WDC aims for seamless transfer of credentials

WDC aims for seamless transfer of credentials

Last updated 13 September 2022
Last updated 13 September 2022

Mike Grumball

How cool would it be to simplify the transfer of your credentials from one industry to another? One WDC thought it would be very cool – and is helping to make it happen.

Waihanga Ara Rau, the Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure, and Energy Academy, an entity seeking to close the gap between supply and demand for capability in the energy sector, are together looking at a new technology platform that would easily transfer a person’s credentials.  RoVE News talks to Waihanga Ara Rau General Manager Assurance, Mike Grumball.


RoVE News: How did this work come about?

Mike Grumball: We’ve been working closely with the electricity supply and water services industries to develop a workforce activation strategy [Editor’s note: See more details at bottom of article]. That has focused our attention on what we can do to help ensure learners face fewer barriers. Now they can have previously achieved credentials recognised when moving between industries.

There's already a framework, which is the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. But we know that some industries have developed their own training and competency frameworks, and don't recognise the pathways and qualifications of others. You end up in a situation where you have almost two parallel systems. What we want to do is bring those systems together – but on a platform that is easy for the learner to use.

We’re looking at ways that people could take the skills and knowledge they have – and some of those could be ‘soft skills’, transferable skills or life skills – and how they transfer to their next career path and don't have to start from scratch. For example, everyone undertakes a reasonable amount of health and safety training wherever they start their journey. When they go to a new workplace, they must duplicate health and safety training.  So, it's being able to achieve those skills once and transfer them into the next pathway seamlessly without having to repeat them.


RoVE News: What kind of solution are you looking at?

Mike Grumball: We’re looking at what technology solution might be available. There are actually some interesting parallels to gaming. When people game, they can pick up things as they go along and these can be stored in the background. And it might be as they get further into the game, they need one of those tools. What we’re considering uses the same concept. You might have done a qualification, it can go into the system and just be stored there. And when you go down a different pathway, it’s a matter of hey, that's now relevant, so it transfers.

We’re looking at a digital solution that may bring all that together and make it available on someone’s phone, for example. This would all have to be quality assured of course, so you link back to a secure database, and a learner can just take that with them wherever they go.


RoVE News: What are the next steps?

Mike Grumball: There's a huge amount of work in trying to map credentials and the various types of qualifications. There's a lot of work in that and working with NZQA will be quite important as well. It’s hard to put a timeframe on it but hopefully we might have a potential solution in six months or so.


More collaboration underway

Mahere Whakamahinga | Workforce Activation Strategy is a response to strategic goals outlined in previously completed workforce development strategies for New Zealand's electricity supply industry and water services industry. 

Energy Academy was set up by Canterbury electricity network Orion NZ Ltd association in 2019 and collaborates with organisations across the energy, technology, education and public sectors to close the gap between demand and supply in the energy sector.