2017 Innovation Award Winner Profile: IBM and Pearson VUE

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The Information Technology Certification Council (ITCC) is now reviewing submissions for its ninth annual Innovation Award – an award recognizing leadership initiatives that have positively impacted the IT certification industry or your company.

We’d like to highlight some of the award’s past winners and share how the award changed things for their organization. In today’s blog, we’re catching up with 2017 Innovation Award winners IBM and Pearson VUE, who developed an innovative learning recognition program that uses open badges to attract, engage and develop IT talent across the globe. IBM began issuing the badges in 2015 through Pearson’s Acclaim platform, and together, the two organizations developed and applied best practices to create an industry-leading badging program that is producing remarkable results, increasing learner engagement, and motivating skills progression across IBM’s talent ecosystem.

Through Acclaim, IBM has issued hundreds of thousands of open badges to recognize learning across its community. The two companies continue to innovate and educate together in an effort to spread the understanding and use of badges.

Keep reading to hear from Sara Bartlett from the corporate communications team at Pearson Workforce Skills.

How has winning the award helped your organization within ITCC or the industry?

Winning the award helped advance industry awareness of digital credentials. At the time, open badges were still viewed as emerging technology, so having IBM’s open badge program – powered by Pearson’s digital credentialing platform – earning recognition from ITCC helped credential issuers understand the badging use case and envision its potential.

What made your organization decide to apply for the Innovation Award?

Although the idea to apply came to us after we were already into the project, we decided to apply for the Innovation Award because we knew it would generate awareness among ITCC members of the impact that badging could create for learners.

What was the hardest part of the application process and how did you get through it?

It’s been a really long time since I wrote the application! But I do recall being mindful of keeping the focus on the outcomes driven by our technology, rather than getting too far into the weeds on the technology itself. Finding that balance was key.

What advice do you have for others who are considering submitting an application? Any tips or insights to share?

I suggest using compelling data points to highlight a human story – one that other people will be able to connect to and be enthusiastic about alongside you. 

Learn more about the ITCC 2023 Innovation Award

To learn more about the ITCC Innovation Award, visit the 2023 Innovation Award page on the ITCC website for all the details. 2023 submissions are now being reviewed by the judging panel, and this year’s winner will be announced at the ITCC Spring Member Meeting in March.  

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