Credly vs Accredible: A Complete Comparison Guide

So, you’re looking for the best digital credential platform for your organisation, and have arrived at two of the biggest names in the industry: Credly and Accredible. Unfortunately, your work is not finished yet. You’re now faced with a tough question: which is better? To make this task easy, we’ve compiled all the information that you need into one article.

This guide will first provide a comprehensive overview of what each company offers, alongside the price tag that goes along with it. In the end, we’ll summarise how to decide which platform is for you, as well as - in case neither of them provide what you need - the alternative solutions that you may want to consider.


With that said, let’s get started


What is Credly?

Starting their operations back in 2012, Credly was a pioneer in digital credentialing. The company has subsequently grown to work with, and be well-reviewed by, large corporations across the United States. 

In addition to being able to create and issue digital credentials, users may also get access to some additional perks, including:

Credly's labour market insights features.
Credly's labour market insights.

What is Accredible?

Accredible is a popular platform for large organisations across the United States, providing them instant access to a comprehensive list of digital credentialing features. 

Alongside providing their users the necessary features to start digital credentialing, a number of additional features are included in their higher price tiers, for example:

Accredible's spotlight directory feature.
Accredible's spotlight directory features.

Credly vs Accredible: Certificates & Badges

It's important to note that there are two types of digital credential: digital certificates, and digital badges. So, what’s the difference between the two? As explained by the Mozilla Foundation, Badges are "a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality or interest”. Essentially, they are digital representations of the physical badges that, for a example, a boy scout might wear on his sleeve. In contrast to badges, however, digital certificates look more like traditional award certificates.

Examples of a digital badge and a digital certificate.
An example digital badge (left) and digital certificate (right) from VerifyEd.

Whether you need digital certificates, or if digital badges will suffice, depends entirely on what you intend to use your digital credentials for. On the one hand, digital certificates are able to provide a more comprehensive overview of the data, and therefore the meaning, associated with a certificate. Because of this, if you want your learners to possess a more holistic representation of their achievements - for example, in order to show to employers in a job application process - you may want to look into digital certification over digital badging.

On the other hand, digital badges are still a great way to motivate learning, and display a learner’s subsequent achievements. Although digital certificates may display more comprehensive details of an achievement, some organisations prefer this type of digital credential due to its increased 'shareability', with badges having the ability to be embedded easily in more places, such as on social media profiles and email signatures.

Examples of digital badges embedded into an email signature.
An example email signature with embedded badges.

Credly Certificates & Badges

Credly offers both digital certificates and digital badges, however their platform is centred around the latter, and does not offer much in terms of functionality when it comes to certification.

Credly digital badges

The main type of credentials that Credly provides are digital ‘badges’, i.e. small symbols used to represent achievements, as shown below.

The Credly Acclaim Platform's digital badges.
Examples of Credly's digital badges.

Credly digital certificates

Although Credly does offer digital certificates, upon using the platform it becomes apparent that it is not their focus. The only functionality they provide in this regard is, if enabled by the issuing organisation, a recipient can opt to download a certificate version of their badge. Not only do these certificates not display much information on the meaning of the certificate, but they are also only available in PDF format. This leads to a lack of shareability and interactivity of their certificates.

The Credly Acclaim Platform's digital certificate example.
An example of Credly's PDF certificates.

This is in stark contrast to advanced digital certificates, as shown below. Not only does it display information about modules, the associated course, skills developed etc., but it can also be shared through a link.

An advanced digital certificate.
An example of VerifyEd's digital certificates.

Accredible Certificates & Badges

Accredible also allows their users to issue both digital certificates and badges. We think they provide better tools for badge creation and issuance, but their certificate functionality is definitely sufficient to use, which is a step up from Credly.

Accredible digital badges

Accredible allows their users to create badges with their ‘badge designer’ feature. These customised badges can then, as expected, be embedded and shared across platforms.

Accredible's digital badge designer.
Accredible's badge designer

Accredible digital certificates

Accredible offers their users the ability to create digital ‘certificates’. As shown below, these credentials are very similar to that of a traditional, printed certificate, but with all the benefits of digitalisation.

Accredible's digital certificate profile example.
Accredible's Certificate View

Although these can also be customised like their badges, from what we’ve seen the finished designs always seem to lack a professional aesthetic.

So, that's the overview, but what features does each platform offer specifically?

Credly vs Accredible: Platform and Features

Now let’s dive into the the tools that these organisations provide under the four main areas of digital credentialing: design, issuance, management, and verification. Both the Credly and Accredible platforms offer features under these headings, but the type and quality of these tools differ completely, so it's important to have a complete understanding on what these solutions provide before deciding on a platform.

Designing Credentials

The ability to customise your credentials is becoming highly demanded by organisations, and both Credly and Accredible do it right.

Credly

Credly leads the way in badge design. Offering users access to over 3000 different icons,  badges are completely customisable, and can be easily tailored to best represent your course and organisation.

The Credly Acclaim Platform's digital badge designer.
Credly's digital badge designer.

Accredible

Similarly, one amazing thing about the Accredible platform is the 1000s of templates that they provide for their users. This is perfect if you do not need to customise the design of your certificates as you are able to start issuing digital credentials to your users very quickly. In contrast to digital badges, you can also incorporate your branding into the design - perfect for creating brand awareness and increasing the reach of your course.


