digital badges education

Accredible vs. Credly: Expert Breakdown

Giovanna Pergher
Anja Milovanović

Writer

Nov 17, 2021
10 min

These two platforms collect a lot of praise. However, you’ll eventually need to pick a side, and that’s what we’re trying to help with.

Comparing Accredible vs. Credly wasn’t an easy task; let me tell you that. 

These two platforms collect praise like Pokemon. However, you’ll eventually need to pick a side, and that’s what we’re trying to help with.

Below you’ll find an expert breakdown of Accredible and Credly. Both of these platforms contain the following features, in one form or another:

  • Ability to create and manage digital credentials — (certificates and badges) and participants;
  • Credential safety measures — (GDPR, ISO, VPAT), guaranteeing data security and credential authenticity;
  • Rich design and social sharing capabilities — to make the brand stand out and serve as another marketing channel;
  • Career insights — to put the certificate/badge ownership into context, so owners can see the way they give them a push on the job market.

You will get to learn their differences, how they compare, which one to pick according to your needs, use cases, and budget, and are there any considerable flaws you need to consider before making a decision. 

Spoiler alert: there are. You heard that right — these tools aren’t perfect; but, there’s a way to fill in their gaps with something else. 

Stick around to find out how. 🧐

Accredible: General Info

Accredible has an enviable rating across software review websites (4.8/10 ★ on G2, 8.9/10 ★ on TrustRadius) and is a trustworthy digital certificate/badge issuing platform.

  • Digital credentials issued by Accredible are an apt solution for businesses and organizations, mid-sized and larger. 
  • Certificates and badges can be tried out and tested first: via Open Badge Designer and Example Credential, which can be found on Accredible Resources. 
  • They are shareable on social media and put special emphasis on security. Digital credentials are recorded on the blockchain with “bank-level” encryption.
  • Accredible users can tap into the marketing analytics dashboard and see the engagement badge recipients create when they share their badges. 

Credly Digital Credentials: General Info

Credly is an enterprise-tier platform that provides a wide range of digital credential solutions. 

With 4.9/10 ★ on G2 and 8.7/10 ★ on Trustradius, Credly seems to be a good match for many users. 

  • Companies, employers, and institutions can use Credly to train, award, and certify employers, students, or course participants.
  • Certificates and badges aren’t locked to the issuer; like with Accredible, recipients have complete control over badges. They can share them after terminating the contract/completing the education. Badges made with Credly also comply with the Open Badges Standard.
  • Credentials are shareable on social media, including LinkedIn, helping the owners build and advance their careers. 

Accredible vs. Credly: Use Cases

Accredible provides multiple features for platform users, in addition to full-scope digital credential creation and management. Here are the most interesting features to consider:

  • Digital Wallet Cards — Storing digital credentials on mobile devices makes it easy for professionals to provide proof on sight; these digital membership cards are more safe and effective than physical tokens.
  • Premium White Labelling Package — Rich customization options to match the credentials’ look and feel to the website branding:
  • Spotlight directory — A hub which employers can browse in search for the candidates who have certain skills, detectable by certificates and badges they hold:

Job Market Insights is the other side of the coin — it shows the recipients how their respective certificates make them more desirable on the job market. Job Insight Data uses machine learning to match credentials with real-time job data from around the world.

Credly is comprised of several (seemingly separate) products:

  • Credly Acclaim — A platform for creating, managing, and monitoring certificates and badges.
    Credly Acclaim uses Metadata Mapping to provide context and differentiate badges by adding various skills and attributes, to show what it really means to possess a particular certificate or a badge.

Social sharing expands the brand reach and drives more traffic to the credential issuing entity.



Finally, Labor Market Insights puts credential ownership into real-life perspective and helps participants take the next academic/business decision, according to the current market state.

  • Credly 360 — This feature gives employers a full, 360-degree view of employees’ skills, achievements, and opportunities for improvement.
    Enterprise-class security includes ISO certifications, GDPR, and VPAT compliance, making sure the data remains safe.
  • Credly Data Services — Real-time data updates on issued, renewed, expired, and revoked credentials, with the option to grant and revoke permissions and take care of privacy at all times.

It is confusing to divide the whole platform this way. Each of these products is a must-have for a complete, full-circle experience. Moreover, logins for Credly and Credly Acclaim are separate.

