Badges are Digital image files with text metadata stating criteria for which the badge has been earned. Badges are (presently) self-certified by Learner or Earner and Self-certified by Provider or Issuer. Below are resources for a short session I ran for the Technology Experimentation Group (TEG).
Badges assert achievement usually for employment or engagement or further educational/CPD purposes.
Badges are hosted by Mozalla Foundation (or other using Open Badges Standard) in a “Backpack”. Credly is widely used. The backpack formalises trust between Responsible people. The backpack is a repository of badges. The Learner or Earner has an account with Mozilla Backpack or Credly and can control who sees what badges, usually publicly displayed.
Anyone can issue badges. A Provider or Issuer may be an Institution or a sole trader. An Institution may be 3rd sector, Private, Public, Educational, Government or a Department within any of these.
Here is Doug Belshaw doing badges in 4 minutes
And if you have far too much time on your hands you can watch the recording of a webinar (Adobe Connect) in which I stumble through the topic of badges