Recently conducted an online interview with Tim Miller, Co-Founder & CEO – Certif-ID, to talk about how blockchain technology can better facilitate digital transactions.
Tim Miller is an enthusiastic, driven thinker with a global perspective and is involved in the strategic development of future-ready learning, training and consultancy solutions. With diversified international work experience covering digitalisation of learning solutions, management system certification, product certification and training – across 25 countries, Tim has his finger to the pulse of the technologies and trends that fuel the market. Recently, Madhuri Dubey, the Founder of National Skills Network, sat down with Tim to discuss how breaking down fundamental constraints by applying technology in innovative ways has led him to create a blockchain-powered platform.
Why did you turn to blockchain technology for Certif-ID?
The vision of Certif-ID is to bridge the gap between ‘New Economy’ skills and employment prospects. To bring trust and transparency to digital transactions. Through Certif-ID, one of our goals is to harmonize educational standards and bring equal opportunity to technical professionals around the world. In line with this, we have focused on building a community of professionals in developing markets, helping them to showcase their skills and find employment in developed markets.
We therefore needed a technology that would help us build a system to support the coexistence of traditional services and new services. And blockchain technology combined with data analytics and automation was our ideal choice. Its decentralised ledger system offers us the much-needed transparency and traceability.
What is the foundation of the Certif-ID platform?
Our primary mission is to harmonize educational standards and bring equal opportunity to technical professionals around the world. For this, we needed a process which would align with existing training providers to explore current levels of training and expected competency outcomes. To achieve this, Certif-ID uses European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) framework and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The ESCO framework provides an excellent guide and can support the process of skill and competency mapping to job roles and occupations. It identifies the key indicators and the core skills, which are required to meet industry specific needs, while also describing the steps required to achieve global standards.
Additionally, we addressed the lack of transparency in the certification process by digitising and powering it with blockchain technology. This ensures that the digital certificates issued through Certif-ID are verifiable instantly and immutable. AI on our platform furthers our mission in various ways, whether it is our smart search feature or providing course and job recommendation based on members’ skills.
On the whole, Certif-ID is designed for individuals who want to learn new skills, providing easy access to credible courses and institutes for enrollment. After completing a course, learners can earn digital certificates via the Certif-ID platform. We are facilitating a continuous upskilling, in turn, improving a learners chance of landing a job and achieving professional equality.
How has Certif-ID grown since its inception in 2019?
We had a great experience working on Certif-ID. It has certainly been challenging considering the current times, but we have been welcomed by people in the industry, communities and beyond. Certif-ID is unquestionably solving current challenges, from making it a possibility for institutions to issue contactless digital certificates which can be verified instantly to providing a secure space for technical professionals to build a profile and gain visibility. We began our journey focused on helping Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in their certification and accreditation processes. Today, we have multiple offerings for institutions such as data analytics to gain insights and business value.
Technical professionals or members on Certif-ID can build their SkillPass. It is an online profile that one can use to showcase their skills and experience. SkillPass offers a range of features including, a self-assessment to gauge one’s job-readiness, CV generator to create different CVs to suit the job role one is applying for, Video CV to show off their personality and much more. SkillPass is beneficial because it allows members to store, access and share their credentials securely at any time from anywhere. Again, recruiters on the platform can list jobs, screen candidates based on their skills, access and verify their digital certificates and make an informed decision on shortlisting the candidate for an interview.
What are some of the big events in the life of Certif-ID?
Every small step we take toward bettering our platform and services, has been a big event for us and I would like to thank an extremely dedicated team behind the scenes for this. We are extremely proud of our partnership with leading institutions of the likes of, TÜV Rheinland Academy, Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC), ASTS Global Education India Pvt. Ltd., ICICI Foundation, and UNNATI Skill Center, publishing over 50,341 blockchain-powered digital certificates.
In 2020, we were able to run a large-scale event, titled ‘Next Step Seafarers’, focused on getting seafarers in the Philippines back to work, as a response to the impact of COVID. This event was a big success, with the support of UNESCO, multiple industry players, including Q2 Hr Solutions, TESDA (Technical Education and Skill Development Authority) and importantly an endorsement from the Vice President of the Philippines, Ms. Leni Robredo.
Recently, we have entered a new market of upholding environmental sustainability. We have partnered with Woodify, a startup focused on planting new, climate-resistant mixed forests across Germany. They are set to issue carbon credits digital certificates per year via Certif-ID to ensure that the issued carbon credits are encrypted, secure and instantly verifiable.
How do you foresee Certif-ID shaping the future of businesses?
Most companies we converse with are faced with the similar challenges of not being able to track or monitor digital transactions. Using blockchain technology to secure transactions, making it possible to track assets from production to delivery or use by end users, will solve this issue. This need for visibility will only increase for business across all sectors, from supply chain to healthcare. Blockchain technology will continue to play a critical role in reducing fraud, losses from counterfeit and gray market trading, as well as increase confidence in end users.
Additionally, as blockchain provides all parties access to the same information, it will reduce communication or data transfer errors. Businesses will gain more control over outsourced materials and will spend less time on validating data; ultimately improving quality, reducing cost, or both. For those who haven’t started adopting blockchain my message would be, to embrace this change; decentralized, identity and credentialing solutions are taking very big steps with some of the world’s biggest and most trend setting companies. It will undoubtedly play a massive role in your business’ success.