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


CTDL Webinar: Getting to know and use CTDL
Posted on 2/28/2023

You’re Invited to a CTDL Webinar: Get to know and use CTDL

As a follow up to the first Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) Advisory Group (CAG), a CTDL Webinar has been scheduled for March 21, 2023 at 11 AM ET (see the world clock for your time zone) that will go deeper into the design of the CTDL and how anyone can use it.

This webinar is open to all CAG Members and anyone else interested in getting to know and use CTDL. The topics build off the introduction to CTDL covered with the February 14th CAG meeting.

The webinar topics will cover:

  • Introduction to the CTDL Handbook
  • Important background information
  • Examples of using CTDL
  • Questions and answers

To join the webinar, please register. If you cannot make the webinar, the webinar will be recorded and made available as public information.


Invitation for Participation in Credential Engine’s New CTDL “Support Services” Task Group
Posted on 1/24/2023

Credential Engine follows a clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the Credential Transparency Description Language (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 Support Services Task Group (SSTG). This Task Group will focus on data that includes learner supports to enter into, navigate,and successfully complete credentialing programs including pre-enrollment, post-enrollment, and post-exit. It will also consider demographic information with outcome data, and other types of information about how organizations develop and implement policies related to equitable access and outcomes. The work of this task group supports the goals and recommendations of Credential Engine’s Equity Advisory Council, state partners, and other agencies and organizations who are working to improve the learn and work data ecosystem.

The Support Services Task Group will build off the recommendations from the Credential Engine’s Equity Advisory Council. This Council has been working for over a year to form recommendations for CTDL expansion and for communicating the importance and value of publishing data to the Credential Registry that helps with equity challenges.

The SSTG will:

  • Review and expand upon use cases developed by the Equity Advisory Council.
  • Provide real data examples that support use cases.
  • Provide input to expand the CTDL domain model and create additional CTDL terms where necessary to address actionable use cases.

Who: Prior knowledge of CTDL is appreciated by not required. Credential Engine encourages subject matter and technical experts in the following areas, both in and outside the U.S., to join the SSTG. The SSTG is for:

  1. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who define or deliver support services for a diverse student population;
  2. SMEs who define or deliver outcome data that helps students and educators understand barriers for a diverse student population and how they matriculate in career pathway, and
  3. SMEs that develop and communicate equity policies, and (4) SMEs that utilize support services, outcome data, and/or knowledge of equity policies to ensure success of a diverse student population.

When and Where: The SSTG will hold its first meeting on February 9, 2023. There will be approximately six virtual (Zoom) meetings held every other week for one hour, and conclude in April 2022. Below is the proposed meeting schedule. Meetings are scheduled for 11 am ET / 10 am CT / 9 am MT / 8 am PT. Use the World Clock to see more time zones.

  • Thursday, February 9th @@ 8 AM PT
  • Thursday, February 23rd @@ 8 AM PT
  • Thursday, March 9th @@ 8 AM PT
  • Thursday, March 23rd @@ 8 AM PT
  • Thursday, April 6th @@ 8 AM PT
  • Thursday, April 20th @@ 8 AM PT

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

Outcomes: The final products of this work include the expanded use cases, real-world data examples, and relevant CTDL domain model and terms with definitions. All outputs from the process are all public information made available under open licenses.

Processes: The process utilized to ensure timely and usable outcomes from Task Groups is well established and successful. The resultant outputs will be reviewed via an open webinar for Credential Engines’ advisory group members and other stakeholders followed by a public 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 standards and Handbook will be updated along with the Credential Registry publishing and consuming tools. The Registry and related tools and resources are freely available for publishing data to the Credential Registry.

If you’re interested in joining the Support Services Task Group, please use the sign up form.

If you have any questions, please let us know via

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!