NAIT Direct Credentials

What are direct credentials?

With NAIT direct credentials, an individuals’ existing competencies are independently certified by NAIT without requiring coursework. They are designed for people with existing knowledge learned either through work experience, formal education, or self-learning but is not formally recognized by an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution. 

For employers: Use direct credentials to establish where your employee’s knowledge is in an increasingly competitive workplace. Use this knowledge to develop personalized learning plans for existing staff, to identify potential employees for internal opportunities, or to shortlist external candidates for open positions.

For individuals: Save time by certifying your existing skills without having to take courses you don’t need. 

How does it work?

Unlike micro-credentials earned by completing courses, NAIT’s direct credential path leads to micro-credentials that are earned through a formal NAIT assessment process and do not require coursework. The micro-credentials earned through the direct path are identical to those earned by graduates of corresponding NAIT courses. The direct path can be used to validate individual’s existing skills through NAIT’s trusted method of assessing competencies. 

Individuals gauge their knowledge and receive recommendations on whether to choose a course or direct path through a free self-assessment. 

Direct Path FAQ for Individuals

What direct credentials does NAIT currently offer?

NAIT’s first direct credential in Quality Management will be available in spring 2022.

What is the difference between taking a course path and a direct path?

Course paths involve taking courses while direct paths involve a formal assessment process and do not require coursework. Courses are for individuals who need to acquire new skills while direct paths are for people to demonstrate they have existing skills acquired through previous education or work experience.   

Do I receive a micro-credential if I take courses or go direct? 

Yes. Course and direct paths lead to the same micro-credentials.  

How do I decide whether to take a direct path or courses?

The process begins with you completing a self assessment. After answering a series of multiple-choice questions in the self-assessment, you will:

  • learn which competencies in which you already have a strong knowledge foundation and those you have yet to learn
  • receive customized recommendations to help you determine whether you should consider the direct path or the course path to obtain one or more micro-credentials.  

Can I combine course and direct paths to obtain the same micro-credential? 

No, you must choose to obtain each micro-credential through either a course or direct path.  

What is NAIT’s process for evaluating the self-assessments and determining which learning path to recommend?

The process of assessing your individual competencies requires a team of NAIT assessors that independently review your evidence and then jointly decide whether to issue a micro-credential.  

Unlike the class environment where one instructor is continually exposed to multiple students in a classroom environment, multiple assessors spend dedicated time assessing your individual evidence submission and then deliberate on your submission. NAIT maintains this rigorous assessment process to ensure the integrity of its micro-credentials and maintain the trust with employers that look to us to validate competencies. 

Can I combine micro-credentials to earn a certificate, regardless of which path I chose to obtain the micro-credential? 

Yes. For example, if a certificate includes four micro-credentials, you can earn some of the micro-credentials through a course path and the others through a direct path.   

What happens if I enrol for a direct path and fail?

After a grace period, we will allow students to retake an assessment one more time. If you are unsuccessful after two attempts, you will be directed to take the corresponding NAIT course.  

Direct Path FAQ for Employers

What topics can NAIT assess my staff on?

NAIT will work with our organization to customize a direct credential specific to your internal roles and corresponding competency frameworks. We have existing frameworks for a wide variety of essential skills including leadership, collaboration, innovation, or communication, and technical skills including data science, data-driven marketing, financial literacy, or project management. NAIT has access to thousands of academic and industry subject matter experts to customize a wide array of direct credentials tailored to your organization’s needs.

How can I trust the integrity of a micro-credential that was earned directly when assessing job candidates?

NAIT utilizes a combination of artificial intelligence and teams of professionally trained assessors and subject matter experts to assess the evidence submitted by candidates. When necessary, our assessors contact candidates during the assessment process to request additional evidence of their competence on a subject. We apply the same rigorous standards to assessing direct path candidates that we do for courses. 

How can I my organization benefit from direct credentials?

Use direct credentials to quickly establish and compare individual’s knowledge using NAIT as a trusted third party assessor. Use this knowledge to develop personalized learning plans for existing staff, to identify potential employees for internal opportunities, or to shortlist external candidates for open positions.

Direct path credential explainer

How do I get started?

Contact NAIT’s corporate training department to book a consultation.

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