Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure

The Commission is currently working on a technical infrastructure that organisations can use to issue digital credentials across the EU. This technical infrastructure could be used by the Member States and various stakeholders when issuing Europass Digital Credentials to learners. IT systems of awarding bodies, for example, could implement this infrastructure to create diplomas and certificates for students. The Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure provides a secure, trustworthy and fraud-resistant system that ensures data privacy and data protection.

A common technical approach for issuing Europass Digital Credentials ensures that certificates from one Member State can be understood and verified in any other. Learners, employers, education and training providers and other bodies will be able to check that certificates and other qualifications are valid and authentic. They can also have easy access to background information on a certificate or qualification.

Who can benefit from the Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure (EDCI)?

EDCI facilitates the issuing, viewing and automatic verification of credentials. These functions will benefit a wide range of stakeholders, including individuals, universities, vocational training providers and employers. The infrastructure can ensure:

  • a common understanding of qualifications and types of certifications across and beyond the European Union;
  • that qualifications, competences and skills can be easily identified and understood by any EU Member State.

The infrastructure can also:

  • Improve transparency and portability of qualifications and skills between countries;
  • Reduce administrative burden for citizens, learning providers and employers;
  • Make tampering and credential-fraud easily identifiable;
  • Empower people to own and control their own credentials; and
  • Contribute towards digitisation of government processes.

Issuers can:

  • Identify the individual who is going to be awarded a certificate documenting her/his skills, competences or qualifications;
  • Issue a Europass Digital Credential or a revocation certificate to an individual. Both certificates should be issued by an awarding body.

Graduates and learners that receive credentials can:

  • Store and organise their digital credentials in their Europass library, e-Portfolio or other platforms and wallets;
  • Share their Europass Digital Credentials with employers or other organisations. Owners will control what they share (e.g. whether they will send a web link or send information directly) and for how long (e.g. they can determine how long the web link stays active).

Employers can:

  • Verify the authenticity of digital credentials that holders willingly shared. The accreditation of the awarding body could also be verified (i.e. if an awarding body is licensed or authorised to issue a specific qualification), where applicable.

EDCI development and implementation timeline

Mar-Apr 2019

Member States register for pilot (9 countries on board)

May-Jun 2019

  • Definition of scope for pilots and stakeholder outreach
  • First round of bilateral meetings

Jun-Oct 2019

  • First phase of EDCI development
  • Piloting stakeholders give feedback on Data Model

2 Oct 2019

Peer Learning Event – piloting countries test the draft components of the EDCI and give feedback

Oct-Dec 2019

  • Piloting countries (18) send their sample credentials, present their use cases and finalise their pilots’ parameters
  • Prospective EDC issuers inform their credential holders about the pilot and its benefits, seeking their consent (if deemed necessary) to receive real Europass credentials in 2020
  • Prospective EDC issuers acquire their institutional / governmental (as applicable) qualified electronic seals
  • EDCI developments continue based on stakeholder feedback
  • Second round of Data Model feedback provision

Jan-Jul 2020

  • EDCI developments continue based on stakeholder feedback
  • Piloting countries (18) continue giving structured and ad-hoc feedback
  • Second round of bilateral meetings (Mar-Apr), demonstrating the use and testing the functionalities of unpublished Alpha version of the Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure
  • Development of EDC vendor strategy

1 Jul 2020

Soft launch of the Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure (EDCI) as part of the official launch of Europass, the first implemented action of the European Skills Agenda

29 Jul 2020

Presenting the Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure (EDCI): a webinar by the Europass Team, DG EMPL - European Commission (recording is available here, with password: UuNPm3fC)

Jul-Sep 2020

  • Gathering structured feedback from piloting countries to inform the direction and priorities of new system features future developments
  • Introduction of new EDCI features, based on piloter feedback, e.g. publishing of technical documentation, multilingual interface, accreditation status check, application profiles
  • Third round of bilateral meetings, addressing practical questions in preparation of issuing real Europass Digital Credentials to real credential holders
  • First bilateral contact with vendors interested in EDCI interoperability implementation

Sep-Dec 2020

  • First real EDCs issued
  • Close collaboration with vendors committed to implementing interoperability
  • Development and support actions:
    • Continue supporting adoption
    • Increase usability
    • Promote self-sovereignty
    • Strengthen Systems
    • Integrate with Europass
  • Dissemination of EDCI tools and services at thematically suitable public events across Europe

Legal framework

How does it work?

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

e-Portfolio   Information Provision    Interoperability