Getting Started

What to do if your Open Badge application is declined

You can apply again if your application for an Open Badge is declined. Before you do this, you must go through each of the steps below.

Step one – consider any feedback you got when we declined your application.

On occasion, we may give you feedback about why your application was declined. You will find this in the email we sent and on your badge application page. Use it to find out where you went wrong and keep it in mind as you go through each of the steps below.

Step two – read the criteria for the badge carefully.

You must meet the criteria before you can apply for the badge. Read each item in the criteria carefully, make sure that you meet these and undertake any tasks asked of you.

If the criteria ask you to work through a learning resource, give yourself enough time to complete the learning. You should not attempt to rush through an SSSC learning resource from cover to cover. Spread your learning out gradually over several days or weeks to help you remember and apply your learning in practice before applying for the badge.

Tip: Make sure that you are applying for the correct badge. When we decline applications, it is usually because the wrong badge was applied for.

Step three – read the evidence requirements for the badge carefully.

The evidence requirements for each badge are compulsory and you must make sure you understand these before submitting an application. It tells you what you must provide to show you meet the criteria for the badge. This includes information on how much to write and any additional material you might need to provide.

Tip:The evidence you provide is the most important part of your badge. It will be seen by anyone you show your badge to. They can use it to check whether you did the minimum to get the badge or whether you did exceptionally well.

Step four – make sure your evidence is in the correct style and format.

Use words like ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’ when writing about your learning. Avoid ‘you’, ‘our’ or ‘we’ as it is not clear whose learning you are talking about.

Do not summarise or repeat the content of a learning resource as if you were writing an essay. Instead you should write about some of the following.

  • Experience – describe the learning experience, what happened and when?
  • Knowledge – what do you know now that you did not know before?
  • Skills – what can you do now that you could not do before, or can do better now because of the learning?
  • Reflections – what were your feelings and thoughts? What did you do well? What would you do differently? What values did you use?
  • Application – how will you apply what you have learned?

Read our guide to preparing and publishing your evidence if you are still unsure about how to write about your learning.

Step five – ask your manager or a colleague to check your evidence.

Discuss the badge criteria, evidence requirements and the evidence you have prepared with your manager or a colleague before submitting another application. Ask them to check if it meets the criteria and give you feedback on what you need to change or include if it doesn’t.

Tip: Ask them to check your spelling and punctuation as well. Your application won’t be declined because of this, but the people you show your badge to might not be impressed by poor spelling and punctuation.

Amend and resubmit your application.

If you are confident that you have completed the steps above, amend your application for the badge and resubmit it. You will find a link to amend your application on the your badges page or in the email we sent when your application was declined.