As Credly doesn’t reveal their pricing plans, it may very well be the case that all of these features need to be purchased individually. 🤔

Accredible vs. Credly: Ease of Use

Accredible lets the wider audience take a look at how things work with Open Badge Designer:

Badge designer is easy to use, with a template library covering the basics.

Credly, on the other hand, has no free plans, trial versions, or demo; the only way to get a full look is through their Help Center.

The dashboard seems pretty straightforward upon the first look:

Built-in badge designer doesn’t differ much from the one Accredible has, with plain designs suitable for quick badge-making.

Accredible vs. Credly: Business Size

Accredible is a comprehensive platform with enough versatility to cover SMBs, non-profits, educational and other institutions. Although it is easy to use, the pricing and complexity of features make Accredible too big of a bite for individuals who are only starting to use digital credential issuing as a part of their business/learning strategy.

Credly is a platform made with larger entities in mind: professional associations, job boards, high education institutions, and enterprises. Small and medium-sized businesses, as well as individuals issuing certificates for their courses, will probably find Credly too complex for their needs; sometimes, less is more.

Accredible vs. Credly: Price Comparison

Accredible has completely transparent pricing plans:

The Pricing is based on a unique recipient. This can be good if your plan includes awarding multiple certificates per individual.

Still, there are some flaws to consider when it comes to pricing plans. 

The Free plan doesn’t have the “plan” feel. It allows the interested parties to test the waters before opting for something expensive, but it only allows up to 20 unique certificate/badge recipients per year. Demo? Sure, a good one at that. But not so much of a real business plan.

The Lite is the least expensive option, but it’s not inexpensive. 

Mid-tiers are missing; between Free Plan and Lite can fit many use cases.

In the end, it’s also important to note that only with the Premium plan you get access to everything Accredible has to offer.

Where Credly fails to deliver?

Credly has several flaws that make using it (or trying to use it) a headache:

  • Lack of transparency — Credly’s pricing seems to be a well-kept secret. Nowhere online can you find what the pricing plans look like and how much it costs to use Credly. Also, there is no way to see the platform in action or to test it out whenever you want. This lack of transparency is a huge turnoff.
    The only way to find out is to reach out to Credly via the contact form on the pricing page and wait for them to respond. 

Accredible, on the other hand, has full transparency regarding pricing and usage.

  • Enterprise-tier only — This doesn’t make Credly bad, just unnecessary in plenty of cases. Credly has the capacity to be scalable, but only upwards. Scaling down doesn’t seem practical, and it would be better to switch to another digital certificate and badge provider.

Individuals such as coaches, educators, smaller course creators, and SMBs will be better of with Accredible.

  • Not so easy to use — Handling the metadata requires some skills and takes time to get a hold of it. Moreover, some TrustRadius reviews imply that badge creating process could be a lot easier:

Source: trustradius.com

All in all, Accredible is easier to use, fits more use cases as it is more scalable, and it only takes visiting their website to learn about the pricing plans, with full transparency.

Accredible isn’t as perfect as it seems

In some cases, Accredible works better than Credly, but it may disappoint in other fields:

  • Expired certificate fees — Re-issuing an expiring certificate costs extra:
  • Credly wins the “enterprise game” — Accredible hits the sweet spot in between. It’s too expensive for small businesses and individuals, and not powerful enough to cover large industries. That’s where Credly wins.
  • Lack of pricing flexibility — There’s plenty of space between the Free plan, which only includes 20 recipients, and the Lite plan with up to 1.000 recipients and a poor feature pack compared to the Plus and Premium plan. It could bridge the gap between “small” educators/content creators and businesses earning more profit.

None of these feel quite right? Virtualbadge.io might be what you need.

Let us introduce Virtualbadge.io, the meticulously crafted software to fill in the gaps of Accredible, Credly, and similar digitals credentials apps.

Coaches, trainers, online academies, and companies might find this one better than Credly and Accredible:

  1. It’s even easier to use than Accredible with richer design options;
  2. Virtualbadge.io is completely scalable and grows as you grow, from a one-man show to industry leader;
  3. Flexible tiers that correspond to all business sizes:

Everything is completely transparent, and our team is ready to answer all your questions — so you can start issuing these badges and increasing your visibility online. 💪


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