Recognising altruism with Open Badges

Learners do amazing things. They campaign passionately for specific causes, care for relatives and raise funds for charities. In their spare time they volunteer for local organisations, mentor others and learn skills such as sign language and first aid to help others. However, such altruistic activities often go unrecognised and there are limited means to evidence or share them with anyone.

By its very nature, altruism isn’t about self-promotion, but for certain career pathways like health and social care, public services and education, these activities demonstrate crucial qualities. Attributes such as empathy, emotional IQ and working with others also demonstrate other key skills such as reliability, commitment and passion but can’t be assessed through formal qualifications. Open Badges provide an ideal vehicle to define the criteria and record evidence of such activities and these help recruiters and registrars understand the commitment learners have shown to a particular cause.

At Sussex Downs College, we have addressed this gap using Open Badges by designing the Altruism Framework; a 12 badge framework that recognises specific altruistic activities and achievements.

Sussex Downs College Altruism Open Badge Framework

Local and Global Altruism

Our badges can grouped broadly into one of two categories, local and global.

Local altruism badges focus on activities that help a specific person or group of people and this group has badges that includes Mentor, First Aid or Lifesaver.

Global altruism recognises activities where the end beneficiaries may not be known and are focused on improving society. These include badges such as Fundraiser, Activist and Donor.

Of course, the opportunities for altruism are endless and we created a generic Altruism badge where earners can upload relevant evidence to be considered for a badge.

Sharing success

The framework was launched on our badge academy on 15 November 2016 and since then we’ve been delighted to hear how many learners have raised money for charity, volunteered for charities or campaigned for a cause.

Through the Altruism framework and Open Badges they can now earn the recognition they deserve.

For further information checkout our academy at or get in touch at