T Levels are a new vocational training qualification that are due to be be introduced in 2020. They will be available to post-16 learners after they have studied for their GCSEs. They are intended as vocational alternatives to A-levels. Could Blockchain based digital certificates support T Levels? Yes is the simple answer. They could also do more, especially if combined with learner owned digital portfolios as we are doing in the My Skills project. We can illustrate this by looking at the structure and grading of a T level (taken from the UK Government web site shown below:
Structure of a T Level
T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements:
- a technical qualification, which will include
- core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
- specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
- an industry placement with an employer
- a minimum standard in maths and English if students have not already achieved them
Students who pass all the elements of their T Level will get a nationally recognised certificate showing an overall grade of pass, merit or distinction. It will also set out the details of what students have achieved on the course.
The T Level certificate will include:
- an overall pass grade for the T Level, shown as pass, merit or distinction
- a separate grade for the occupational specialism, shown as pass, merit or distinction
- a separate grade for the core component, using A* to E
- grades for maths and English qualifications
- details of the industry placement
A Blockchain based T Level?
A Blockchain based certificate could easily contain this information. By its nature (being digital) it also lends itself to being extendable and can accommodate data at different levels – so supporting micro credentials (describing the component parts of a qualification). In addition the user (learner) could also control what elements of their T Level they would like to share via an online blockchain platform like APPII that provides granular control over what the user chooses to share and a customisable CV builder this is a powerful tool. However it dos not stop there. In addition to the trust and flexibility that a blockchain T Level digital certificate would provide there are two further potential advantages:
- The ability to include evidence of learning (images, reports, videos) in the blockchain) that are certified as true by the learning provider
- The ability for the learner to maintain their own own personal digital portfolio of learning
With these two features (Digital Certificates and Evidence from a Portfolio) the T Levels could be given a rich and powerful platform to benefit learners and employers.