Credentials and professional development: for the workforce of now and the future

  • DeakinCo.
  • 21 February 2017

Well-founded and rigorous research is showing that the workplace has changed and will continue to change. Driven by the fourth Industrial Age—the Technology Age—the full extent of this change is yet to be seen. It is, however, accepted that it is here and that changes will continue to occur in job roles, the physical placement of a workforce and the nature of workforce engagement, increasingly impacted by automation, globalisation and collaboration.

In the context of understanding and thriving in this new environment, our discussions with enterprise indicate that they are aware of the need to identify what behaviours and capabilities are needed from a person in a particular role. They also need to accurately identify and measure what level they are able to demonstrate and perform these behaviours and capabilities. If they can accurately measure these, the organisation has greater certainty that its people can perform the actions they know lead to success.

Interestingly, the so-called soft skills (e.g. communication, teamwork, collaboration, emotional judgement, problem-solving, global citizenship—as well as the related leadership skills) have been identified as more important than the technical skills. The research supports this too.*

This is where Professional Practice Credentials are proving to be the answer. A world’s first, our Credentials measure and recognise an individual’s capabilities, benchmarked against globally recognised academic and industry standards. Importantly, they show that a person not only has the capability but can apply it in a professional context. When the Credentials are aligned to an organisation’s capability framework they provide the trusted measure of capability the business knows will lead to success or, if you like, knows will lead to greater revenue development.

When an individual is assessed in our model, the organisation either has certainty that they can perform to the level required, or has clarity into the areas that need development. It identifies strengths and weaknesses. This means that not only does investing in the Credential assessment of people enable revenue creation, it enables correct deployment of people into the right roles as well as targeted capability development.

This is why the model is creating so much interest and is proving to be the missing piece of the staff development puzzle.




*Skills Matter: Further results for the survey of Adult Skills OECD (2016);

Driving the Skills Agenda – Preparing students for the future, The Economist Intelligence Unit (2015);

Australia’s Future Workforce, CEDA (2015);

The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum (2016) 

There are some interesting messages coming from this research especially in relation to the importance of technical vs. soft skills and the effectiveness of existing education models in supporting their development. It determines that in order to be truly impactful in this new age, people will need to be agile, flexible, innovative, globally aware, collaborative, able to work in teams and digitally literate while also finding these and the technical skills are often best developed within the work environment rather than elsewhere.

This highlights the challenge business faces in investing in the development of what will still be its most important asset—its people. How do they insure that the development enables the agility and flexibility required, as well as building the critical skills? And the question of effective impact from the investment still exists and arguably is even more important in this fluxing economic world.