Call for Expressions of Interest is Now Closed!

The National Forum will be in contact with all who submitted from 4 January 2017 regarding the decision on which badges will be selected for development in phase 1.

Become a recognised developer of a certified national digital badge representing identified teaching and learning competencies in Irish Higher Education

Call for Submissions – for Phase 1 (Download PDF)

This call seeks to identify teams to develop a digital badge for a particular competence cluster as a way for an individual to demonstrate a shared understanding of accomplished outcomes in professional development. The idea is that the team would be building on expertise for which they have already been recognised within the sector. This process will involve an investment of time by the proposing team to ensure a meaningful mapping of outcomes and credentials for achieving the badge.

There are two stages to this process:

·         Firstly, by 16th December 2016, you are invited to submit a short online expression of interest form (now closed)

·         Then, if your badge area is chosen for development, you will be asked to complete the Proposed Badging Development Process indicated below.

Background to Digital Badging Project

The review of non-accredited professional development completed by the National Forum in 2015 found that a range of ever-widening CPD opportunities offered across HE institutions and the teaching and learning landscape are similar.  In order to capture the potential of accreditation for these activities, and to ensure that individuals have an opportunity for their skills and competencies to be acknowledged, verified, and recorded, it is proposed that they receive recognition for completing this form of CPD. Therefore the National Forum is undertaking, in collaboration with the Higher Education sector, the development of a National Digital Badge System that will be thoughtfully integrated into practice.   These badges will be developed against nationally agreed criteria, and will be recognised across the sector, thus enabling staff to have mobility within their continuous professional development journey and career advancement; therefore, it is envisioned that official recognition of skills and competencies will move with individuals as they go from one HE context to the next.  These digital badges will be awarded to professionals in higher education who want to develop and obtain recognition for the development of particular skills and knowledge sets relevant to their teaching and learning practice.

Proposed Badging Process

Each badge to be developed will represent approximately 25 hours of learner effort, but there will be flexibility in relation to formats and structures of the development of each badge. Each badge will have the same components:

  • Identification of 4 criteria that must be met to be awarded the badge
  • A short video outlining the area of development
  • Links to useful websites and resources
  • A workshop package that would enable any institution to deliver the PD programme


Any team can develop a maximum of two digital badges. Your submission should contain:

The title of the digital badge(s) you wish to develop (along with a short description, criteria, issue date, expiration, evidence, and issuer details). An example of criteria is below:


An example from the All Aboard Project


  • A short outline identifying the specific expertise, knowledge and abilities of your team in relation to the development of the proposed badge; this is important for establishing personalisation and individualisation of the badge in relation to the skills and knowledge needed.
  • Your team’s stated commitment to engage in creative collaborative workshops (in collaboration with the National Forum’s Associates’ assembly) to brainstorm and finalise the development of the badge requirements and content.
  • Your team’s commitment to make all developed material available and shareable across the sector.
  • A detailed lesson descriptor including learning outcomes, learner activities, content and media to be developed, assessment and criteria for awarding the badge.
  • A detailed outline of the budget allocation to fund the development process (within an upper limit of 8K per badge).
  • A commitment to have the badge developed by the 31st March 2017.
  • A commitment to provide capacity building workshop on using the material to other in the sector who are interested in delivering the programme you have developed (1 day in late March 2017).
Application Process
  1. We are seeking submissions for participation in the Digital Badging Project by 16th December 2016.
  2. Submit this initial expression of interest using the online form at the end of this page. You will then be contacted with further details of the participation process.
  3. Selection: Proposals will be judged for badge content, clarity of idea, originality of thought, and/or evidence of engaging the target learning community. The newly formed Expert Group for the Piloting of the PD Implementation Process will be involved in designing the workshop for those badges going forward for development.

For all further queries please contact Roisin Donnelly at

Additional Notes
  • To develop some national consensus on the content of the badges, a creative workshop will be incorporated into the NA meeting’s structure. In addition, the details in the non-accredited and accredited PD reports will be explored for the common learning outcomes in related activities.
  • It is envisaged that the development of each badge will require approximately 40 hours of work developed, and therefore funding will be in the region of 7-8,000 euro (dependent on number of badges). There will be a 3 month time-frame for development.
  • There will be a preliminary screening to ensure that applications meet the mandatory criteria and that there is no duplication of badges.
  • The graphic design and logo for the digital badges will be provided via the NF.
  • Please note that this is phase 1 of the NF digital badging model – if your badge area is not chosen for development in this first phase, it will be noted and held over for consideration in phase 2.
  • It is vital that the content for badge development has already been approved for copyright.

Do proposals need to be routed through a designated institutional contact point?

There is no need to go through a specific institutional contact at this stage, but if they your team are selected to develop a digital badge, funding will be transferred into an institutional/network account rather than to an individual.

What is meant by a team?

A team in this instance can be within one centre, HEI or organisation, or with colleagues from across the sector with whom one has already been working. It can make sense to collaborate with those who have already done work in the area being proposed for the digital badge and who have built up specific recognisable expertise in that field. This can result in forming a learning community in the specific digital badge content area for the future.