Digitally-signed credentials

Digitally-signed credentials are electronic records given to a person to certify the learning they have received. Learning includes formal education, training, an online course, volunteering experience and more. They are for example awarded by a university, a school, an employer or a vocational training institute. Degrees, diplomas and certificates of participation can be provided as digitally-signed credentials. They provide recognition to learning outcomes achieved throughout an individual’s life. 

Ongoing work

The experts within the Europass team are actively seeking early adopters and engaging with stakeholders. They are presenting and promoting the framework to its potential users in many EU countries.

 

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Context  

  • Action three of the Digital Education Action plan proposes the integration of digitally-signed qualifications in Europass. 
  • The EU Decision 2018/ 646 takes it further in Article 4(6) by specifying that the " Europass shall support authentication services for any digital documents or representations of information on skills and qualifications". 

Who can benefit from Digitally-signed credentials?

Digitally-signed credentials are useful to different stakeholders for different purposes. Indiviudals, universities, vocational training institutes and employers can benefit from this service.

Credential owners

Learners and Job seekers are examples of credential owners. They own and hold their digitally-signed credentials. They can:

  • Store the original copy of a digitally-signed credential in their wallet. They will not need to rely on any third party to receive ‘notarised’ or ‘verified’ copies.
  • Create a single portfolio of all learning achievements across a lifetime in a standardised format;
  • Experience a more efficient, paperless application procedure to learning and employment opportunities; and
  • Decide how much and with whom to share information in their portfolio

Issuers

Universities, employers or vocational training institutes are examples of issuers who will be able to:

  • Reduce the cost of issuing secure credentials;
  • Eliminate administration work involved in verifying credentials; and
  • Automatic support of EU recognition instruments and data privacy best practices.

Employers and other organisations

The recipients of the digitally-signed credentials such as recruiters or admission services of education institutions will experience the advantages of having:

  • Better efficiency in processing recruitment applications as digitally-signed credentials are standardised and paperless;
  • Automatic detection of tampered or fake credentials;
  • Increased transparency of credentials.

How does it work?

Read more about the other work strands of the new Europass:

e-Portfolio   Information Provision    Interoperability