December 21, 2023

DCC Celebrates MyCredsTM’ Third Anniversary: A Journey Together of Innovation and Success

Happy Birthday MyCreds | MesCertif

Duklas Cornerstone Consulting is thrilled to join the celebration of MyCredsTM’ third birthday. This milestone marks a total of six years across a span of a decade in our journey helping the Canadian higher education community create this incredible network. We take immense pride in playing a lead founding role in creating and growing MyCredsTM as a support to learners and the higher education community and have been honoured to partner with national associations like ARUCC and PCCAT and service providers such as Digitary, and MATTR, each of whom are world leaders in the field of credential exchange.

DCC is proud to have been both an original volunteer founder starting in 2014 and subsequently, the project lead for creating MyCreds. We have played an instrumental role at every stage, including well before it came into being, by providing extensive higher education and systems expertise, overall program management, research, broadband consultation expertise, communications, finance and many other operational supports. Today, MyCreds is supporting 30%+ of the Canadian postsecondary audience, along with high school learners, apprentices, regulatory bodies and government partners. And we have achieved this with a team that is smaller than 15 full-time people. MyCreds is delivering online and virtual digital wallets to more than a million students across Canada and achieving returns on investment of 700%+ to the higher education sector through savings to postsecondary institutions and learners. Our work and collaboration have been characterized by passionate resolve focused on making real change, shared values, a commitment to excellence, and delivering a positive impact for citizens at significant scale.

Sample DCC contributions to MyCredsTM:

  • In 2014, Kathleen Massey introduced the concept of a national credential exchange network in Canada inspired by the work of the international Groningen Declaration Network community, forming a volunteer team with Joanne Duklas, Researcher and Consultant at DCC, Charmaine Hack, former registrar at Ryerson University, Dr. Rob Fleming, president of PCCAT at the time, and Dr. Robert Adamoski from BCCAT. This group and many others led government-funded research projects to identify the postsecondary landscape for exchange and the needed fundamentals to support 24/7 service delivery and fraud mitigation.
  • In 2017/18 and after stepping away from the project for a time, DCC returned and won the international Request For Proposal (RFP) from ARUCC. In these early days, DCC led research into the potential for a national credential exchange network and created the business case for change as well as conducted extensive national and international consultation across hundreds of experts on the potential opportunities and considerations to improve supports for learners. This was not an easy task. Canada is made up of 13 different provinces and territories across 20+ ministries of education with no national government ministry of higher education. Creating consensus across hundreds of colleges and universities and doing so in such a diverse regulatory context is highly unusual and demonstrates the capabilities, knowledge and expertise of the DCC team.
  • DCC joined as Network program manager in 2018 with Joanne Duklas as the executive lead. As one of the first actions, DCC worked with ARUCC to establish a national steering group in 2018 with representatives from ARUCC, PCCAT, CanPESC and CUCCIO. This group, along with DCC, immediately went to work identifying and assessing the project’s viability and beginning a multi-layered consultation and research process. With unanimous support gained from the colleges and universities through ARUCC, DCC then helped to organize and deliver a business case, international Request for Information, and an international Request for Proposal which resulted in bringing Digitary on board in June 2020 to help build the national network. DCC led this build process and provided many of the supports while capturing input and engagement from the technology service provider and the higher education community. Five months later, MyCreds | MesCertif launched supported by a comprehensive bilingual credential platform and comprehensive website and supports.
  • Since 2018, DCC has been actively supporting ARUCC MyCredsTM with overall executive leadership, the build and launch of MyCreds, establishing a deeply nuanced governance committee structure in which close to 200+ people participate regularly, developing and delivering a comprehensive and extensive annual communications and events outreach plan, supporting school onboarding, and designing and delivering the entire operational and multi million dollar financial infrastructure for MyCreds. DCC also designed custom environments including a CRM to help run MyCreds using maximum automation opportunities given its small team.

DCC has been responsible for identifying and capturing project support and grant funding in the millions of dollars and leading large scale innovative interoperability projects for MyCreds with organizations such as Interac, the Ontario government which involved delivering Ontario’s first virtual skills passport initiative, the federal treasury board, and many others.

Joanne Duklas won an international award for her work on MyCreds and her contributions to the digitization ecosystem from both the Netherlands based Groningen Declaration Network and the American based Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC). DCC is further proud that MyCreds won an international award for advancing student mobility from PESC.

As we look towards the future, Duklas Cornerstone Consulting remains committed to innovation, positive change, and contributing to the continued success of MyCredsTM, the higher education community, learner mobility and access, and the international digital ecosystem. With the appointment of Joanne Duklas as the Executive Director of the Groningen Declaration Network in the Netherlands in fall 2022, the team continues its work to evolve international supports for learners. We are excited to help MyCreds’s first inaugural executive director, Jodi Tavares, continue to move the Canadian Network’s story forward and join the higher education community in celebrating its third birthday.

by Joanne Duklas