IREC and other leading thinkers in workforce and academic credentialing are re-shaping the U.S. credentialing framework to focus on and more clearly represent student learning. The Credentials Framework positions competency what the learner knows and is able to do – as a tool and ‘common language’ to compare and understand credentials.
Last year when we collected public comments on IREC’s Certificate Program standard (fondly known in house as Standard 14732), some asked how many hours should a course be to meet the requirements for accreditation. It’s a good question. But there is no single answer other than “it depends.” The “seat time vs competency” issue is one that we intend IREC standards to address by providing requirements for accreditation that promote learning objectives based on industry-driven job task analyses, or similar empirically-based processes, and criterion-referenced examinations.