Digital Assess Wants to Use Blockchain Technology to Replace Paper Qualifications

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Education technology firm Digital Assess is bringing Blockchain technology to the vocational skills market for the first time, with its Skills Blockchain project.  Funded by the Ufi Charitable Trust, the project is part of a five-year strategy that aims to deliver an increase in the scale of vocational learning.

The project aims to demonstrate how – and more importantly why – Blockchain technology should be used by an accreditation organisation to replace traditional paper certificates.  Blockchain means that anyone can readily check, via an online portal, the validity of a certificate. This is of immense value to universities and employers, as it provides quick assurance of the academic credentials of a candidate.

Within the further education sector itself, the Skills Blockchain project aims to provide learners with a digital audit trail of their achievements via work and home learning, as well as formal learning through existing providers and awarding organisations.

Digital Assess will partner with awarding organisations including its own parent company Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), opening up access to the 4.5 million students completing Further Education in the UK.

Tony Wheeler, head of innovation, at Digital Assess said,

“The current system of accreditation is not fit for purpose, and it is time to bring it in line with the technology of the 21st century. Paper based qualifications can be lost, stolen or even fraudulently reproduced. Using Blockchain technology can give learners a digital audit trail of achievements and gives employers the transparency and trust that they desire.”

He went on to say:

“The vocational education sector continues to pioneer cutting edge learning and assessment models, and employers need to be confident that qualifications can be truly relied upon. Blockchain technology is commonly associated with the financial sector, so this project is another example of the vocational education sector driving innovation, with the needs of the learner at the forefront of the project.”

Alan Woods, CEO of VTCT, partners on the project added:

“The vocational, technical and professional end of the education sector has always led the way in embracing technology and innovation. We hope that this concept will prove itself and become accepted as standard, from schools all the way through to lifelong learning.”

“The bigger picture to this project is that anyone, whether they may be from an employer or university, will have the ability to check the validity of a certificate giving people more confidence in the qualifications.”

The proof of concept was completed in 2017 and it is hoped that Skills Blockchain will provide an international ledger of educational achievement that can be mined, verified and distributed securely across the vocational market.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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