Climate Action Fundamentals: Foundations Microcredential

The Climate Action Fundamentals(CAF): Foundations Micro-credential is focused on supporting professionals developing competencies related to ability to integrate climate considerations, and specifically climate-adaptation considerations in their work. This micro-credential is designed for professionals and front-line workers in corporate, government, small-business, consulting services and non-governmental organisations who are new to understanding climate impacts and the implications for infrastructure, natural systems, organisations, communities and society.

No single micro-credential can provide professionals with the complex suite of competencies necessary for planning, initiating, and evaluating climate adaptation. This micro-credential provides a way to start doing that work. 

The CAF: Foundations microcredential focuses on core competencies aligned with the Climate Adaptation Competency Framework, developed at Royal Roads University’s Resilience by Design lab as part of the lab’s Adaptation Learning Network (ALN). These include competencies associated with:

  • an applied understanding of climate science; 
  • developing an understanding of Indigenous worldviews and the relational skills necessary to working in good ways with and within Indigenous contexts;
  • leading in contexts of change and uncertainty; 
  • other dimensions of climate adaptation work that are built in a series of electives that explore and support the development of competencies associated with working with climate policy, nature-based solutions, climate-informed project management, climate communication, and the business side of climate adaptation.

This micro-credential is the first in a series of micro-credentials offered through Royal Roads University’s Professional and Continuing Studies that advances climate action skills and competencies for working professionals. 

Building capacity for advancing climate change-related leadership has become a critical workforce development requirement for professionals and front-line workers. 

There is an urgent need to address the deepening impacts and risks of climate change. Workers require accredited skills that can be developed quickly and conveniently. 

The CAF: Foundations Micro-credential responds to these urgent requirements and helps to foster a peer network for participants, across sectors,  organisations, and professional communities.

The CAF: Foundations Micro-credential is based on a collection of integrated courses, all developed using an open educational pedagogical approach through the Resilience By Design’s Adaptation Learning Network (ALN) project, in the period 2019 – 2021. The ALN project was funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The ALN project was complemented by additional funds from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skill, and Training for the work on micro-credentials.


Climate Adaptation Competency Framework (CACF)

In addition to developing courses and Micro-credentials, the Resilience By Design developed the Climate Adaptation Competency Framework (CACF) as part of their ALN project. This open-competency framework was based on extensive desktop research, and the input and insights of over 27  national and global climate adaptation practitioners, subject matter experts, and research findings. The five competency domains of the CACF are:

  1. Climate Adaptation Science & Practice Literacy
  2. Climate Adaptation Leadership
  3. Working Together in Climate Adaptation
  4. Understanding the Climate Adaptation Challenge
  5. Climate Adaptation Planning & Implementation

Each of these domains includes four to six competencies, resulting in a total of 24 competencies in the framework.

These 24 competencies informed the development of a suite of courses offered as part of the CAF: Foundations Microcredential. The Microcredentials is made up of two required courses, and two of the offered elective courses.

  1. Climate Change Adaptation Fundamentals (Required)
  2. Indigenous Knowledges and Perspectives on Climate Adaptation (Required)
  3. Transition Leadership 1 (Elective)
  4. Natural Asset Management 1 (Elective)
  5. Climate Finance 1 (Elective)
  6. Climate Communications 1 (Elective)
  7. Climate Policy 1 (Elective)

Workplace environments are becoming increasingly defined by performance frameworks which require ongoing professional learning: individuals are being encouraged and offered motivation by their employers to demonstrate their capabilities and commitment to professional growth. 

Micro-credentials enable a clear demonstration of what skills and knowledge (i.e., competencies) individuals have and can offer, while also serving to empower individuals to develop their professional portfolios with recognized, short, credentials. By providing focused, and short credentialing opportunities, micro-credentialing provides a means for recognizing and reinforcing workforce capabilities to deal with emerging needs, such as climate adaptation.