1EdTech’s launch of Open Badges 3.0 integrates the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) directly into the technical specification. This advancement of including the CTDL simplifies data mapping processes and enhances the connectivity of badges through linked open data, enhancing the functionality and value of digital credentials significantly.

Open badges have been traditionally challenging for employers to decipher due to the wide variety of achievements recognized. The integration of CTDL addresses this by providing a consistent language that describes the diverse aspects of credentials comprehensively. This includes details about programs, courses, assessments, and required competencies, enhancing the understandability and value of credentials in talent acquisition systems. Employers can now access transparent and consistent information on Open Badges through the CTDL, allowing for a clear understanding of a person’s accomplishments. 

The Credential Registry, a cloud-based data store, allows any credential provider to describe their offerings using the full richness of CTDL. This structured information can be linked via OB3 so that job applicants can demonstrate the relevance of their credentials effectively.

Enhanced CTDL Integration in OB3

Open Badges 3.0 (OB3) has standardized the connections to CTDL, allowing for more efficient setup and maintenance of credentials, improving their clarity and discoverability. OB3 formalizes the integration by defining credential types that exactly match CTDL credential definitions and by defining key alignments to CTDL information so that technical systems can reliably access linked CTDL information. 

Defined Achievement Types

OB3 significantly boosts credential transparency by specifying how achievements can be categorized as specific types of achievements, many of which exactly match existing CTDL definitions. These newly defined achievement types include, assessments, microcredentials, certificates, diplomas, multiple types of degrees, and certifications.

Enumerated Alignment Types

OB3 defines alignment types for additional linked information about a badge, including three alignment types that explicitly support the CTDL family of schemas. This means any system interpreting a badge achievement can easily identify when additional CTDL information is available for retrieval and processing. 

Strategic Actions for Credential Providers

To benefit from these new capabilities, credential providers should 

  1. Publish credential offering information to the Credential Registry and regularly update as part of an integrated credential management process (see Credential Engine’s guidance site to get started)
  2. Ensure your badge platform uses OB3’s new capabilities for CTDL achievement types and alignment types. 

Note: 1EdTech provides helpful implementation guidance, including ‘recommended practices’ for badge issuers with example payloads showing effective use of the new types of achievements and alignments. 


The OB3 advances to integrate CTDL marks a critical advancement in educational and career ecosystems, facilitating better interoperability and empowering learners and employers with a more transparent and navigable framework.

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