Credential Engine Technical Site

Welcome to the Credential Engine Technical Site where you will find complete documentation on our:

  • Credential Transparency Description Language open family of schemas
  • Data publishing tools including the Registry Publishing Assistant API
  • Credential Registry Handbook
  • Credential Registry Policy
  • Consuming services from the Registry
  • Learner and Worker Records Guide
  • Quick Start Guides
  • Other tools including those for mapping to the schemas, serializations.

To get started with using the Credential Registry data publishing and consuming tools, begin by setting up your Credential Engine account and let us know if you have any questions.

Technical Services and Advisory Group

Technical Services

We specialize in helping organizations define, implement, and derive value from general open data strategies as well as from the Credential Registry and other Credential Engine services. Our areas of focus include credentials, skills and competencies, education and career pathways, transfer value, and quality assurance.

Advisory Group

The TAG is open to anyone interested in participating with feedback on development of the CTDL and other Credential Engine technologies and services and with supporting alignment with other standards.


Developers are able to leverage the the Credential Registry API to build applications that can read or publish as much or as little information about credentials as they need to.

The Credential Engine project's developers are using Dublin Core Application Profiles process to create systems that communicate all virtually all aspects of credentials.

Use the CTDL Schemas

The Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) is available to use with data design, with interoperable learner/worker records, and for publishing information as linked data.

Explore the CTDL Handbook, Terms, Serializations, LER Guide, and other resources for using CTDL on this site.

Publishing Options

Credential Engine offers the following options for publishing to the Credential Registry:

  • Registry Assistant Publishing API
  • Manual Entry
  • Bulk Upload

For more information on setting up your account and getting started with any of the publishing methods, click here.

Search Options

Credential Engine offers a robust search API to enable developers to leverage the wealth of data contained in the registry, using the CTDL and CTDL-ASN schemas.

Credential Engine offers a way for non-technical participants to enable a credential search on their own website. The Credential Finder Widget can be customized to match your site's theme and your preferences for automatic filtering, so that the results it shows can be more closely tailored to your site's purposes.

Join Credential Engine

Visit the Credential Engine website to:

  1. Learn more about Credential Engine
  2. Subscribe to updates
  3. Become a participant or partner

Get started with Credential Engine today by:

  1. Create or Login to your Credential Engine account
  2. Get your organization approved to publish and/or consume
  3. Learn more about CTDL, the Registry, and the publishing and consuming APIs


New CTDL Pathway Constraints Terms June Release
Posted on 7/6/2022

Credential Engine has been collaborating with partners, subject- and technical-matter experts to expand the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) to support complex education and career pathways. Although the CTDL had already supported publishing pathways, the Pathway Constraints Task Group (PCTG) was formed to work on more complex use cases for progressing through Pathways.

The outcome from the PCTG, is a CTDL Terms Release that supports publishing pathways whether only a simple progression, a progression with conditions, or a more complex progression with conditions and constraints.

  1. Pathways (previously supported) - A progression of Pathway Components that navigate to a destination.
  2. Component Conditions (previously supported) - Define required quantities from an array of predetermined Pathway Components. For example, a requirement to complete two courses.
  3. Constraints (new) - Restrictions that can be expressed in addition to Component Conditions. For example, credits earned must be equal to or greater than a specific quantity, courses must be at a specific level, or hours worked must be equal to or greater than a determined quantity.

With this June 2022 release, Credential Engine has:

This CTDL update was completed following Credential Engine’s clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the CTDL.

Publishing complex pathways to the Credential Registry will be supported with a new Pathway Builder interactive tool that will be available later this year.

If you have any questions, please visit our Contact Us page. We typically respond within one to two business days.

Thank you, Credential Engine Team

Call for Participation: Updates to the Credential Engine CTDL Pathways Constraints Terms Proposal Webinar
Posted on 6/1/2022

Please join us on Monday, June 13th at 2:00 pm ET / 1:00 pm CT / 12:00 pm MT / 11:00 am PT to provide feedback on the proposed CTDL Domain Model and Terms for handling more complex pathway use cases!

While following Credential Engine’s clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the CTDL, Credential Engine has been collaborating with partners and subject matter experts to enhance the CTDL expansions to support Pathways with more complex constraints. Additional CTDL terms will be implemented over the coming months.

The goal is to use CTDL to publish pathways whether only a progression, with a progression and conditions, or with a progression, conditions, and constraints. During our time together, the Credential Engine Team will walk through the Pathways Levels that are already supported in the CTDL, and the new proposed terms.

  • Pathways (Already Supported) – Comprising a progression of Pathway Components that navigate to a destination.
  • Component Conditions (Already Supported) – Define required quantities from an array of predetermined Pathway Components that can be nested and provide descriptive data. For example, a requirement to complete two courses.
  • Constraints (This Proposal) – Restrictions that can be expressed in addition to Component Conditions using CTDL properties that systems could use for their algorithms. For example, credits earned must be equal to or greater than a specific quantity, courses must be at a specific level, or hours worked must be equal to or greater than a determined quantity.

