The last piece of the above puzzle that is missing is an institution, with reputation, that will open up its assessment mechanisms and allow anyone to gain a qualification. It may be necessary for such an institution to charge in order to recover the administration and assessment costs (e.g. markers). But such a charge would typically be a small fraction of the current cost of education.
Such a shift could be revolutionary, as more people would be able to access qualifications that are currently the reserve of the rich, or those willing to brave significant debt. In widening the pool of candidates, the institutions could afford to make the assessment more taxing.