, and the role they play in preparing graduates for success in a changing labour market, BHER and HEQCO hope to provide a foundation from which government, postsecondary and private sector stakeholders can collaborate to develop and deliver job-relevant microcredentials that meet the needs of Canadians. 

“HEQCO is thrilled to partner with BHER in building the evidence base Ontario needs to develop an agile lifelong-learning system, featuring flexible educational and training programs,” said HEQCO’s Vice-President of Research and Policy, Julia Colyar. “We are eager to engage stakeholders across the country in this important work.” 

BHER and HEQCO look forward to supporting the expansion, development and delivery of microcredentials during a time when flexible means of skills development are vital to Canada’s recovery and creating a highly-skilled workforce for the future.

Learn more about BHER and HEQCO’s work on microcredentials here

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Media Contact: Brianna Workman – Associate, Communications – Business + Higher Education Roundtable – Brianna.Workman@bher.ca

Media Contact: Matt Ross – Director, Communications – Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario – mross@heqco.ca, 416-627-8928.