The European Digital Credentials for learning (EDC) are a European standard for tamper-evident electronic documents that allows providers of credentials to describe and show the achieved learning outcomes (knowledge, skills) of learners. European Digital Credentials for learning can describe:
activities (e.g., classes attended),
assessments (e.g., projects),
achievements (e.g., skills developed),
professional entitlements (e.g., registration as a medical doctor) and
qualifications (e.g., university degree, Vocational Education and Training certificate).
EDCs are typically used to qualify for job positions, university placements and more. They are legally equivalent to paper-based certificates in all Members of the European Education Area. In practice, they could act as a digital version of a university diploma, a course certificate, or any other type of credential in the field of learning (e.g. certificate of participation to a training).
Officially launched in October 2021, a new version of the EDC infrastructure was released in June 2023. This release includes major changes that will improve interoperability of EDC with other existing initiatives.
A webinar was organised on 28 June 2023 to cover the technical details of the event (you can access the recording and webinar summary). This session provided a valuable opportunity to exchange with stakeholders, providing clarification on technical specificities and gaining inspiration for the future developments of the EDC infrastructure.
The main changes to the infrastructure relate to:
Alignment with the international standards from the W3C - "Verifiable Credential" standards. This change ensures compatibility with other verifiable credential systems.
Use of the European Learning Model - in May 2023, the European Commission introduced version 3 of the European Learning Model (ELM). The European Learning model is a data model (i.e. a representations of data elements and the connections between them) used to exchange information on qualifications, learning opportunities, and accreditation in Europe and to build digital credentials in the field of learning.
Improving mandated issue – meaning that education and training providers may delegate the sealing/signing and sending of credentials to another organisation. This improvement enables a wider range of organisations, including smaller and non-formal learning providers, to issue EDCs whilst keeping its high safety standards.
For further information regarding EDC or ELM, you can contact the support team at EMPL-ELM-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu.
- Publication date
- 26 July 2023
- Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion