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Costs & FAQs

Looking for more information? Scroll through our FAQs below! If you have questions that we’ve not covered, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team and we’ll be happy to help.

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Issuer: 
An Issuer is a Badge Nation member organisation that has joined the community and is currently issuing badges, or on their way to issuing badges within their collection. Badge Nation community Issuers 

Champion: 
Champions are people or organisations that have pioneered a new approach, influenced others to start badging, changed policies to include Digital Badges, or funded Badge Nation membership for other organisations. (There are answers about Champions further down the FAQs section) Badge Nation community Champions 

Credly: 
Credly is the platform on which all Badge Nation Digital Badges are stored and issued, and accessible via internet browser. 

Collection: 
A collection is a group of badges on Credly. When Issuers join Badge Nation and write their own badges, these will be published on Credly in a collection, which a Collection Manager will be given access to for admin and issuing. View Badge Nation collections of Digital Badges 

Collection Manager: 
A Collection Manager is a designated person that has been given access to the Badge Nation Credly account to issue badges and view analytics for a specific collection.  

Badge Template: 
Each annual Badge Nation membership includes 6 templates, and more can be purchased if needed. A Badge Template is the information that makes up a Digital Badge, including the title, earning criteria, description, and any other important information that you may wish to include. Issuers supply this information via the Digital Badge Template Submission Form, which is then reviewed by the team for quality assurance. 

Cities of Learning Badge Standard: 
The Badge Standard is a simple framework that all Badge Nation Digital Badges are quality assured against. This standard provides structure to badge writing, making it easier to understand the activities people are doing, how it helps, and where it could lead. There are four layers to the Badge Standard, Engage, Participate, Demonstrate, and Lead. View more information on the Badge Standard, see ‘About Digital Badges’ page with video 

Quality Assurance: 
Once you have submitted the required information for your Badge Templates, the Badge Nation team will review the criteria you have supplied and ensure you have mapped the activity to the correct layer of the Badge Standard. Should anything in your template require amending, the team will work with you to complete your badges before they are published to Credly. 

How much does it cost to join Badge Nation?

One 12-month membership is £200 +VAT (£240 inc.) per organisation. 

 This includes: 

  • Access to Badge School and Badge Nation Members Area for unlimited individuals from your organisation. 
  • Access to the Badge Nation issuing licence on Credly. 
  • Award badges to an unlimited number of individuals. 
  • 6 badge templates, designed, quality assured and published by Badge Nation. 
  • Personalised support to understand how best to use digital badges in your context and create your own collection. 
  • Support to introduce, issue and promote your badges to the people you work with. 
  • Consultancy services by arrangement (additional cost). 

If you wish to create and publish additional badge templates to the 6 included – Quality assurance, design and publishing of these can be purchased for an added cost of £25 +VAT (£30 inc.) per template. 

Why is annual membership so cheap, are there hidden costs once I join?

Absolutely not – the only charge you will incur is your annual membership cost (£200 +VAT) and any additional badge templates or consultancy services you have ordered. All costs are agreed at the point of signing a membership agreement, or if you request additional services at a later date. 

We are inexpensive by design to prevent barriers to participation. We really believe in digital badges as a way for organisations to recognise and reward even the smallest of achievements, so by making it as low-cost as possible we hope to reach any and all organisations that want to get going with a badge offer. 

I'm ready to join Badge Nation, what should I do now?

Fantastic, we are so excited for you to join the community!

To get you onboard we need your organisation to complete a Membership Agreement – this agreement will explain the terms of your membership, asking for some details about your organisation and the people you will have responsible for issuing badges.

This agreement is an online form which once complete, will provide you with information on next steps and an invitation to join our Members Area.

Badge Nation membership begins on the 1st of the month after signing your agreement and lasts for 12 months. For example, if you sign your agreement on the 15th of July, your membership will begin on the 1st of August, and be due for renewal one year later.

Complete your Membership Agreement now

I've completed my Badge Nation Membership Agreement, what happens now?

Welcome!

You will have received some information from us via email, please check your junk folder if this hasn’t arrived in your inbox.

Our ‘About Badge School’ page covers all of the steps involved from joining to issuing your badges

About Badge School

What types of organisation can join Badge Nation?

We are an inclusive bunch here at Badge Nation and want to welcome everyone along with us on this journey of recognition and empowerment! Whether you are the smallest community group or a nation-spanning enterprise, we would love to hear from you.

Although our membership offer is for organisations, Badge Nation is not limited to particular legal structures or sector types and you don’t need to be incorporated as a business to start a badge offer.

