Digital Research Skills Trainer Certification Guide

Are you a digital research skills trainer looking to get certified? Read this guide on what to consider before embarking on a certification pathway.

Who Is This Guide For?

  • Digital and data research skills trainers
  • Supervisors and managers of digital and data research skills trainers

Why Should I Consider Certification?


Validate your knowledge and skills


Be more findable by people searching for your skill set and more marketable

Future pathways

Establish a pathway for future professional development

Shared frame of reference

Provide national and international audiences with a shared frame of reference

How Are Certificates Awarded?


Competency-based certificates are awarded based on the learners’ ability to demonstrate a skill set and usually involves assessment against fixed criteria.


In instances where trainer certification is a prerequisite, admission into certain professional bodies or organisations automatically endorses one as a certified trainer.

Internship or apprenticeship

Some certifications are awarded on completion of an internship (often unpaid) or apprenticeship (often paid). Specific job-related skills gained during tenure are recognised.


Some certifications include certification levels, which are tied to your industry experience and your level of achievement in assessments.

Certification Considerations

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of courses, each selling their best features. In deciding a pathway for certification, it is useful to first determine which factors you value most. Here are some aspects of a course to consider:


Course content: some courses allow for customisation through unit selection. Does the course cater to a diverse range of learners and your preferred learning style?

Delivery: is this an in-person, online or hybrid course?


Is the certification sector specific?

How useful might the certification be if you were to change career pathways?


When was the last time the course was run?

Is the content likely to be current?


Certifications can be recognised at different levels: international, national and state.

Check that the certification is recognised in Australia if the course is offered by an overseas provider.

Shelf life

Some certifications expire after a fixed number of years.

How often do you need to be recertified in order to maintain currency?


Is the certification you’re interested in endorsed by the professional association you are part of?

Are there professional requirements you need to meet?


What does the certification look like?

Digital badging increases the visibility of your skill sets while micro-credentials allows you to stack your skills.


How much time are you able to invest in the course? Think about the length of the course, and remember to factor in the non-contact and self-study hours.


How will you be assessed?

Are credits or recognition of prior learning (RPL) offered?


How much is the course?

What kinds of financial help might you be able to access?

Theory or practice?

Is there a workplace learning component to the course?

Are there opportunities for practical delivery?

Who will be organising the practicum or work placement?

At a Glance: 10 Trainer Courses

This course is available to people in member organisations. Instructors can be given a sponsored seat in instructor training.



US$500 to 1000 per instructor


  • Internationally recognised
  • Instructor is qualified to teach data, software or library carpentry lessons


  • Qualified instructors are expected to peer-teach.

Learn more about The Carpentries’ Instructor Certification.

This course is for people teaching in higher education and geared towards certifying academics.


  • Reflect on teaching practice and submit a reflective report.


GBP100 to 200


  • Internationally recognised teaching qualification
  • Postnominals (letters after your name)


  • Possibly lengthy

Learn more about Advance HE’s UK HEA.

This is a requisite qualification for trainers and assessors working in the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector with Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).


  • 0.5 to 2 years to complete
  • Successfully complete 9 core units and one elective unit


Subsidised: approximately A$4910


  • Nationally recognised qualification in Australia
  • Ability to work as a trainer and/or an assessor in RTOs


  • Reaccreditation needed when units are updated.

Learn more about Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Based on the Carpentries Instructor Training, this bioinformatics-focused course has been widely delivered throughout the EU since 2016.


  • 2 full-days
  • Online version now developed with 4 half-days of training


Information not available


  • Opportunities to practise delivery and receive delivery feedback


  • Available to ELIXIR members (no precedence for external provision)

Learn more about ELIXIR-EXCELERATE Train-the-Trainer.

The organisation certifies trainers, centres and training materials and offers train-the-trainer programs.


  • Admission interview
  • 50 contact hours and 20 hours of self-study and assignments


Information not available


  • Caters to different career stages with 3 levels of trainer certification


  • Recertification needed every 3 years

Learn more about ICBT Certification.

This program is designed for trainers with some delivery experience and who wish to improve their online delivery.


  • 3 theory masterclasses and 2 practical sessions (all online)


Information not available


  • Choice between:
    • certification (proof of training completion) 
    • accreditation (demonstrated competence in delivery)


  • Check if the program is recognised in Australia.

Learn more about the Virtual Training Team’s Train-the-Trainer program.

This is a data trainer-specific course designed to help trainers build open data knowledge into their core specialist area.


  • Involves designing an open data training course
  • Includes a follow-up mentoring session


GBP1,470 plus VAT


  • Clarity in assessment and learning outcomes


  • Check if the course is recognised in Australia.
  • Frequency of course run

Learn more about the Open Data Institute’s Train-the-Trainer program.

This is a teaching course for established professionals transitioning from a practitioner to an educator in their field.


  • 0.5-year full-time study or equivalent
  • Includes workplace learning and practicum




  • Pathway to a Graduate Diploma and a Master’s degree
  • Practical course component


  • Commonwealth supported placement (CSP) is not available for this course.

Learn more about Charles Sturt University’s Graduate Certificate in Adult and Vocational Education.

The AITD offers courses ranging from short professional development courses and mentoring programs to bespoke courses.


  • Short courses: one-day in-person courses in CBD locations across Australia


Information not available


  • Multiple entry points for interested parties
  • Digital badging offered


  • Contact the AITD for online and hybrid delivery options

Learn more about the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD).

The AIM offers a range of courses including micro-credentials and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40116).


  • Short courses: one to 2 days
  • Mini MBA: 20 hours of online study, a 2-day in-person workshop and 2 short course electives


  • One-day course: A$716
  • Mini MBA: A$4,000


  • Multiple campuses Australia-wide
  • Choice of course electives for mini MBA


  • Private, Australian-based company

Learn more about the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).

A range of training courses can also be found on LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and edX.

The Next Step

For more information, read our full Digital Research Skills Trainer Certification Guide.

  • ARDC Ltd. (2023). Digital Research Skills Trainer Certification Guide.

    DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7587667

    Download Now
    Cover of the A R D C's Digital Research Skills Trainer Certification Guide

Did you find this resource useful?

Receive tailored updates on latest digital research news, events, resources, career opportunities and more.

I am Interested in
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Confirm what you are interested in:(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.