Issuing credentials

Efficient issuance is key to reducing the time associated with credentialing processes, particularly through ‘bulk-uploading’. Both platforms offer this, however one does it far better.

Credly

One area that many Credly customers feel lets the platform down is its usability. Because Credly has seemingly tailored their solutions to large enterprises, there is a large amount of complexity involved, with even big corporations complaining about its processes: 41% of reviews on Cuspera didn’t rate Credly highly for the quality of its data import function, a key aspect of certificate automation.

A Credly review.
A Credly review on TrustRadius (2021).


This could be a deterrent for smaller organisations, as well as those looking to maximise efficiencies in their team.

Accredible

On the other hand, we love how Accredible do issuing. The efficiencies found in automation of digital certificate processes are a huge benefit to many teams. - this is easy to achieve with Accredible through their simple and efficient process, as frequently seen in their reviews.

An Accredible review.
An Accredible review on G2 (2021).

Managing Credentials

The ‘user profile’ allows users to take full ownership of their credentials. Here, they can store their entire achievement history in one place, as well as easily share them with third-parties, for example employers, through a link - like this one here. This is a valuable tool for companies looking to maximise the lifelong value of their certificates for their users; if this is you, Credly may be a better option.

Credly

After receiving a notification email of their award from Credly, users can create an account and accept their badge, and add it to their own user profile. Here, they can easily manage and share their hard-earned achievements. Simple, effective, and available to all users - nice. 


A Credly Acclaim Platform example profile.
An example Credly user profile.

Accredible

Accredible does offer a version of the user profile called the ‘digital wallet’. However, the point here goes to Credly as Accredible does not offer this functionality to all of their customers - it is only unlocked at higher price tiers. This is a huge limitation to the platform as it is a highly demanded, and valuable, feature that is offered as standard by alternatives. 


Verifying Credentials

Both companies are hindered by one aspect: the verifiability and security of their credentials. Now, both Credly and Accredible do offer some users the ability to put their credentials on the blockchain. Great! Because of this, certificates can be made secure, and can be more easily verified than solutions that do not use this technology. 

However, this blockchain verification is not standard for all their credentials, and is only provided for certain users. In our opinion, the verification process of certificates is also unnecessarily complicated and extremely long-winded.


Accredible's blockchain verification process.
Accredible's Blockchain Verification Process


This is a stark contrast to some alternatives that make verification automatic and instant when viewing a credential.

An advanced blockchain verification process.
VerifyEd's Certificate View and Verification Process


On top of this, they have also chosen to use Bitcoin as their blockchain, and so issuing each certificate is made less sustainable. If data security, fast verification, and sustainability are top priorities at your organisation, you may be able to better achieve your goals through alternative solutions.


Credly vs Accredible: Pricing

So, we've covered what you get with each platform, but how much will these features set you back? Credly and Accredible have different pricing structures; which one is optimal for you depends entirely on your company and objectives. It is possible that both pricing options, however, may prove to be a deterrent for some organisations due to their lack of transparency and flexibility.

Credly Pricing

A potential downside to Credly is their lack of transparency in their pricing model. In order to find out how much their software will set you back, and what features you will have access to, you will have to contact their sales team. As the company offers multiple products, each requiring separate sign-ons, it is possible that there may be additional costs associated with gaining access to different features. As no free trial or freemium version are offered on their website, this may be a deterrent for smaller organisations, and those looking to start issuing fast.


Accredible Pricing

We appreciate Accredible’s transparency when it comes to the cost of their software. Their four ‘tiers’ allow users to more clearly see what features they will get access to, and their free tier allowing you to test their software is definitely a plus.

Accredible's pricing structure.
Accredible's pricing structure.


This ‘packaging’ pricing structure is not well suited for everyone due to the lack of flexibility that comes with. Firstly, it means that not all users have complete access to the platform. Customers unlock more features and increased user limits at respective price tiers, and only gain full access to the platform at the ‘premium’ tier. Because of this, smaller organisations may prefer the pay-per-user model offered by alternatives so that they can better trial the software and ensure ROI, as the lack of features and scale provided in their free plan may limit their ability to do so effectively.

However, for those planning on issuing to 8,000 or more unique users from the beginning, Accredible certainly provides a comprehensive list of features, including all the bells and whistles that you need to start credentialing.


Credly vs Accredible: who wins?

So, with all that being said, which is better? Credly or Accredible? Of course, the answer is: it depends on what you need.

When you should go for Credly

Credly is a viable option for those looking to offer digital badges, providing you instant access to all the tools you need to start issuing. Credly may also be a better option if providing your users ownership over a digital achievement record - through ‘user profiles’ - is important to you.

When you should go for Accredible

The complexities associated with Credly’s platform, however, may make it less suited for smaller organisations, and those looking to get started fast. On the other hand, Accredible’s transparent pricing model and customisable templates makes getting started much easier, so that you can issue credentials to your users faster. 

When you should look for another solution

If any aspects of what these solutions offer aren't in line with your organisational goals, then be sure to check out alternative solutions - there’s lots of them!

Naturally, we recommend our platform - VerifyEd - designed to fill all the gaps of Credly and Accredible, offering:

Want to learn more about what was discussed in this article, or digital credentialing platforms in general? Book a call with one of our team - we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Examples of credentials on VerifyEd.