Meet Caroline.

Caroline oversees how institutions are recognised towards specific criteria. From her work in a governmental agency, Caroline knows that institutions need to respond to specific requirements and be assessed in order to be allowed to issue specific credentials or be recognised as answering specific criteria. Caroline would love to make it easier for citizens to verify qualifications of institutions and choose their learning providers accordingly.

What should Caroline consider?

What's the objective?

  • Improve trust towards institution and speed up recognition processes

Who will have access?

  • Who is going to read this accreditation? What will the reader look for?
  • Make it easy for the reader to understand who recognises who and to identify issuer and recipient in a trustable way.
  • It should be easy to find issuing and receiving organisations on the web and in real life and cross-check data.
  • Use an open standard, that readers can read and verify in a platform of their choice. In relevant cases, a one-click verification climbing the whole recognition chain might also be appreciated.

Who will be able to claim recognition?

  • How should an entity recognise another entity?
  • It will always be a person operating for an organisation: should this person appear explicitly or not?
  • Should an authorized operator be identified?
  • Should this recognition have an expiration time?

What will be recognised?

  • Should proof of recognition be stored in a single place or distributed?
  • For an extra level of security, recognition pieces with particular value, such as those pertaining to official accreditation, might be stored on a distributed ledger for permanent verification.

Caroline's Path

Starting out

  • Identification of organizations and authorized persons needs to be carefully evaluated, but fall beyond the recognition domain.
  • Identify a trustable, extendable open Digital Credential format: Blockcerts or Open Badge.
  • Design content-reach machine-readable unambiguous medatada. Publish it as open standard.
  • Make sure that the Digital Credential used as accreditation proof can be made easily available.


  • Authorization can be expressed as recognition with a credential.
  • Digital credentials expressing authorisation or roles need to be securely and long-term verifiable.


  • Store recognition credentials in a distributed redundant space, blockchain-like.
  • Provide a publicly accessible accreditation reader, able to read through a chain of accreditation.

Technology checklist

  • Secure digital credentials allowing extension: Blockcerts, Open Badges
  • Secure distributed recording system, such as blockchain
  • Credential reader focussed on following a chain of authorisations

What do they think?

Like the idea of allowing anyone to instantly verify the accreditation of an institution, but need to be sure that the system is secure.
Want to have a clear understanding of roles and implications, also in the long term
Like being able to verify an institution’s accreditation instantly, need to be assured that the system is trustable and made aware of how to identify possible cheating.