Framework and Resources

What are Micro-credentials?

A micro-credential system provides educators the opportunity to gain recognition for professional skills they develop throughout their careers.  It focuses on competencies and empowering educators to engage with their content and guide their own learning opportunities by choosing the time, place, path, pace, and application of the micro-credentials. Micro-credentials contribute to an educational system that values the continuous development of professional skills and ongoing commitment to increase student achievement throughout an educator’s career. 

Earning FCPS Micro-credentials

Educators in the Vanguard Program must earn four micro-credentials each year to continue in the program. They may choose the order, pacing, and in many cases, path in which they earn the micro-credentials. Educators in the Vanguard Program must demonstrate each of their competencies by fulfilling the Vanguard Responsibilities as well as demonstrating capacities in other self-selected ways.  To demonstrate competencies and earn each micro-credential, Vanguards must submit 2-4 digital artifacts (required number and suggested tasks for each competency are listed in the Framework Overview) and reflect on them in terms of the growth in and mastery of each competency.

Micro-credentials can be submitted at any time, but will be reviewed at the end of each term. Two micro-credentials are due by February 1st. All four micro-credentials are due by May 1st.

A committee reviews the micro-credential submissions starting on the last day of the term.  All submissions received during that term will be reviewed during the following two weeks.  You will receive notification either way within a few days after the review period ends.     

FCPS Vanguard Digital Badges

For the FCPS Vanguard Program, badges will be issued on an ongoing basis.  At the end of each year, a badge showing graduation of the Vanguard level will be issued to Vanguards who show mastery in all four competencies.  These badges may be shared on social media, included in Vanguard email signatures, etc.

Micro-credential Submission Form

When educators believe they have mastered a competency and have the evidence and artifacts to demonstrate it, they should complete the Submission Form.  

Submission Docs

Use the appropriate submission doc for each of your micro-credential submissions.  

Vanguard Teacher 

Vanguard Leader

Vanguard Coach

The submission docs require Vanguards to:

Please review the micro-credentials rubric and the overview with examples chart to ensure that you have met the criteria for a successful submission.

FCPS Vanguard Micro-credentialing Framework

Focus on Competencies

A competency is “an underlying characteristic of an individual that is causally related to effective or superior performance (Boyatzis, 1982, p97).” These characteristics include enduring motives, traits, self-concepts, values, knowledge, and skills that can be assessed and differentiated. Effort has been made to articulate the competencies in the FCPS Framework in observable, evidence-based ways. The expectation is that educators will be able to use these competencies to demonstrate and advance mastery and get timely, meaningful, differentiated support.

Organization of the FCPS Framework

The FCPS Framework identifies 12 micro-competencies, which are organized into 4 larger competencies—mindset, instructional technology skills, teaching practices, and professional learning/networking skills.  These competencies are distinguished not only in content, but also in how they are developed in individuals. A brief description of each competency follows.

Vanguard Micro-credential Rubric