Credential Transparency for Certifications: Guidance for Publishers


With nearly a million credentials to choose from—and until we have consistent adoption of the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL), which is the data standard for describing and comparing them—people get lost and lose out on opportunities. Credential Engine is working to end the confusion and frustration by mapping out the credential landscape and building a linked open data network that everyone can access for timely and trusted information about credentials. This information fuels the creation of services and tools that allow students, employers, and workers to compare credentials and choose the best option.

Credential Engine carries out this mission in part through the establishment and maintenance of the Credential Registry—a cloud-based library that collects, maintains, and connects information on all types of credentials, from diplomas to doctorates and from badges to certifications to licenses. Credential Engine’s technologies allow credential providers to take information they already have about their offerings, map it to the CTDL, and publish it to the Registry to make the data accessible and transparent.

As part of continuing efforts to ensure data quality within the Registry, Credential Engine’s Certification and Licensure Advisory Group (CLAG) created Credential Transparency for Certifications: Guidance for Publishers to offer best practices for publishing information about certifications to the Credential Registry. A subset of the CLAG—the Certification Working Group—spent time reviewing data about certifications published to the Registry to develop recommendations for how to improve the quality and depth of data about certifications in the Registry. The purpose of this document is to specifically provide publishers additional guidance on how to distinguish between certifications and certificates, and how to best represent certifications on the Registry.

Read our Guidance for Publishers.