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Martec's Digital Badge Program

Martec launched its digital badge program at the end of March 2023.  Badges are issued to learners after they have passed the mastery test for a class (70% pass mark) and completed an end of class survey.

How the Program Works

Learners study a class and take a mastery test at the end.  The pass mark for all tests is 70%. 
Taking the test is not compulsory, but if the learner does not take it and graduate, a badge is not issued.  The same is true if they do not complete the end of class survey (because Martec uses the survey data to plan product upgrades).  Learners studying on Martec’s LMS have ready access to the survey system to complete the survey. Learners working for a corporate licensee running our programs on their LMS will be able to particpate in the same way, if the corporate licencee enables access to the survey.  Alternatively, we can agree a separate arrangement to take a periodic data file from a corporate licensee with the relevant details.  The data we need is very limited.

We extract the data from the survey system and upload it to our CRM system to support the survey reports and other management information we provide to corporate clients.  We transfer the relevant data to the badge processing provider, who issues the badges.  We then receive data back that gives us information on how many learners did something with the badge and we incorporate this into our client reporting.

Badges are awarded for passing individual classes. Most classes belong to suites and many learners study an entire suite.  This is especially so for graduate intakes and those who need in depth knowledge of a subject.  When all the classes in a suite are completed successfully, a higher status badge is issued automatically. 

Individual classes also belong to role-based learning paths, which may also include studying content from our Retail and Consumer Goods Industry WIKI. A badge is issued as each module in a learning path is graduated.  Once all modules have been completed and passed, the respective learning path badges will be issued. These are the most important badges to many companies and employees as they confirm the key competencies in a complete job role.  

We monitor progress through suites and learning paths and generate emails to learners to encourage learners to study outstanding modules as appropriate.

Badges are digital and can be posted on LinkedIn profiles, in LinkedIn posts, on Facebook pages and in Twitter feeds, and also in email signature panels, thereby showcasing the skills the learner achieved.  Anyone clicking on a digital badge will see a display of information known as metadata similar to these sample badge credentials

Martec issues credits for classes completed successfully.  The credits earned can be reviewed in staff appraisals and targets set for the next year to encourage employees to keep up their skill development.

Badges issued for classes earning NASBA credits (see the NASBA page) have the number of credits determined by a NASBA processwered.

Martec issues its own credits for its non-NASBA classes and has adopted a policy of calculating the credits a module earns using the NASBA process.  This way, classes completed which later become NASBA certified, can be awarded NASBA credits with no change in values. 

The program provides benefits to both employers and learners.

Benefits to Learners

The benefits to learners are:

  • Learners can showcase their expertise.  The access to the badge metadata does more to showcase their skills than traditional paper certificates.
  • The existence of a badge program encourages the learner to take mastery tests more seriously and the failure rate in mastery test drops significantly.
  • Learners can demonstrate that they are taking their career development seriously.  The achievement of badges shows which employees are most motivated to learn.
  • For those learners working in professional services organizations, the display of badges accessible by their clients will give more confidence to the client, and help the learner justify a higher fee rate.
  • Higher skilled employees will have access to a wider range of job roles and interesting projects.
  • Experience to date with other companies’ programs shows that attrition reduces as learners stay longer with companies that verifiably offer more career development opportunities.

Benefits to the Employer

The Martec digital badges program also provides significant benefits to the employer:

  • Employees displaying badges in LinkedIn will help the employer convey the message that it invests in training to help their employees enhance their career prospects.  This reinforces the idea that this is a better company to work for and reduces employee churn and recruitment costs.  Employers can enhance this visibility by sharing posts announcing employees badge gains.
  • Badge earning helps identify those with ambition, so HR can intervene and develop the suitable ones to fill future vacancies in the organization.
  • In professional services organizations, employees displaying a wide selection of badges on their professional curriculum vitae will help the employer sell them at a higher fee rate.
  • Badges being promoted on LinkedIn profiles will advertise the company’s industry specialisation to potential future clients and help maintain its relevancy in that sector, improving its competitive positioning.
  • Advanced badges will demonstrate depth of expertise in the sector and make it easier for companies to identify the best people for specific projects.
  • It helps strengthen the talent pipeline and build a more inclusive workforce by focusing on candidates certified in the the skills the company needs rather than degrees.
  • Leaders in a company can review the badges their employees have gained and have a better view of what skills existing employees have and where their skills gaps are worst.
  • Martec awards credits for each class studied.  Some organizations can set standards as to how many credits a year each employee needs to earn.  In appropriate circumstances, the learners can pick the classes that matter most to them at a specific point in their career, from the portfolio of available classes.  This helps the company achieve its goal and the employee focus their study time as effectively as possible. 
  • It helps the company’s Learning and Development department justify its spend on training licence fees.  Partly this is by the public demonstration of training given, but also by the marketing encouragement given by Martec and the employer to study more modules, thereby achieving a greater return on the investment in licence fees.  It also makes it more important for learners to pass the mastery tests.
  • Employers can market encouragement to learners to develop more qualifications and training credits.
  • If you are developing a capability academy, the badging program can be a significant contributor to success of the investment.  Badges earned gives a measure of progress in achieving upskilling or cross skilling goals.  The ability to encourage learners who have mastered one learning path, Assistant Merchandiser say, can encourage staff to start studying the Merchandiser  learning path ahead of time, to fulfil one aspect of being ready for the next promotion.