The Issuer is an organisation that has structured badges around learning activities. This organisation might be very formal or informal - it is not expected that badge issuers are all innovative online education projects. It could be that very formal and well established organisations could adopt the Open Badge idea to inspire and recognise ongoing learning within their organisation. An issuer could also be an individual - a mentor, for example, that guides people through a learning process.
The issuer must construct a layered badge taxonomy - staging badges and connecting them to specific learning events.
Although the Mozilla site promoting Open Badges claims "Because of the OBI’s open infrastructure, it’s easy to become an issuer: just meet the required badge specifications."1 this is (unsurprisingly) a very technocentric assertion. Implementation of the technical infrastructure for managing badges is one thing and can be done quickly with good technical support - designing a good badge system for your organisation is not so easy and requires much more forethought in advance of the technical implementation. Since it is early days the best strategy is to either go it alone and design this yourself or join the OpenBadges list and draw on the resources and experience of those that have been through this process before.
Once the structure has been designed the issuing organisation must choose a solution for the issuing technology. So far there are 4 existing issuing applications which can be found at the OpenBadges github2 (a source code repository).
Issuing technology looks after four primary tasks: