Problem Solving

Problem Solving

Careercred.com provides a national framework and badge system for employability skills.

Problem Solving is one of the careercred and CBI (Confederation of British Industry) core skills for the workplace. This badge is about your ability to analyse facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and your ability to identify and select appropriate solutions.

[Open criteria in new window]

To earn this badge you need to demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Ability to apply systematic approaches to problem solving to include identifying and analysing the problem
  • Ability to apply systematic approaches to decision making to include identifying a range of alternative options and selecting an appropriate solution
  • Ability to think imaginatively, to be innovative and take risks
  • Ability to evaluate solutions and reflect on the problem solving process

To demonstrate these abilities you must complete the following FOUR tasks:

  1. Identify the root cause of a problem
  2. Justify a decision by using a decision matrix tool
  3. Create a mindmap
  4. Assess your problem solving ability

Further information and guidance concerning these tasks, including templates to complete, can be found on the badge application page and also on the Communication Badge page on the careercred website.


To earn the Careercred Problem Solving Badge you must complete the FOUR missions listed below.

Information and guidance

Remember, if you are awarded this badge, the evidence you provide will be attached to the digital badge. You may want to display your badge (and the evidence you provide in this form) to employers and other interested parties. So ensure that you are happy that any evidence you provide is a genuine reflection of you, your skills and achievements.



__________________________________________ MISSION 1 - IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSE OF A PROBLEM __________________________________________ This mission asks you to use the 5 Whys method to identify the root cause of a problem. You need to complete at least 3 Whys and up to 7 Whys are provided.

Describe your problem in terms of the unwanted effects that can be observed. This might be problem related to working with others, your learning, your work, with a product or process or any other type of problem.

__________________________________________ MISSION 2 - CREATE A MINDMAP __________________________________________ Create a mindmap at https://bubbl.us/. Export the mindmap as a png file and load below. (You can use alternative mindmapping tools if you desire but we think bubbl is the simplest to use.) Your mindmap represents a brainstorm of ideas around a particular topic or problem. You might want to brainstorm solutions to the problem identified in Mission 1.

Load your mindmap here

__________________________________________ MISSION 3 - COMPLETE A DECISION MATRIX ANALYSIS __________________________________________ Identify a decision that you need to make. Use the Decision Matrix Analysis template to help you make the right decision. Download the template here: http://careercred.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Decision-Matrix.xlsx

Load your completed decision matrix analysis here

__________________________________________ MISSION 4 - ASSESS YOUR PROBLEM SOLVING ABILITIES __________________________________________ Rate your ability on the five point scale below on each of the FOUR Problem Solving abilities. Then, justify and support your ratings by completing parts A, B, C in the textboxes below.

Part A is analytical, not descriptive. You should justify your assessment of your skills by analysing the evidence that you submitted to complete the missions. When re-considering the missions you have completed you might reconsider what went well or what went badly and seek to analyse the reasons why they went well or badly and what the consequences were for your own skills development.
In Part B you should sum up what you have learnt about yourself as a result of completing the missions and this self-assessment exercise. What did you learn about your current level of knowledge or competence? What could or should you have done differently? What stopped you from doing this?
Part C should build on Parts A and B to identify the main areas for improvement and describe specific actions designed to address these areas. Your action plan should flow naturally from the conclusions you reached in Part B. Where your conclusions identified areas for improvement, these should be addressed in the action plan. Even where the learning and development experience was positive you should identify how you can improve further. You should justify the selected actions by explaining why you plan to do them and what outcome you hope to achieve.
- or -