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Skills Passport Curio Group Submission

Skills Passport Curio Group Submission

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The National Skills Passport stands as a transformative tool that could significantly streamline the recognition of qualifications and credentials, serving as a bridge between learners’ achievements and employers’ needs. By facilitating a more efficient verification process, the Skills Passport promises to reduce the administrative burden and costs associated with credential validation. 


Key Principle 1: Valuable and Useful 

Employers will need to see clear value in the Skills Passport over existing systems where significant investments have already been made. Curio has worked with many professional bodies, including many medical colleges, the Australian Medical Council, CPA Australia, and the Australian Computer Society, to establish criteria and standards for recognising qualifications and skills. Aligning the Skills Passport with these standards will require negotiation and consensus-building. Furthermore, the significant cost of alignment has the potential to limit adoption by these financially constrained bodies. Demonstrating its usefulness, reliability, and value is crucial to encouraging the adoption and success of the Skills Passport.


Key Principle 2: User-centred 

Adhering to the principle of user-centred design is crucial for the success of the National Skills Passport. Drawing from Curio’s extensive experience in crafting educational tools and platforms such as the Irish Microcredentials Platform, the emphasis on a user-friendly interface cannot be overstated. For users to effectively engage with the Skills Passport, it must be intuitive, accessible, and accommodating to a diverse range of digital literacy levels. This means simplifying navigation, ensuring clear and understandable language, and providing guidance and support mechanisms throughout the user journey. By prioritising these aspects, the Skills Passport can foster greater adoption and usage, ultimately achieving its goal of enhancing skills recognition and mobility across the workforce. Curio’s expertise in developing such user-centric educational solutions positions us well to contribute to the design and implementation of an inclusive, efficient, and widely accepted Skills Passport. 


Key Principle 3: Integrated and Interoperable 

Integrating the Skills Passport seamlessly within a complex ecosystem that spans educational and employment platforms, across states, employers, and professions, is crucial for addressing work mobility, labour shortages, and targeting upskilling efficiently. This ecosystem’s structure must accommodate the myriad technical systems and frameworks in use, facilitating smooth integration, adoption, and usage of the passport. Moreover, positioning the Skills Passport within the global skills marketplace necessitates a roadmap for international interoperability, leveraging standards like W3C and aligning with global learning frameworks such as the European Learning Model. Curio’s experience in developing the Irish Micro-Credentials Platform, which involved custom functionality to transform course information from seven university partners to meet Europass qualification dataset register requirements aligned to the European Learning Model, exemplifies the potential for such integration. This approach not only streamlines statutory reporting through an automated process but also enhances the discoverability and comprehensibility of partner credentials within the Europass catalogue for learners across Europe, highlighting the critical need for interoperable, user-centric design in the Skills Passport’s development. 


Key Principle 4: Trusted and Reliable 

The National Skills Passport’s credibility hinges on its ability to validate and reliably represent an individual’s skills and qualifications. By incorporating a broad range of skills, experiences, and credentials into sourcing and pre-employment processes, employers can better capture both formal education and diverse learning experiences. This approach aligns with the Skills Passport’s goal to inclusively represent learning and skills from various sources, ensuring all individuals can provide trusted evidence of their abilities. At Curio, we recognise credentials beyond formal education—such as practical experience, certifications like Working with Children, and proof of the right to work. These highlight the need for a system that can structure and compare diverse forms of evidence. This is especially crucial for including marginalised communities lacking formal credentials, thus democratising access to opportunities. Leveraging emerging technologies like Large Language Models (LLMs) and AI, Curio envisions enhancing the Skills Passport’s capacity to validate and structure data on a large scale, making it a truly inclusive, trusted, and reliable tool for skill recognition. 


Key Principle 5: Privacy-enhancing and secure 

Personal information is at the heart of the National Skills Passport, privacy by design is critical. Giving individuals secure control over their information gives them the power to create their own career and learning narrative. They choose what they share, where, and for how long.  Importantly, this requires a high level of digital capability to manage securely.

Technology is making this new ecosystem a reality. In Europe, the Digital Credentials for the European Union (DC4EU) consortium is focusing on the expansion of the eIDAS framework to include educational credentials and professional qualifications. Regulated digital wallets based on open Decentralised Identifiers and Verifiable Credentials specifications under W3C will bring the European Self-Sovereign Identity to reality and dramatically expand their potential use cases. 



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