In a world in constant and rapid transformation, today's qualifications will probably not be - or only partially - adapted to the job market of tomorrow. To enable the working population to enhance, adapt, and modify their skills, a new type of short-term certifications and trainings has developed: “micro-certifications”. The current situation - with the need to update one's skills to stand up to the economic and social consequences of the pandemic more effectively - has made them especially important.
In the last few months, micro-certifications have thus become a priority for European education policy. In order to develop a European approach on this subject, the Commission has created working groups and supported initiatives, such as the Erasmus+ MICROBOL project coordinated by the Ministry of Education of the Flemish Community of Belgium - in partnership with the Finnish Ministry of Education, the Italian ENIC-NARIC centre CIMEA, the European Universities Association (EUA), and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
Launched on 31 August and 1 September, this project aims to get the ministries and other participants in the Bologna Process to explore by 2022 how the European Higher Education Area's existing tools can be adapted for micro-certifications. Three working groups have been set up - on certification structures and ECTS credits, on recognition, and on quality assurance. The expected result of the project is the creation of a European framework for micro-certifications.
The head of the Diploma Recognition Department - ENIC-NARIC France Centre, Hélène Bekker, is one of the national experts appointed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation to contribute to the working group on micro-certification recognition. As indicated in the research report drawn up last September to help launch the project, this working group will focus on the adequacy of the Lisbon Convention, the existing qualification structures, and the procedures for validating experience in micro-certification recognition. It will also look at the synergies that should be created like the European Student Card Initiative and the digitally signed credentials of the new Europass.