What are badges?


Open Badges is the name of a group of specifications and open technical standards originally developed by the Mozilla Foundation with funding from the MacArthur Foundation. The Open Badges standard describes a method for packaging information about accomplishments, embedding it into portable image files as a digital badge, and establishing an infrastructure for badge validation.

Open Badges are an online representation of a skill you’ve earned. Open Badges also allow you the verification of skills, interests and achievements through credible organizations and attaches that information to the badge file, hard-coding the metadata for future access and review.

Because the system is based on an open standard, earners can combine multiple badges from different issuers to tell the complete story of their achievements — both online and off. Badges can be displayed wherever earners want them on the web, and share them for employment, education or lifelong learning.


For Badge Issuing organisations (schools, employees etc), Open Badges are a simple way of identifying key skills needed, doing a holistic mapping on the existing skills and driving decisionmaking on possible further training. For employers, Open Badges give a trustworthy way for assessing the skills and abilities of job applicants against the Utica skills framework.  For individuals, Open Badges offer a way to have their existing skills recognised and to gain a wider understanding of the skills requirements attached to a job they might be aiming for.

Open Badges are:

  • Free and open: Mozilla Open Badges is not proprietary. It’s free software and an open technical standard any organization can use to create, issue and verify digital badges.
  • Transferable: Collect badges from multiple sources, online and off, into a single backpack. Then display your skills and achievements on social networking profiles, job sites, websites and more.
  • Stackable: Whether they’re issued by one organization or many, badges can build upon each other and be stacked to tell the full story of your skills and achievements.
  • Evidence-based: Open Badges are information-rich. Each badge has important metadata which is hard-coded into the badge image file itself that links back to the issuer, criteria and verifying evidence.