Do individual programmes or departments from the same organisation need separate memberships?

No! Your £200 +VAT membership counts for your whole organisation, no matter how big or small.  
 
If other areas of your company want to start using digital badges but you have used all of your templates, you need only purchase the additional templates you require at £25 +VAT each. 

Is badge writing really technical and complicated?

Through loads of work and trial and error, we have made the badge writing process really simple, and provide regular free 1.5 hour workshops to get you writing your first badge. We also offer continued support and resource to make it as easy as possible for you, including step-by-step guides and how-to videos on our Member’s Area. 

Once you’ve written one, you’ll want to write more! 

What is the process for writing digital badges?

The process for writing badges is outlined on our ‘About Badge School’ page, which covers all of the steps involved from joining Badge Nation to issuing badges to earners.

About Badge School

Once you have joined our community, our Member’s Area is on hand to support an unlimited number of people within your organisation to get writing badges, and is full of helpful resources such as links, how-to videos, template documents and more. 

How much extra work is it for my organisation to issue digital badges?

Learning a new system is daunting, which is why it’s always a huge relief to find out it’s really simple! Credly – the badge issuing platform – is very easy to use. You can issue badges one by one if you don’t have many to send out, or you can bulk-issue hundreds at a time.  

 To see how easy it is, check out this short video which covers all of the information step by step in under 5 minutes. 

Is there a limit to how many people I can issue a badge to?

No! we encourage you to issue to all earners that have achieved the criteria for that badge, and each badge can be issued to an unlimited number of earners. 

Is there an age limit for digital badges?

We believe everyone – young or old – should have the opportunity to earn badges!  

Badges issued via Credly are delivered via email, so the earner will need an email address. Most email providers require account holders to be 13 years of age or older – which means if you plan to issue badges direct to the earner, then they must be a minimum of 13 years old.  

However, we are always interested to have conversations on how we can benefit a wider audience, so if you are looking to create badges for children younger than this, please do get in touch with us for a chat about how we could help. 

Can organisations be awarded badges?

Absolutely! Digital badges are extremely flexible. There are plenty of examples of this, such as recognising employers that have supplied Kickstart placements for young people, or local authorities that want to recognise particular quality marks in schools.

How difficult is it for the earner to claim the badges I've issued them?

Claiming badges is really simple and easy! For first time earners, once you have issued them their badge they will receive an email with a link which will prompt them to set up an account on Credly – the badge issuing platform. Once they have done this, they can accept their badge with one click, share to their social media feeds immediately, and choose to auto-accept any future badges. 

To see how easy it is, check out this short video which covers the process step by step in under three minutes. 

What is the Badge Nation Members Area?

Our Member’s Area is a resource hub to help make your membership really easy. Once you have completed your membership agreement, we’ll invite you to create an account and gain access to all sorts of helpful documents and links – such as webinar recordings, ‘how to’ videos, copy to place on your website, template emails to earners and so on.  

We want to be member-led by this – if there’s ever something missing from this area that you think would be helpful, we would love to make it happen! 

What is the best way to get started?

This video explains the background information on digital badges, and this video contains more information about Badge School – our membership and badge creation area.  
 
Once you are familiar with the idea, we find it is best to test the water and get stuck in writing your first badge! We run regular free 1.5 hour workshops that you will leave with the makings of your first badge, you can book a space on one of these workshops with no obligation to join Badge Nation, and you will be advised on next steps for joining the community if you’d like to go aheadCheck out our What’s On page for upcoming workshop dates. 

Why do Badge Nation digital badges need quality assurance?

We quality assure all Badge Nation badges to ensure that they adhere to the Cities of Learning Badge Standard – we do this as it strengthens your badge offer and adds value to your earning criteria. Without quality assuring Badge Nation digital badges to a standard, they are only effective within the issuing organisation and provide little structure for earners to take their experiences onto future endeavours. 

We also follow the quality assurance process to ensure that your badges are as good as they can possibly be, and support you to make sure you’re getting the most out of your membership.  

Do Badge Nation digital badges have to follow a linear route through the Badge Standard?

It is important that your digital badges reflect the activity that you deliver, so although the Cities of Learning Badge Standard is set out as Engage, Participate, Demonstrate, Lead, there is no need for your digital badges to follow a linear progression through these steps. When writing your badges, you may find that all of your activity sits at one level of the standard, or that there’s a mix of levels. Both are completely fine! 

For example – you might deliver a training course that has been mapped to the Demonstrate level because participants have to put new skills into practice before the end of the course rather than simply learning about them. There is no requirement for you to have written badges at Engage and Participate levels to support this activity, and it can still be published and issued as a Demonstrate badge. 

