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Characteristics Statement

Characteristics Statements describe the distinctive features of qualifications at particular levels within the Qualifications Frameworks. They describe the qualifications in terms of their purpose, general characteristics and generic outcomes, but do not include subject level detail.


On this page you will find the Characteristics Statement for Micro-credentials. A short summary of the Statement is published below.


Micro-credentials Characteristics Statement

Publication date: 30 May 2022

About this Characteristics Statement


Micro-credentials have a key role to play in upskilling and re-skilling the workforce as short, credit-bearing courses that support a learner-led engagement in higher education which could be spread over many years. Micro-credentials would not normally constitute an award in their own right, but they have standalone value and could also contribute to a recognised qualification. They also widen access to learners who might not have considered a more traditional approach to achieving a qualification, as well as potentially assisting with meeting skills needs for employers and learners.  


While higher education providers have a long history of running short courses, micro-credentials are closely aligned with employability and also offer more structured opportunities for progression which brings new challenges.

This Characteristics Statement for Micro-credentials considers the context and purpose of micro-credentials and the characteristics of the learner, exploring  the implications of these  for a range of functions including:

  • admissions and access (including Recognition of Prior Learning) 
  • course design, including learning, teaching and assessment 
  • certification
  • quality management.

View more Characteristics Statements

Visit our Characteristics Statements page to find more Statements including Higher Education in Apprenticeships, Doctoral Degrees, Master's Degrees, Foundation Degrees, and Qualifications involving more than one degree-awarding body.