Please join us on Monday, June 13th to provide comments and feedback for the upcoming CTDL expansion.

Register Today!

Webinar: Updates to Credential Engine Currency Policy and New Reports
Posted on 4/21/2022

Join the Credential Engine Team on Thursday, May 5th at 12:00 pm ET as we provide updates on the changes made to our Currency Policy for publishing to and maintaining data about credentials in the Credential Registry. Additionally, we will provide an overview of the new reports available to all publishers, which will enable them to easily identify any data quality issues and access instructions to update Registry information.

For clarity, here is how we are defining these terms:

  • Bad Links: Broken links to web pages included with Registry information.
  • Duplicate Data: More than one resource, such as credentials, with identical names, credential types, web page links, and descriptions.
  • Incomplete Data: Information in the Credential Engine publishing system that was only partially published to the Registry.
  • Life Cycle: Progression of a resource beginning with an active status and concluding with a status indicating the resource is no longer offered.

Following the implementation of these changes, for each credential published there will now be a requirement that the publisher confirms the data is current and up to date at least every two years. This update will be effective as of May 2nd, 2022.

Register Today!

Call for Participation in Credential Engine’s Task Group on Credential Approval Lists
Posted on 10/6/2021

State and Federal government agencies and other organizations are tasked with approving credentials and their associated education and training programs for funding and inclusion on lists such as Eligible Training Provider Lists, Approved GI Bill, industry-recognized credential or high-quality credentials lists, and others. Currently, that work is siloed within and across state lines but can be better streamlined using a common data infrastructure. Credential Engine technologies already support describing credentials and associated data using a common language as Linked Open Data, publishing that data to the Registry, and allowing multiple states and agencies to reference and show quality assurance processes. The next step in the evolution of the CTDL is to identify any gaps in functionality to support state and federal requirements and to include information that communicates why a credential is on the list and recognizes that credentials can come off the list once criteria are no longer met.

Credential Engine follows a clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the CTDL. This process includes subject matter and technical experts forming short-term task groups to provide valuable input (typically 8-12 weeks). You are invited to join our new Credential Approval Lists Task Group. The work of this task group supports the goals of Credential Engine’s state partners and other agencies and organizations who are working to improve the education and training data ecosystem.

The CALTG will:

  • Identify real-world use cases for approving functions.
  • Provide real examples of how approving functions and data are currently used and how they could be improved.
  • Provide input to expand the CTDL domain model and create additional CTDL terms where necessary to address.

Who: The CALTG is for subject matter experts who oversee, regulate, review, use, report on, or apply for state education and training funding. For example, ETPL administrators, training providers who are approved or want to be approved for state funding, state leaders who develop “Industry Recognized Credentials” lists, and others. We also welcome federal representatives who oversee relevant federal regulations. Prior knowledge of CTDL is appreciated by not required.

When and Where: The CALTG will hold its first meeting on October 27, 2021, and meet no more than six times, every other week for one hour, and conclude in January 2022. The one-hour meetings will be held via Zoom.

Resources: Credential Engine will create and provide all resources needed for this work, based on CALTG input, and share them for ongoing feedback between meetings. All feedback and materials are transparently available following an open process.

Outcomes: The final products of this work include the use cases, real-world examples as instance data, CTDL domain model and terms with definitions, and usage guidance. The products are all public information made available via the Credential Engine technical site and where appropriate, on GitHub and available under open licenses. All subsequent updates to the CTDL will follow the Significant Update Policy. The policy requires formation of the Task Group, input by the Credential Engine Technical Advisory Group and other advisory group members and stakeholders, and a comment period. This efficient process ensures orderly changes that support and expand the durable, persistent value of CTDL Linked Open Data. Once this process is completed, the CTDL family of specifications will be updated along with the Credential Registry publishing and consuming tools. The tools include the open-source Competency and Skills System (CaSS). The Registry and related tools and resources are freely available for stakeholders to publish competencies and skills, competency frameworks, and related data.

September 2021 TAG Meeting
Posted on 9/30/2021


We hope you’re doing well! It’s been quite awhile since we’ve convened the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) but it’s time to ask you to spare a bit of your time. We’re conscientious of how busy you have been and we understand meeting fatigue. Thereby, we decided to take a break from our typical TAG schedule. However, we have some big updates and are looking forward to sharing them with you and getting your feedback.

The CTDL team has also been very busy participating with numerous spec development efforts and working with our many partners to extend the CTDL. We’ll ensure TAG members have a link to all of the meeting materials closer to the meeting date.


  • Contextualizing Skills and Competencies Task Group: New CTDL Terms Proposal
  • Expanding CTDL Learning Opportunity to specify Courses and Programs
  • Using CTDL to efficiently publish articulated transfer value

Please join us and if you have colleagues who may be interested, pass this email on to them to join the TAG and they’re welcome to join this meeting. We’ll have a couple more meetings with the TAG this year with the intent of them being highly informative and for getting feedback. We hope to see you soon!

Meeting Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021

Time: 12:00 pm ET / 11:00 am CT / 10:00 am MT / 9:00 am PT