The same goes for earners. If an earner has fulfilled the criteria and achieved everything required for a Demonstrate badge, they don’t need to have previously been issued with Engage and Participate badges. 

You are of course absolutely welcome to use the Badge Standard to reflect progression routes within your organisation’s activity, and through the quality assurance process, we will always support you to make sure your badges are properly mapped. 

What if I want to write more than 6 digital badges?

No problem! Standard annual membership starts with the design, publishing, and quality assurance of 6 badge templates and with each year you renew your Badge Nation membership, you gain another 6 templates. 

However, we completely understand that some organisations may need more than this to start with. You can add additional badges to your membership for £25 +VAT (£30 inc.) per template by specifying this at the point of signing your membership agreement, or by contacting us to add more to your plan as and when you need them. 

What benefits do digital badges have for the people I award them to?

Have you ever been completely stuck writing a cover letter for a job application, updating your CV, or applying for a course? It can be immensely difficult to articulate the skills you have and the experience you’ve gained from a lifetime of various activities. 

Digital badges are a fantastic tool for giving earners the power and language to better tell their stories by clearly spelling out the activity that they have carried out and the attitudes they’ve gained along the way, while giving them language that employers understand. What is particularly useful about this is highlighting transferrable skills that may not – at first glance – be seen as relevant. 

For example, having attended a school career fair might not seem important on a university application, but having a record of an attendee badge that spells out seeking new information and networking with potential employers to improve communication skills, can show that the earner has previously taken it upon themselves to broaden their horizons and is comfortable conversing about new topics or ideas, giving them the exact words to articulate that experience. 

What benefits do digital badges have for my organisation?

Depending on your organisation and the activity you deliver, there are several ways that badges can be beneficial: 

Analytics
– Credly, the badge issuing platform, provides you with detailed analytics of how your badge collection is performing, such as how many badges you have issued, how many have been accepted, on what social media platforms they have been shared on, how many views each badge has had and so on. 

Reporting & Outcome Tracking
– The analytics tool on Credly makes reporting on your badge offer and organisation’s activity extremely easy.
– Every organisation has outcomes or markers that can be hard to measure and track. Badges give a quantifiable source of data for ‘soft outcomes’ such as increasing skills or wellbeing. 

Managing Staff & Internal Processes
– Earners don’t just have to be participants on programmes or customers of your activity! Rewarding staff achievements with digital badges makes a great record of the upskilling and progression of staff within the organisation.
– Badges are a brilliant way to reflect staff training, CPD courses and suitability for roles.  

Recruitment
– Recruiting the right people for any organisation requires a lot of time, care and effort. Badges are fantastic for getting a snapshot of a person’s experience and skills, and have the added bonus of showing what organisations have previously worked with them without the laborious requests for references. 

Grants & Funding
– Lots of organisations will utilise grants and funding at some point. Incorporating digital badges into delivery can make applications stand out by increasing the credibility of how you will be tracking, measuring and reporting on specific outcomes, as well as bringing structure to your activity.  

Attitudes & Movements
– Every organisation has key messages and attitudes that they want to develop in others. Digital badges are a brilliant way to recognise and encourage the change you want to see in the world. 

Marketing
– You can get really creative with using badges as a marketing tool!
Badges are created with your logo and branding, so are very personal to your organisation. Every time someone shares a badge they earned with you, it’s an advert.
– Because of the way badges are linked in-browser, people that click on your badges get a direct snapshot of the activity you deliver and the impact you’re creating.

What is a Badge Champion?

Badge Champions crown the whole of the badging piece. These are the amazing people who have either pioneered a new approach, influenced others to get badging, changed policies or practices to include digital badges or – and this is the ultimate commitment – found ways to buy Badge Nation membership for others.
 

Whether this is a local authority supporting commissioned organisations to use badges for a particular skills agenda, or a large company looking for genuinely meaningful ways to provide social value in the communities they operate in, giving the gift of badges is a powerful game changer.

If you are a change-maker, why not join our community of Badge Champions? 

How can I become a Badge Champion?

Becoming a Badge Champion is all about spreading the word and bringing knowledge of the benefits and future implications of digital badges to a wider audience. 

This can be as simple as putting regular time aside for the people and organisations in your networks to lobby for changes in policy to include digital badges, or it could be as momentous as funding membership for other organisations.  

There are loads of ways to get involved in championing Badge Nation, and we are always delighted to have these conversations! Get in touch with us if you have an idea or want to have a friendly chat about how you can support others to get badging.