Standard Working Group

Since 2014, this working group has focused on shaping the evolution of the Open Badge Specification. The goal of this group is move the specifications more toward a standard that’s clearer and easier to align with, maintain, and build from. In 2015, the Standard Working Group developed the v1.1 Open Badges Specification out of the findings generated by the 2014 cycle.

In January 2017, the Standard Working Group will conclude its 2016 cycle and hand off responsibility for the Open Badges Specification to a new Open Badges Working Group within IMS Global. See IMS Global Transition FAQ.

Chair/BA Liaison: Nate Otto, Badge Alliance Director of Technology

Communications: Standard Working Group Discussions

Standard discussions have occurred on two Google Group mailing lists over the course of Open Badges history. Use the current official list for current standards discussion.

The Open Badges Specification

The Standard Working Group is the official standards body for the Open Badges Specification. After discussion, all proposals to modify the specification are taken to the official Git repository as a pull request and made available for comment, review, and approval during BA Standard calls.

1st Cycle Standard Working Group Resources and Deliverables, 2014

For the first cycle from April to December 2014, the Standard Working Group focused on coming up with the best technological solution for adding metadata extensions to the current Open Badges Specification and baking the full BadgeClass object into the Assertion. This entailed the following:

And the following deliverables:

Badge Alliance Standard Working Group Charter

The Badge Alliance Standard Working Group is responsible for maintaining the collected standards that make up the Open Badges Infrastructure. This group has worked closely with other BA working groups (including Infrastructure and Endorsement) to translate features that emerge from those working groups into standards that are easy to build on and backwards compatible with existing standards.

Guiding Principles

The guiding goal of the Open Badges Specification matches the goal of the Open Badges project, which is to get recognition for skills you learn anywhere. Open Badges empower learners to store and display their achievements on any Open Badges compliant platform or application. Maintaining the Open Badges Specification is the responsibility of the Open Badges community, guided by the Badge Alliance and its member organizations. The guiding technology principles is to keep the specification easy to understand, easy to implement, and focused on the ability of the learner to control his/her data.

In Scope

The Standard Working Group is responsible for the ‘objects’ in the Open Badges Infrastructure. Examples include:

Out of Scope

The BA Standard Working Group isn’t responsible for discussions of platforms and specific implementations that rely on the specification.

Participation and Roles

Any individual or organization can participate in the BA Standard Working Group. The Badge Alliance appoints a working group chairperson and secretary, provides a BA liaison, and works with the chairperson to create a cabinet.


Proposed changes to any standard that fall under the scope of the BA Standard Working Group should be posted publicly and circulated through the group mailing list. A page should be created under the proposals page and current status tracked there.


Proposed changes to the Open Badges Specification will be presented by the proposer on the biweekly working group meeting. WG members in attendance are encouraged to ask questions and comment on the proposal in this meeting. The secretary will collect these comments and publish them to the working group mailing list. A method of providing comments outside the ‘in-person’ meeting will be arranged for each proposal.


In some cases, a proposal will be positively received, but need more detailed technical explanation. The chair and cabinet will appoint an investigation team to add necessary detail to the proposal.


To promote quality additions to the Open Badges Specification, features should be iterated on by proposers and WG members until consensus is reached in the full working group.

Decision Policy

The Badge Alliance values consensus building over voting. The chair, BA liaison, and cabinet are responsible to the working group as consensus builders and determine the priority of proposal presentation and discussions.