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ICDE Report

The Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials (ADCs)

This report examines the rationale, employer acceptance, criteria and implementation of ADCs, and makes a series of recommendations for ICDE members.

Key findings

  • Defining ADCs, and examining the role they will play in the future
  • Blockchain technology and its application to ADCs
  • Call to action and recommendations for ICDE members to embrace and implement ADCs, to avoid falling behind

Read the full report



Alternative Digital Credentials (ADCs) will significantly transform the relationship between ICDE member institutions and their students—and ultimately between higher education and society. By providing a digital, information-rich record of workplace-relevant skills and competencies, attributed to an individual, ADCs will challenge the relevance of traditional university transcripts.

The report concludes with a call for action by ICDE members to embrace and implement ADCs soon or fall behind. ADCs are clearly going to be an important part of the higher education landscape for the future and will define the relationship between ICDE members and a wide range of their patrons – government, industry, students, and parents. ADCs will have an influence beyond certification at the heart of the institution – with the ability to teach and engage students in a meaningful learning process.

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